News and Comment1998 Budget

Bipartisan Mood in Congress Opens Door for Pork

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Science  29 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5330, pp. 1195-1196
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5330.1195

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The bipartisan flavor that has become so popular in Congress these days has brought with it the distinct aroma of pork. Legislative earmarks--also known as pork-barrel projects--no longer seem to be a lightning rod for criticism. That's good news for the institutions that stand to gain millions of dollars in R&D funding set aside by lawmakers in 1998 spending bills that Congress hopes to wrap up as it returns to work next week. But others worry that Congress is encouraging bad science by circumventing peer review.