In Depth2017 U.S. Budget

Congress trumps president in backing science

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Science  05 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6337, pp. 470-471
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6337.470

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A new U.S. budget deal makes it clear that scientists have enough friends in Congress to counter the chill from the White House—at least for now. This week, lawmakers were expected to approve a spending plan for the 2017 fiscal year, which ends on 30 September. The deal they voted on contains a lot more good news than the two budget requests that President Donald Trump so far has sent to Congress. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NASA’s science programs are the biggest winners in a 1665-page document that closes a tumultuous budget year and staves off a government shutdown. NIH was in line for a 6.2% boost, to $34 billion, whereas NASA’s science missions received a hike of 3.1%, to $5.76 billion. The rest of the big four federal research programs—the Office of Science at the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation—trail those leaders but still grow modestly.