Julia Belluz · Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 3:47 pm
The cuts come amid proposed increases in defense spending.
President Donald Trump’s budget blueprint for 2018 proposed a series of devastating cuts to health research funding and public health programs.
But it seems that assault on medical science and health could be starting much sooner.
According to media reports out today, the Trump White House is proposing to slash $1.2 billion from research grants at the National Institutes of Health and other health and education programs this year.
The $18 billion in total cuts from discretionary spending bills is reportedly offsetting the $30 billion in supplementary increases in defense spending, and spending on the border wall with Mexico (though it’s not entirely clear that the wall will be part of the supplemental defense budget).
There have been lots of estimates floating around about how much the wall will cost. Mexico has continued to refuse to foot the bill, but Trump’s been under pressure to deliver on his promise to immediately begin construction. To appease Congressional penny pinchers, the money for the increased defense budget and wall has to some from somewhere.
So basically: The Trump White House is ditching investments that would bolster scientific knowledge and health to try to wall off Mexico and marginally increase a defense budget that already outstrips just about every other country on the planet.