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The Trump Budget: An 18.3 Percent Cut to Missouri’s National Institutes of Health Funding

Mike Castling is injected as part of a clinical study of the H1N1 vaccine in St. Louis in 2009.

The Trump administration released its long-anticipated budget targets last week, providing more detail on exactly how President Donald Trump will meet his goal of cutting $54 billion in nondefense discretionary spending in order to boost defense spending by roughly the same amount. The budget details released by President Trump largely represent a hodgepodge of recycled ideas from previous conservative spending plans—that is, where they offer any details at all. These cuts would directly threaten the safety and economic security of ordinary Missourians, while benefiting wealthy and powerful corporations.

In particular, Trump’s proposed cuts would cripple a wide array of programs that support medical research. Cuts to institutions such as the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, would have a major impact on Missouri. NIH grants fund critical research that leads to breakthroughs in medicine, saving lives.

Trump’s $93 million cut to Missouri’s NIH funding

Last year, the NIH made 1,158 grants to organizations in Missouri, totaling $509 million. In fact, Washington University in St. Louis received more than $407 million, placing it 11th among all institutions nationally receiving NIH funding in 2016. The Trump administration’s budget outline would cut NIH funding by $5.8 billion, an 18.3 percent drop. This proposal would have pared Missouri’s NIH grant allotment to just $416 million if it had been applied this year.

This funding cut also threatens medical research projects in Missouri scheduled to receive NIH support in future years. For example, Trump’s deep budget cuts could threaten projects including:

A Washington University project that seeks to establish how certain genes put people at higher risk for common diseases

  • Cutting edge treatments for leukemia and pancreatic cancer
  • Foundational research into how to better fight the Ebola virus and reduce its lethality
  • A University of Missouri study on stem cell treatments that greatly enhances doctors’ ability to treat patients with HIV

While the Trump administration may try to disguise cuts to funding as solely administrative or structural changes to the NIH, the Trump administration’s budget would almost certainly hit core NIH funding and cut off resources for ground-breaking medical breakthroughs.

Conclusion

Major reductions for National Institutes of Health funding would hit key programs in Missouri such as those working to find cures for major diseases. Cuts to NIH funding are just one piece of a budget that is likely to force severe service shortages across an array of programs that Missourians depend on. Elected officials representing Missourians in Washington must take notice of the impact that the Trump budget would have on Missouri families.

Ryan Erickson is the Associate Director for Economic Campaigns at the Center for American Progress. Harry Stein is Director of Fiscal Policy at the Center.