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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Senate Committee Proposes Boost for NIH
4 September 1998 7:00 pm
Biomedical researchers can chalk up another big advance on Capitol Hill: The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday approved a bill that would raise the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget by almost $2 billion, to $15.6 billion, a massive increase of 14.7%. This is much more than Congress has offered other research agencies, and $800 million more than the NIH increase proposed by the White House. But the bill faces a few roadblocks.
Written by the Labor, Health and Human Services subcommittee chaired by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), it would channel more money into jobs and education programs than was allocated to the subcommittee by budget chiefs. The bill gets around this problem by deferring costs and recalculating accounts in ways that leave even seasoned congressional hands befuddled. One academic lobbyist who attended the bill's markup yesterday says that Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), chair of the budget committee, seemed ready to go along with a "rescoring" process that would make available about one-third of the money needed to float the bill. But it's not clear how Specter and the subcommittee's top Democrat, Tom Harkin (IA), will find the remainder.
Political roadblocks also stand in the way of NIH funding in the House. The House has not yet acted on an NIH funding bill, drafted by a subcommittee chaired by Representative John Porter (R-IL), that would give NIH a $1.2 billion increase (9.1%). The reason: The bill would also end funding for popular summer jobs and home heat subsidy programs; even moderate Republicans have refused to support these cuts, and President Clinton has said he would veto the bill.
These problems must be solved before the House and Senate can agree on a final bill, and there are only a few weeks left before the fiscal year begins on 1 October. Already, Republicans are talking about the need to pass "one or two" stopgap funding resolutions to keep the government afloat as they wheel and deal.