Budget for 2016 accentuates the practical

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Science  06 Feb 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6222, pp. 599-601
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6222.599

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"Making it real" is the key message that U.S. scientists should take from the 2016 budget that President Barack Obama submitted to Congress this week. His proposed $4 trillion budget shatters the spending caps from a 10-year agreement reached in 2011 to reduce the federal deficit, using revenues from higher taxes on the wealthy. But the overall 7.2% increase allocated for all discretionary spending exceeds the percentage allocated to most agencies that support academic research, with the emphasis on applied research that addresses pressing societal problems. The White House had already announced initiatives on precision medicine and fighting antibiotic resistance, and the president's new budget also contains large increases in such areas as advanced manufacturing, energy technologies, and climate monitoring and mitigation. The budget debate now moves to Congress, which is likely to resist most of the spending increases. A yearlong battle is likely, with scientists as interested bystanders.

  • * With reporting by the Science News staff.

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