Two House Democrats introduced legislation on Monday that would make funding for the National Institutes of Health no longer subject to the annual congressional budget process.

The bill would make the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) medical research funding a non-discretionary program, meaning it wouldn't be part of debates over the federal discretionary spending budget every year. That would make NIH funding treated in the same way as programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

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Democratic Reps. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorOvernight Health Care: Trump officials explore importing prescription drugs | Key ObamaCare, drug pricing regs under review | GOP looks to blunt attacks on rising premiums | Merck to lower some drug prices House Dems want answers on cuts to ObamaCare outreach groups Lawmakers aim to use spending bill to block offshore drilling MORE (Fla.) and G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldOn The Money: Harley-Davidson decision raises trade tensions with Trump | Senate panel to take up tariff legislation | CBO projects grim budget outlook under Trump | White House objects to measure on reinstating ZTE ban Dem lawmakers seek distance from Waters call for confrontation 'Diamond & Silk' offer chance for bipartisan push back on social media censorship MORE (N.C.) said the measure would remove NIH from threats of shutdowns and spending cuts.

"Today, funding for medical research is discretionary and at the mercy of the budget battles in Congress. This harms momentum towards cures and creates economic uncertainty," Castor said.

"Funding for medical research is too essential to be subjected to political squabbles," Butterfield added.

NIH funding peaked in 2010 at $31.2 billion. But it fell to $30.6 billion in 2014 as part of a bipartisan spending agreement. 

Rebecca Shabad contributed.