News & AnalysisU.S. BUDGET

Figuring Out What the Debt Agreement Means for Science

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Science  12 Aug 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6044, pp. 810
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6044.810

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As the ink dried last week on the hard-fought budget agreement between the Obama Administration and Congress that raised the U.S. debt ceiling to avert a government default, federal science agencies, universities, and researchers were left wondering what it all means. The only sure bet is that the tortuous, two-step process to shrink the deficit by $2.1 trillion over the next decade will be a bonanza for lobbyists. Research advocates say their initial response to the Budget Control Act of 2011 that became law on 2 August is one of cautious optimism about the immediate future—and apprehension about the longer-term prospects.