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President Trump Releases FFY 2018 Budget Proposal

President Trump today released his federal fiscal year (FFY) 2018 budget proposal. While the budget request would cut a number of discretionary programs to accommodate increased defense spending, the President does not propose cuts to the Medicare or Medicaid programs. The President proposes a 20 percent ($15.1 billion) cut to the Department of Health and Human Services, including a $6 billion cut to the National Institutes for Health (NIH), which would negate funding boosts included in the 21st Century Cures Act. The cut to the NIH is likely to encounter strong opposition from both Republicans and Democrats, who passed the 21st Century Cures Act in December. In addition, the budget cuts $403 million from health professions and nurse training programs, and increases, by $500 billion, funding to expand opioid misuse prevention efforts and treatment for addiction. Although the President makes annual budget recommendations, Congress is under no obligation to adhere to these proposals. Before Congress can address its FFY 2018 budget, it must raise the debt ceiling and fund the federal government beyond April 29, when the current continuing resolution for FFY 2017 expires.