WASHINGTON—Although House and Senate conferees compromised on the higher of two numbers in all parts of the National Science Foundation’s 1990 budget, scientists will still be getting less than President Bush requested for the foundation last February. And the repeated promise of a doubling of the NSF budget within five years is likely once again to ring hollow in their ears.

The October 17 agreement, which must he approved separately by each house and by the president, gives NSF a total of $2.103 billion, an increase of $218 million (11.6%) over 1989. However, a 1.5% across-the-board tax, to fund the new war on drugs and to meet 1990 budget limits, reduces that amount by $31 million. An additional cut of 5.3%, triggered by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings act to reduce the federal deficit, would become permanent if the appropriations bill for NSF and several other government agencies does not become law.


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