President Trump’s FY 2018 budget plans, released March 16, 2017, call for huge and damaging cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Under this proposal, NIH’s budget would sustain a loss of $5.8 billion or almost 20% of its budget. Not only would this curtail scientific progress, it would also be devastating to our nation’s scientific enterprise and biomedical workforce. In the long-term, these cuts threaten both the health of all Americans and the U.S. economy as a whole, which depends on an educated workforce to drive innovation in both the public and private sectors. Dollars invested in scientific research fuel the economy by employing skilled workers, purchasing supplies, and creating intellectual property. At a time when other nations are increasing their investments in research, the U.S. needs to maintain and grow research capacity or risk losing out in a competitive global marketplace.
Funding for biomedical research is a non-partisan issue. Champions in Congress from both parties have worked together for decades to foster research in the U.S. and the proposed cuts would reverse recent increases provided by leaders in Congress. We call on these champions to continue their commitment to the sciences.
We encourage members of the scientific community to reach out to your Members of Congress and ask them to reject the President’s budget proposal. Contact information for your elected representatives is available on the House and Senate websites. Information on how much federal research funding is being invested in your state or district is available on the FASEB website, along with other advocacy resources.