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Budget preview: Trump wants huge NIH cuts

New bombshell this morning: The National Institutes of Health would get a $5.8 billion funding cut in Trump's first budget — about 19 percent of its budget, per the Washington Post. That's after two years of Congress pushing for big increases.

And that's after Trump made a big issue of supporting research into new cures in his speech to Congress last month. Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney didn't tip his hand at a press briefing yesterday — he acknowledged that federal funding is needed for research into rare diseases," and our budget preserves the ability to do exactly that."

But NIH supporters in Congress have been warning that funding cuts are a real possibility. The agency got a $2 billion increase in December 2015, the biggest funding boost in a dozen years. And last year, STAT reported (oh wait, that's me!) that appropriators were looking at another $2 billion increase for the coming year. Congress hasn't finished its work on that funding package yet.

The bottom line: It's part of a 23 percent cut in overall discretionary funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, Bloomberg reports.