The $4.18 billion National Cancer Institute budget request submitted by the Bush administration to Congress in April for fiscal year 2002 amounts to an 11.7 percent boost of $439 million over the current year's appropriation. The package, however, falls $850 million short of the amount NCI sought in its own "bypass budget" proposal.

NCI requested $5.03 billion, a whopping 34 percent boost of $1.27 billion. The bypass budget is so-called because, under the National Cancer Act of 1971, NCI's budget request is submitted directly to the president, bypassing approval by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that is required of other NIH institutes and centers.

This bypass budget represents the cancer institute's "strategic planning," says John Hartinger, NCI's associate director for budget and financial management. The budget submitted to Congress by the president, he says, does not contain the same level...

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