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Congress nears end of long fight over science bill

The House and Senate are reported to be near a compromise on a bill for the National Science Foundation that in one version would have moved money away from climate science and imposed new restrictions on grant decisions.

It has taken Congress several years to agree on the America COMPETES reauthorization act. First passed in 2007 and reauthorized in 2010, the legislation sets some funding targets for NSF programs but is more focused on agency policy.

Both previous bills passed with wide margins, although not universal approval, and had support from both parties. The new reauthorization process, however, has struggled through sharp disagreements within the Republican Party.

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