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Alex Brandon / AP

The White House hosted a discussion this morning on the importance of biomedical research, which quickly turned into a pushback against proposed funding cuts. National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins led the meeting, which began with a quick speech by Vice President Pence and ended with President Trump inviting everyone for a quick visit to the Oval Office, per an administration official.

Who was there: General Atlantic CEO Bill Ford, Dr. Craig Thompson of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Cornelia Bargmann of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and executives from Regeneron and Celgene. HHS Secretary Tom Price, VA Secretary David Shulkin, and Ivanka Trump were there, too.

The bottom line: Collins told CNBC afterwards that they didn't discuss drug prices, but spent a lot of time talking about the Trump administration's proposed cuts in NIH funding. "Some have argued maybe we don't need the government involved in research," Collins said. "The companies, one by one, unanimously said, 'That won't work.' They count on NIH to fund the basic science."

Go deeper

Biden says presidency "will be determined" by outcome of spending plans

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic Caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
7 mins ago - Energy & Environment

China declines to speed emissions cuts in new UN pledge

A view of the skyscrapers in the haze in Shanghai, China, in December 2020. Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Chinese leaders are sticking with a prior target to bring the country's carbon emissions to a peak before 2030, according to documents filed with the United Nations Thursday under the Paris climate agreement.

Why it matters: The new documents come just days ahead of the UN climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow. China is by far the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, and its emissions path is key to whether the temperature-limiting goals of the Paris agreement can remain within reach.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Biden lays out $1.75 trillion "framework" before Europe departure

President Biden in Kearny, N.J., on Oct. 25. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

President Biden announced Thursday a "framework" for $1.75 trillion in social program and climate change spending after failing in prior efforts to win over his fellow Democrats on a much broader and costlier package.

Why it matters: Biden is gambling that by proclaiming the broad contours of the proposal, which he immediately began selling in a meeting with House Democrats before jetting off to Europe, progressives will vote for his $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan if and when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brings it to the floor.