Science wins reprieve in US budget deal

May 2, 2017

By Sara Reardon & Erin Ross

Funding for US science agencies will stay flat or even increase over the next several months, under a US$1-trillion spending deal announced on 30 April. The plan devised by Congress, which covers the remainder of the 2017 budget year, avoids the sharp cuts to science proposed by US President Donald Trump.

The biggest winner is the National Institutes of Health (NIH), whose budget would rise by $2 billion compared to the 2016 level, for a total of $34 billion. The National Science Foundation would remain steady at just under $7.5 billion, while NASA’s budget would rise by about 2%, to $19.7 billion. And the Environmental Protection Agency, which Trump wants to cut by 31% in fiscal year 2018, would receive roughly $8.1 billion, a decrease of about 1% from 2016.

“From our perspective this is a great package, so we can put [fiscal year 2017] behind us and move on with our lives,” says Jennifer Zeitzer, director of legislative relations at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Rockville, Maryland.

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5 comments on “Science wins reprieve in US budget deal

  • @OP – “From our perspective this is a great package, so we can put [fiscal year 2017] behind us and move on with our lives,” says Jennifer Zeitzer, director of legislative relations at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Rockville, Maryland.

    This appears to have been won accidentally as an emergency omnibus measure by default, – as consequence of the failure to debate and set a budget on time!



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  • This appears to have been won accidentally as an emergency omnibus
    measure by default…

    And it does little good, since this all comes back to a head 4 months from now. It is impossible for any long-term planning or hiring. In addition, Congress is looking at health care again, so it would be the height of wishful thinking to kick back and rest on any short-term laurels.

    In other news from this bad Vonnegut-like world:

    http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/331615-trump-picks-renewable-energy-policy-skeptic-to-lead-doe-office



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  • Vicki #2
    May 2, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    -trump-picks-renewable-energy-policy-skeptic-to-lead-doe-office

    Required standards of incompetence are demanded to qualify for a Trump administration appointment! 🙂



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  • @OP – . And the Environmental Protection Agency, which Trump wants to cut by 31% in fiscal year 2018, would receive roughly $8.1 billion, a decrease of about 1% from 2016.

    However, the Scottish environment protection laws are not supervised by Trumpy science deniers!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-40756971

    The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has raised formal concerns to Donald Trump’s company’s proposals for a new golf course in Aberdeenshire.

    The Trump Organisation has submitted plans for a second 18-hole course at the Menie resort.

    If given the go-ahead, the course would be named Mary Macleod after Mr Trump’s Scottish mother.

    Sepa wants the plans to be revised over sewage and pollution concerns.

    The Trump Organisation already owns an 18-hole course at the site.

    Aberdeenshire Council is due to discuss the planning application at a meeting on the 22 August.

    In its submission, Sepa detailed concerns over waste water drainage associated with the planning application.

    The environment organisation also raised concerns about proposals to plant non-native plants near Hole 5 of the course as well as a failure to supply an up-to-date environmental management plan.

    The Trump Organisation will now have the opportunity to revise its plans to comply with Sepa’s demands.

    “The Dr Martin Hawtree designed second golf course is located to the south of the Trump estate and does not occupy a Site of Special Scientific Interest therefore is not covered by any environmental designations.

    If Trump’s planners think Scottish environmental legislation and anti-pollution laws, only apply to Areas of Special Scientific Interest, they are in for a shock! – or this could simply be misleading PR babble!

    As Alex Salmond can testify, Trump’s grasp of such issues does not aspire to very high levels of knowledge or understanding!



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  • @OP – The biggest winner is the National Institutes of Health (NIH), whose budget would rise by $2 billion compared to the 2016 level, for a total of $34 billion.

    Other potentially good health news of moves in the right direction which will upset the lying corporate profiteers:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40758495

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking to limit nicotine content in tobacco products, for the first time in its history.

    The policy announced on Friday has a goal of cutting back on nicotine levels in order to discourage addiction and lower the number of US smokers.

    The FDA says tobacco is responsible for 480,000 American deaths each year, and $300bn (£228bn) in medical costs.

    Stock market shares of tobacco plummeted after the plan was announced.

    On the New York Stock Exchange, shares in Altria dropped by up to 17%, British American Tobacco’s stock fell as much as 11%, and Philip Morris dropped by 7% before they all recovered some of their losses.

    “The overwhelming amount of death and disease attributable to tobacco is caused by addiction to cigarettes – the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

    The goal, Mr Gottlieb added, is to “render cigarettes minimally addictive” by reducing the amount of the harmful and addictive chemical, which they say is the leading cause of preventable death in the US.

    Tobacco companies, such as British American Tobacco (BAT), said the announcement will lead to innovation in the industry.

    The agency announced that they will also look into flavoured-tobacco, such as menthol, during this “public dialogue” period, ahead of a firm policy recommendation.

    The policy will also apply to e-cigarettes, which are also known as tobacco vaporisers.

    We will have to see what propagandist nonsense emerges during the dialogue, and what “innovative” alternatives are produced to try to circumvent any legislation!



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