Late Monday night, the House of Representatives Appropriations committee released the details of the budget deal that will fund the government through the end of FY11. The overall budget is $40 billion less than FY10, which, according to Appropriations committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., represents a cut “nearly five times larger than any other cut in history.” The Senate Appropriations committee also released a statement on the bill, highlighting programs that were salvaged from the proposed cuts put forth in H.R.1, the spending bill originally passed by the House in February that would have cut $61 billion from the budget.
Science agencies escaped relatively unharmed (see pages 208 and 314-315), with cuts to both the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation significantly smaller than those put forth in H.R.1. The NIH will receive $260 million less than FY10, keeping the overall budget above $30 billion. This decrease will see cuts of $210 million spread across all of the agency’s 27 institutes and centers, with another $50 million cut from funding for buildings and facilities. Moreover, the bill contains no language on the Cures Acceleration Network that was authorized last year, indicating that the program will not be starting up in 2011. Meanwhile, the NSF will see a decrease of $53 million; research programs will be cut by $43 million, while education programs will lose $10 million relative to FY10.
Thanks to all ASBMB members, who have been rigorously pushing their congressional representatives to protect federal investments in scientific research, both through electronic communication alerts and in-person visits. Though the budget is not ideal, it is clear that Capitol Hill is listening and doing its best to protect those agencies that mean the most to researchers.
The House will vote on the bill on Wednesday, and the Senate is expected to vote on Thursday.