Blotter

President's budget request
includes cuts to science

Trump prioritizes military spending over domestic investments, including biomedical research, once again
Benjamin Corb
February 10, 2020

President Donald Trump today released his administration’s budget request for fiscal year 2021. In it, he proposes cutting domestic nondefense spending, including investments in the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, in favor of increasing federal defense spending.

More on Trump's spending priorities

  • Read the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s official response to President Donald Trump’s budget request for fiscal 2021.
  • In his State of the Union address, the president misrepresented his administration’s support for medical research. In fact, he has repeatedly sought to reduce funding. 

Trump’s budget would reduce nondefense discretionary spending by $40 billion and increase defense spending by $2 billion. This comes despite a bipartisan agreement made in Congress last year to lock in spending levels for fiscal years 2020 and 2021, which Trump signed into law. 

Among the cuts the president’s budget proposes are:

  • a 7% cut to the National Science Foundation budget,
  • a 5% cut to the National Institutes of Health budget, and
  • an 8% cut to the Department of Education budget.

While these proposed cuts, and the priorities they reflect, are disheartening, the president’s budget is only a request. Congress ultimately makes spending decisions, and it has consistently balked at the president’s attempts to reduce funding for science. 

Benjamin Corb

Benjamin Corb is director of public affairs at ASBMB.

Join the ASBMB Today mailing list

Sign up to get updates on articles, interviews and events.

Latest in Policy

Policy highlights or most popular articles

Ex-Emory neuroscientist pleads guilty;  fired Cleveland Clinic geneticist arrested
Blotter

Ex-Emory neuroscientist pleads guilty; fired Cleveland Clinic geneticist arrested

May 20, 2020

Department of Justice continues to pursue scientists who fail to disclose ties to China’s Thousand Talents Program.

3 volunteering guidelines to heed during the coronavirus pandemic
News

3 volunteering guidelines to heed during the coronavirus pandemic

May 05, 2020

A volunteering expert offers guidance on how to help at a time when you might need to keep your helping hands to yourself.

Out of my comfort zone: How I use science to influence policy
Essay

Out of my comfort zone: How I use science to influence policy

April 30, 2020

When Amanda Koch realized that elected officials often do not make evidence-based decisions, she decided she wanted her scientific voice to be heard in politics.

Federal agencies struggle to address sexual harassment in STEM research
Blotter

Federal agencies struggle to address sexual harassment in STEM research

April 29, 2020

A Q&A with John Neumann of the General Accountability Office, whose team produced a report in March on federal funding agencies’ dealings with sexual harassment.

Air pollution could make people more vulnerable to COVID-19
News

Air pollution could make people more vulnerable to COVID-19

April 26, 2020

Air pollution hits harder in communities of color. Such exposures could lead to increased risks from the new coronavirus.

How is COVID-19 affecting NIH research?
Funding

How is COVID-19 affecting NIH research?

April 22, 2020

The ASBMB hosted a webinar with NIH officials to outline how they’re helping scientists navigate pandemic-related interruptions to their research.