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GEN News Highlights : Mar 1, 2012

Poll Respondents Undecided About Helpfulness of President's Proposed Budgets for NIH, NSF

President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for the 2013 federal fiscal year when it comes to funding for NIH and NSF has respondents to a recent GEN poll divided. While 44.4% of respondents replied “not much” to the question “How helpful do you think President Obama’s proposed budget is to NIH and NSF,” slightly more than half of respondents viewed the spending plan more favorably, answering either “somewhat” (29.6%) or “very” (22.2%). The remaining 3.7% was undecided.

Obama froze NIH funding at current fiscal year’s levels: $30.702 billion in discretionary budget authority from Congress and $30.86 billion in overall program level funding. While Obama’s NIH proposal has disappointed advocates of greater federal research funding, the president and HHS say they did their best to balance the desire to fund basic research with the need to contain federal spending. NIH will spend more on NCATS and other programs that support translational medicine. President Obama would raise discretional budget authority for NSF by 4.8%, though total program outlays would fall 9%.