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Mixed reception for US budget deal

A budget deal agreed by the Republican House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan and Democrat Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Patty Murray in time to avoid a government shutdown in January has received a mixed reaction from research advocates and science organizations.

Research lobby groups had previously emphasized that any congressional budget deal that raised federal spending would greatly benefit science funding agencies, which have been seriously strained by budget reductions and the across-the-board sequestration cuts that came into effect in March.

The Ryan-Murray two-year budget agreement, announced on 10 December, sets overall discretionary spending for the current fiscal year at $1.012 trillion—about halfway between the Senate budget level of $1.058tn and the House budget level of $967 billion. It would provide $63bn in sequestration relief over two years, split evenly between defense and non-defense programs.

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