The budget agreement Congress reached tonight would give the National Institutes of Health a $2 billion increase for the second year in a row, a Senate GOP aide confirms. That means congressional negotiators basically told the Trump administration to take a hike. The administration wanted to slash the agency's funding by $1.2 billion in the bill to fund the federal government for the rest of the year.
Between the lines: This part of the agreement had been worked out weeks ago between the top appropriators, including Sen. Roy Blunt and Rep. Tom Cole. They had wanted to build on the earlier $2 billion increase NIH had received last year, the first substantial funding boost in 12 years. The only question was whether Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney would convince them to change their minds. He didn't.