Trump's Budget Trumped

Over the weekend a trillion dollar deal was made to extend funding the government until the end of September--the end of the fiscal year.  The proposed budget by the Trump administration, “America First - A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again”, included significant cuts to science-based agencies, but this bipartisan deal keeps much of the funding in place for now.

The Environmental Protection Agency was at the top of the administration’s hit list, but according to the Washington Post it will continue to be almost fully funded:

“The spending bill would maintain nearly 99 percent of the agency’s total budget.  Still, Republicans are celebrating that the $8.06 billion EPA budget will force the agency to maintain low staffing levels.”

Meanwhile, according again to the Washington Post’s analysis, the National Parks will be fully funded--with a slight bump.  NIH could receive a $2 billion increase (Trump wanted a $1 reduction), and NSF is funded about the same as last year.  When Miles interviewed Rep. Culberson (R-TX) last month, he was confident the funding would come through:

“The National Institute of Health is, again, a national treasure brought bipartisan support.  The president’s budget is simply a recommendation.  Congress will come in, I’m confident, and fund the NIH at the level that needs to be.”

NASA would gain $368 million more than the previous year, which will help advance the Europa and Mars missions.  There was speculation the administration and Republican Congress would like NASA to focus on outer space rather than Earth science--yet this deal shows the earth-science research budget equal to 2016 levels.  

The Washington Post article also notes:

“The Office of Science and Technology Policy gets $5.6 million even though no one has been appointed to run the office and most senior positions remain unfilled.”

Take a look at the full Washington Post budget breakdown.  The House and Senate will vote on the bill this week.  For a deeper look into the outlook for science funding see AAAS’s Science reaction and Nature’s breakdown.

This short-term budget is a small victory for those fearing a drastic cut in science funding.  However, Trump says our country needs a good “shutdown” in September, so don’t rule out a Trump budget smackdown.

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