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United States federal funding of science

August 7, 2007

Check out a news brief just released by the AAAS regarding the federal (United States) spending on scientific research proposed for the 2008 budget.

As of the August congressional recess, Congress is poised to add billions of dollars to proposed budgets for the federal investment in research and development (R&D) for fiscal year (FY) 2008. The House and Senate would endorse large proposed increases for select physical sciences agencies in the President’s American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) and would continue to support Administration plans to expand development investments for new human spacecraft. But instead of cutting funding for other R&D programs as requested, the House and the Senate would provide increases to every major nondefense R&D funding agency, and would turn proposed cuts into significant increases for the congressional priorities of biomedical research, environmental research (particularly climate change research), and energy R&D. The added billions in FY 2008 appropriations so far would turn a requested cut in federal support of basic and applied research into a real increase, after three years of decline.

Could this be some good news? Maybe so, maybe not…

But these increases depend on an overall congressional budget plan allocating $21 billion more for domestic appropriations than the President’s budget; because the President has threatened to veto any appropriations bills that exceed his budget request, these R&D increases could disappear or diminish this fall in negotiations between the President and Congress over final funding levels

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