The Senate does something right

Mar 20 2013 Published by under [Education&Careers]

Good news, Peeps. As Beth Mole (@BethMarieMole) reported on the Nature News blog the continuing resolution passed today in the senate helps science.

NSF actually gets a bump, even post sequester:

The NSF, which received $7 billion in 2012, faces a $209 million cut this year from sequestration. The agency would have been left with just $6.79 billion for 2013. But the Senate bill would boost that budget by about $90 million, to $6.88 billion, once sequestration’s 5.1% bite is factored in.

NIH gets a proportionally smaller bump for this fiscal:

The NIH, which received $30.7 billion in 2012 and lost $1.553 billion this year to the sequester, would receive an extra $67 million from the Senate bill.

While this isn't going to fix everything that has been set in motion by the sequester, it does mean that these two agencies can breathe a little sigh of relief for the moment. It should set the dominoes in motion to release funds in the BIO directorate at NSF, which is a good thing. Similarly, those on the edge of NIH funding may see their PO smile upon them.

In our current climate, this is the first good news in a while.

UPDATE: I read this wrong last night when blogging while revising a manuscript. NSF gets close to restoration levels, but NIH takes it in the teeth based on this CR resolution.

10 responses so far

  • Spiny Norman says:

    Oh, yah. Great fucking news except for the Coburn amendment that essentially eliminates NSF funding of political science.

    Together we stand. Divided we fall. So far as assholes like Coburn are concerned, we are all political scientists and don't you forget it, ducky.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    Indeed, it ain't all rosy. We'll see what the house does with it.

  • Dave says:

    None of it is rosy. There is nothing good about this CR. Harkin had an amendment which would have restored more of the NIH/NSF budget, but that was voted down last week (not that anyone else was paying attention). Interestingly the meat packing industry did very well with this CR thanks to their huge lobbying efforts and got a lot of flexibility in how they handle their cuts. Quite shameful that the science agencies have apparently no organized lobbying effort and are suffering because of it. Mikulski ultimately folded in her attempts to restore the cuts, but she is all for show anyway given she represents Maryland.

    Moreover, this bill actually locks in more spending cuts across the board and sets it up so that entitlements are next on the block come debt-ceiling time. For all his talk, Obama has done absolutely nothing for science during his term and Republicans have played him hard on the budget this year. It's a total failure and this bullshit CR is a fucken insult to science.

  • Dave says:

    ...and from reading your twits, I think you misunderstand the restoration. The 5% sequester cuts stay in place and the extra money in the CR restores only a tiny amount. So this is not an increase in last years budget.

  • physioprof says:

    Are you fucken high!?!?!?!? At least for NIH, this is a motherfucken disaster, as only $67 million of the $1.553 BILLION that was cut by sequestration is restored. Jeezus motherfucke.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    Last night when I read while doing a couple of other things, I read it wrong and thought Senate was passing a restore PLUS $$. That's obviously not the case. So for NSF we get back to near 2012 levels, but NIH takes a big hit.

  • Dave says:

    Last night when I read while doing a couple of other things, I read it wrong...

    Maybe you were dreaming 😉

  • proflikesubstance says:

    Well, TBH, as someone waiting on a pending NSF proposal this isn't exactly the worst news I've seen in a while.

  • Dave says:

    The NSF does a lot better, true.

  • Ruthmarie says:

    This is why I left the field (molecular biology and immunology). Saw the writing on the wall in 2005 and left. Sad...but I didn't want to see myself living in a cardboard box in my old age. I have to say though that this is much worse than I imagined.

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