By Julian Pecquet - 03/07/12 03:50 PM EST
Shelby also raised concerns with the budget's flat-funding of medical research at the National Institutes of Health, at $31 billion. The administration says it is overhauling its NIH grant-making process in order to increase the number of new research grants.
Panel Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) also criticized the proposed budget, specifically its $4.5 billion cut to the $15 billion Prevention Fund he championed in the healthcare reform law.
"I don't know when we're going to learn that our mothers were right: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," Harkin said. "And that's true in healthcare."