Over the weekend congress reached an agreement on a funding bill that will keep the government operational until September. This is good news, not only because the government averted a shutdown, but also because there is clear path for bipartisanship in several areas. For example medical research funding, which has received a $2 billion boost.
Despite calls from the administration to cut the federal medical research budget, Congress did not comply. Earlier in March the White House threatened the budget for National Institutes of Health will be cut by $1.2 billion this year, by $5.8 billion cut in 2018. But the administration continues to learn that they can’t cut funding in areas they see as unimportant while the majority of Americans support it.
“Biomedical research is definitely a favorite cause in Congress. It has a history of bipartisan support,” science policy expert Al Teich of George Washington University told BuzzFeed News. “No one wants to vote against such causes as research on cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.”
The Democratic Party sees in this a small yet needed victory. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, "The omnibus [spending bill] is in sharp contrast to President Trump's dangerous plans to steal billions from lifesaving research.”
It is unclear what the priorities are in President Trump’s white House, and what role the budget for science research or medical research will play in the overall budget plan of the administration. Voters will have a better understanding of the administrations priorities for next year when the Trump administration releases a full budget request later this month.