With the US House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee that oversees funding for the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) planning to start drafting the agency's budget bill for the fiscal year beginning October 1, legislators and research advocates predict the new budget is likely to be more difficult to negotiate than usual and will end up falling short of the goals hoped for by the research community.

"This year will be particularly difficult," said Dave Moore, associate vice president for governmental relations at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). "It's going to be almost next to impossible for the subcommittees to address all the members' priorities with the allocations they've been given."

The allocation to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, which oversees the NIH budget, reflects an austere allocation to all 13 such committees that is, overall, $2 billion less than...

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