Policy-watchers wonder if even modest increases for science will survive Republican lawmakers' fiscal conservatism
The Clinton administration is striving to put the best possible "spin" on its $72.9 billion research and development budget for the 1996 fiscal year, which would provide modest increases--about enough to keep pace with inflation--for the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

White House science adviser John H. Gibbons contends that "science and technology are maintained as a priority investment in the administration's FY96 budget submission, with total R&D funding increasing slightly, despite overall cuts in discretionary spending."

At the same time, however, science community observers and other Washington-based science policy-watchers say the administration's R&D budget faces highly uncertain prospects on Capitol Hill. With fiscally minded Republicans now in control of both the House and Senate, the final 1996 budget may bear little resemblance to the president's submission.

Cornelius J. Pings, president of...

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