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In Budget Committee Hearing, Higgins Assails Trump’s Deep Cuts to Medical Research

Mar 12, 2019
Press Release
Cancer Research Takes the Biggest Hit in NIH Budget Proposed by the President

In a House of Representatives Budget Committee hearing reviewing the recently released 2020 budget proposed by President Trump, Budget Committee member Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) questioned the Administration’s justification for drastic cuts in medical research generally, and cancer research specifically. 

The President’s budget proposes cutting the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $4.9 billion.   Every single division of the NIH except one is being cut.  The largest reduction is to cancer research with a $897 million cut to the National Cancer Institute. 

During his testimony Higgins said, “I think that when you deal with cancer research, in particular, the only failure in the research is when you quit, or you're forced to quit because of lack of funding…New treatment that's delayed, is new treatment that’s denied. And at a time when you have incredible promise in the area of immunotherapy, that has been clinically trialed and tested in places like Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, it just seems very short sighted that the administration is picking winners and losers as it relates to what diseases we decide to invest in toward the goal of developing new promising treatments; because it costs not only money, but it also costs lives as well.”


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Trump’s budget message touts the following items, but his budget numbers tell another story:

Research for Childhood Cancers

·         Makes an investment of $500 million over the next 10 years for Childhood cancer research – only $50 million a year - but proposes $897 million in cuts to the National Cancer Institute in 2020 alone

Defeating HIV/AIDS

·         Praises a worthy goal of defeating HIV/AIDS with $291 million in funding; but slashes the nation’s investment in medical research with a $4.9 billion (12% overall) cut to the National Institutes of Health

President Trump’s proposed NIH Budget for 2020:

(pg. 52:


Congressman Higgins serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Cancer Caucus and founding member and chair of the National Institutes of Health Caucus.  In the last Congress he led introduction of the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act, which would incrementally increase funding to the NIH over a seven-year period.