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2005 US Science Budget May Mean Belt Tightening

A post-election "lame duck" Congress recently returned to Washington, DC, and approved an omnibus funding measure for fiscal year 2005, which began October 1.

Ted Agres
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A post-election "lame duck" Congress recently returned to Washington, DC, and approved an omnibus funding measure for fiscal year 2005, which began October 1. By holding overall discretionary domestic spending to last year's levels, the measure gives Spartan increases, and even some cuts, to scientific and medical research.

The $388.4 billion omnibus appropriations bill (HR 4818) approved on November 20 combines the remaining nine of 13 spending measures that had not been passed before Congress adjourned in October. The measure consolidates budgets for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and most federal agencies other than the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security.

Under the compromise legislation, NIH will receive about $28.4 billion, a 2% increase of $563 million over last year. This will give most institutes and centers increases of 1.6% to 2.4%, failing to keep pace with the biomedical research and development price index, projected at...

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