WASHINGTON – In response to his budget blueprint, which cuts $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) have written to President Trump inviting him to visit NIH to see for himself the life-saving working being done in nearby Bethesda. The letter, found below, urges the president to reverse his budget cuts so that the United States can maintain its global scientific dominance.
March 17, 2017
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As you continue to work on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget, we respectfully request you reconsider the proposed 20 percent budget cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We are concerned that cutting almost $6 billion dollars from the NIH budget will stymie medical innovation that cannot be duplicated by the private sector and will drive away talented scientists and researchers. Funding for NIH has enjoyed years of bipartisan support. Both Democrats and Republicans agree that slashing funding for America’s premier research institutes will hurt the agency’s ability to fund multi-year projects and retain young, talented researchers. This in turn could put the United States at a global disadvantage as other nations gain a scientific and technological edge over American innovation and medical discovery. It is in our national interest that we provide robust federal funding for NIH to ensure that our Nation remains at the forefront of global medical research.
In order for you to learn more about the critical, life-saving work being done at NIH, we invite you to join us for a visit and tour of the main NIH campus in nearby Bethesda, Maryland, and see firsthand the important work being done on behalf of the American people and public health. NIH is the crown jewel of biomedical research around the world and is essential to spurring critical discoveries that will save and improve lives. For over a century, NIH public-private partnerships have paved the way for U.S. researchers and scientists to discover the next innovative drug, vaccine, or life-saving cure. In fact, 148 Nobel Prize winners have received support for their research from NIH. Federal funding has contributed to notable discoveries such as the use of fluoride to prevent tooth decay and the creation of vaccines to fight hepatitis and the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Thank you for your consideration of this request. We hope to join you soon at NIH.