Despite Deal, Science Funding Cut

Last minute legislation passed by Congress to avert immediate across-the-board budget cuts will not prevent major reductions in research spending.

By | January 6, 2013

US CAPITOLWIKIMEDIA, KMCCOYAlthough Congress delayed major budget cuts to science by passing legislation last week (January 1), $4 billion in discretionary spending, which includes funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), will have to be cut by March 1, with an additional $8 million in cuts required next year.

Congressional leaders agreed to increase taxes on the wealthy, but delayed final decision on sequestration, the across-the-board cuts in discretionary spending, by 2 months.  Many research advocacy groups see the delay as an opportunity to defend the value of science to the country’s economic health. President Barack Obama told Congress on the eve of the bill passage that “we can't keep cutting things like basic research and new technology and still expect to succeed in a 21st century economy.”

Had sequestration taken effect immediately, civilian and defense spending would have to lop off a whopping $102 billion, which officials calculated would translate to cut of approximately 2,500 NIH and 1,500 NSF grants in 2013 alone, reported ScienceInsider.

 

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