President Bush yesterday (February 2) sent to Congress a $28.6 billion budget request for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in fiscal year 2005, a 2.6% increase of $729 million over the current year's funding. The National Science Foundation (NSF) would receive a 2.5% increase of around $140 million to $5.7 billion, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would be cut by 8.9% to $4.3 billion, a reduction of $408 million.

The president's overall budget request for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2004, totals $2.4 trillion. Across the board, the average increase in discretionary spending for programs other than defense and homeland security is kept to 0.5%. By this measure, NIH fares relatively well. “On the one hand, it's disappointing because it's not even keeping pace with inflation,” said Dave Moore, associate vice president for government relations at the Association of American Medical Colleges. “On the...

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