The current round of appropriations hearings in Congress graphically illustrates the different politicalforces that shape the NIH and NSF budgets. NSF officials, grilled by new subcommittee chairman Rep. Bob Traxler (D-Mich.),were asked to submit an analysis of where they would cut if the foundation’s proposed $262 million increase (amounting to 14%) were to be trimmed-by $50 million, $100 million, or $200 million. Traxler said that it’s highly unlikely that his panel, which also funds NASA, EPA, housing and the VA, will receive the additional $7 billion it needs to meet the administration’s proposed 1990 budget requests for those agencies, and he pressed NSF director Erich Bloch to set priorities. One week later, before veteransubcommittee chairman Rep. William Natcher (0-Ky.), NIH director James Wyngaarden was asked tc provide the panel with a description of how he would allocate $500 million more, in increments of $100 million, than the $233 million increase...

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