In DepthResearch Funding

Science agencies make gains despite tight U.S. budget

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Science  19 Dec 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6216, pp. 1437-1438
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6216.1437

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The $1 trillion 2015 federal budget approved by Congress last week demonstrates that a few lawmakers can still make their voices heard. In a year in which Congress had no new money to play with, NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) received healthy raises thanks in large part to the work of retiring Representative Frank Wolf (R–VA) and Senator Barbara Mikulski (D–MD). The two senior appropriators, who chair the spending panels that oversee NASA and NSF in each body of Congress, have traditionally protected those agencies. (Mikulski also chairs the full Appropriations Committee in the Senate, a position she will relinquish in the new Congress.) And this year their views prevailed in protracted budget negotiations that narrowly averted both another government shutdown and an extension of a spending freeze in effect since the 2015 fiscal year began on 1 October.

  • * With reporting by Eric Hand.

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