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

U.S. seeks to kick out and ban foreign students
Blotter

U.S. seeks to kick out and ban foreign students

July 08, 2020

Harvard and MIT sue government to stop rule change targeting F-1 and M-1 visa holders at or heading to institutions offering only online courses this fall because of COVID-19.

NIH struggles to address sexual harassment by grantees
Blotter

NIH struggles to address sexual harassment by grantees

July 01, 2020

While the agency has made progress with intramural cases, it has been less successful with extramural ones.

What the Supreme Court's DACA ruling means for undocumented students and the colleges and universities they attend
News

What the Supreme Court's DACA ruling means for undocumented students and the colleges and universities they attend

June 27, 2020

At least for now, hundreds of thousands of students can stay in school without facing new hardships.

When leaders choose self-interest over science, the consequences are deadly
Editorial

When leaders choose self-interest over science, the consequences are deadly

June 26, 2020

As a result of the Trump administration’s actions and inaction, Ben Corb writes, the U.S. was late to adopt a testing protocol to help track and slow the spread of COVID-19.

NIH continues to investigate scientists’ foreign ties
Blotter

NIH continues to investigate scientists’ foreign ties

June 26, 2020

The agency has investigated 189 scientists suspected of violating NIH policies and has found a majority of them guilty of failing to disclose foreign affiliations.

Bill would reform NSF and plant innovation hubs nationwide
Blotter

Bill would reform NSF and plant innovation hubs nationwide

June 17, 2020

The Endless Frontier Act would rename, add a directorate to and pump up to $100 billion in new funding into the agency. It also would fix the uneven distribution of jobs and capital concentrated now in just a few cities.