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WASHINGTON — Congressman Andy Harris of Maryland on Wednesday railed against the National Institutes of Health for how much it pays research universities for their indirect costs, reigniting a debate that began when the Trump administration defended its proposed $5.8 billion cut to the agency’s budget for 2018.

Harris, a Republican and a physician who has conducted NIH-funded research, aggressively questioned NIH Director Francis Collins at an appropriations hearing, demanding to know how much money, proportional to funding meant directly for research, the NIH provided to universities to cover overhead costs. These costs include buying lab equipment and paying for utilities, for example.

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