ON HIGH ALERT: Cancer Research Funding at Risk

White House Asks Congress to Slash NIH Funding for Remainder of FY2017 and Beyond

FY2017: A new White House proposal calls for $1.2 billion in cuts from the current fiscal year budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Mid-year cuts on this scale would have a devastating and immediate impact on research grants across the nation with the potential to impact all disease areas, including childhood cancer. 

Current government spending will expire at the end of April, when Congress must pass a new spending bill for the reminder of the fiscal year (ending September 30, 2017). We're asking all advocates to contact their Members of Congress immediately and ask them to stand with us in defense of childhood cancer research at this critical moment. 

FY2018: This alarming news follows the White House release of a budget blueprint (PDF) earlier this month that proposes steep cuts to research agencies, eliminating $6 billion (20 percent) of the NIH budget. The National Cancer Institute's share of those cuts - an estimated $1 billion - would have a devastating impact on already-underfunded childhood cancer research.

More than 80 percent of NIH funds are awarded to researchers at institutions across the country - including to the Children's Oncology Group and doctors pioneering new treatments for kids battling cancer. With cuts of this size, their work could not continue and promising treatments would not be developed. 

It's important to emphasize that Congress - not the Executive Branch - controls the federal budget. But the President's blueprint traditionally presents the starting point for budget deliberations on Capitol Hill.

Cancer research has always had bipartisan support, and we are optimistic that we will be able to soften the blow of these cuts through the appropriations process -- but we will need all-hands-on-deck! Progress in childhood cancer research is almost entirely dependent on federal funding. Please speak up with us to advance new treatments and find cures. Take action here.

Jessica Kean