NIH boost passed in Senate

The US Senate passed its version of the economic stimulus legislation today (Feb. 10), and life science has faired well, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). "For the science and engineering community, the two versions of the stimulus bill are a welcome acknowledgement that scientific research, often regarded as long-term and future-oriented, also has a role to play in short-term economic recovery," the AAAS wrote in an linkurl:analysis;http://www.aaas.or

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Feb 9, 2009
The US Senate passed its version of the economic stimulus legislation today (Feb. 10), and life science has faired well, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). "For the science and engineering community, the two versions of the stimulus bill are a welcome acknowledgement that scientific research, often regarded as long-term and future-oriented, also has a role to play in short-term economic recovery," the AAAS wrote in an linkurl:analysis;http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/stim09s2.htm#tb of the legislation. The advocacy group estimated that the $838 billion Senate version of bill would give more than $10 billion to the National Institutes of Health, thanks to an amendment to the original Senate version proposed by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) last week. The House version of the bill, which was passed last month, would provide only $3.9 billion in stimulus finding to the NIH, the same amount included in the original Senate version. If the...
ociation for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). "For the science and engineering community, the two versions of the stimulus bill are a welcome acknowledgement that scientific research, often regarded as long-term and future-oriented, also has a role to play in short-term economic recovery," the AAAS wrote in an linkurl:analysis;http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/stim09s2.htm#tb of the legislation. The advocacy group estimated that the $838 billion Senate version of bill would give more than $10 billion to the National Institutes of Health, thanks to an amendment to the original Senate version proposed by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) last week. The House version of the bill, which was passed last month, would provide only $3.9 billion in stimulus finding to the NIH, the same amount included in the original Senate version. If the Senate NIH budget bump were to survive full legislative haggling and make it onto President Obama's desk for signing, the NIH would be looking at an FY 2009 budget of approximately $40 billion. While Senators seemed to show a little stimulus love for NIH, physical sciences appeared to get a colder shoulder on the Senate floor. Senators agreed on cutting $200 million from the original National Science Foundation bump, and $100 million a piece from the proposed boosts to the Department of Energy's Office of Science and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Still, the Senate version of the bill would provide these three agencies with a combined $2 billion, putting NSF and NIST (but not DOE's Office of Science) on track for decadal budget doublings. Now legislators will thrash out the details of a final bill in conference, attempting to reconcile the House and Senate versions for the President to sign into law. This is traditionally a long and arduous process that in this case may be made even more daunting by significant differences between the two versions.
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:Senate OKs big NIH bump;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55398/
[4th February 2009]*linkurl:Bailing out life science;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55338/
[15th January 2009]

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