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House and Senate consider research appropriations

Research funding appropriations bills have been sent to the floors of the House and Senate, one with less money but no strings attached, the other with more money with conditions attached.

The Senate will consider a bill to fund the National Science Foundation through fiscal year 2016 that does not provide any additional funding above current levels, which amounts to a cut when inflation is taken into account. The Obama administration had requested a $380 million increase.

While the less funding is not good news for the agency, the Senate’s bill does not contain the restrictive language included in the House version, which that chamber passed in May. The House bill requires the NSF to spend 70 percent of its budget in its biology, engineering, computer sciences and math and physical sciences directorates, at the expense of the social sciences and geosciences.

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