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NIH to get more funding

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President George W. Bush announced a $2.8 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Friday.

"We recognize the federal government plays a very important role in researching cures for disease, and, therefore, our budget increases the NIH budget for 2002 by $2.8 billion, the largest increase in that department's history," the president said at a meeting with Mitch Daniels, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said last year's budget allotted $20.4 billion for the NIH, and $23.1 billion will be allotted for the agency in the budget Bush will unveil Tuesday in a joint address to Congress.

A blueprint of his budget, Fleischer said, will be sent to Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

"He believes that this money will help them do a better job, have more resources to cure and fight diseases, including cancer and Parkinson's, up and down the line," Fleischer said.

Fleischer said he would have to review whether the money had to be spent according to the president's specific priorities, but that he thought it was a general grant.



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