Big increases for NSF, NASA, the genome project, and the supercollider must vie with the needs of domestic programs
WASHINGTON--President Bush has asked for significant increases for science in his 1991 budget proposal to Congress. But the really good news is that he's also asked for more money for housing, veterans' affairs, and other programs that compete with science for scarce resources.

Why, in a time of fiscal austerity, is more money for other domestic programs a blessing for researchers? Because in the arcane world of the federal budget, the whole is often less important than the individual parts.

Here's how it works. Before any part of the administration's $1.2 trillion federal budget can be enacted, Congress must first divide it into 13 pieces. And each spring the chairmen of 13 corresponding appropriations subcommittees compete vigorously, behind closed doors, for the largest possible allocation for their panel. That allocation must...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?