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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Big Budget Boost for NIH
26 February 2001 7:00 pm
Sometimes good just isn't good enough. President George W. Bush said on Friday that he would request a record $2.8 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the 2002 budget proposal that he will present to Congress tomorrow night. But some biomedical science groups say that the figure--a 13.8% boost, to $23.1 billion--is only a starting point for their campaign to win a $3.4 billion boost.
"We will work in a bipartisan fashion with our congressional champions ... to increase the agency's budget," vowed Mary J. C. Hendrix, president of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). The 60,000 member group has helped lead an effort, begun in 1998, to double NIH's budget to $27.3 billion by 2003.
Bush briefly mentioned his plans for NIH during a photo opportunity on 23 February, 4 days before outlining to the nation his spending proposal for the 2002 fiscal year, which begins 1 October. "We recognize the federal government plays a very important role in researching cures for disease," Bush said in recommending the largest increase in NIH's history.
But Bush was mum on the subject that has much of the science community talking: the pain his budget is expected to inflict on nonbiomedical science budgets (Science, 23 February, p. 1463). He was expected to request only a 1.3% increase for the National Science Foundation (NSF), whose budget now stands at $4.4 billion. Scientists are also bracing for grim news for science programs at NASA, the Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Whether Congress will follow Bush's blueprint, however, is unclear. Congress traditionally increases the president's request for NIH and, already, Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) have introduced legislation calling on the Senate to back a $3.4 billion increase. Dozens of House and Senate lawmakers have also signed an array of letters to Bush and congressional leaders asking for major science budget increases at NSF, DOE, and NASA.
The first real test will come this spring, when congressional budget committees issue roadmaps to spending panels overseeing specific agencies. Researchers, says one House aide, "are going to know pretty early just how far they'll have to push the rock up the hill."
National Institutes of Health