Thursday, August 4, 2011

Breaking news! How does the Debt Ceiling compromise affect NIH funding?

Last Monday, the senate signed on to the Debt Ceiling compromise that was the result of negotiations between the president and congress.  According to the deal, the government is able to increase borrowing up to more than $2 trillion dollars, and this will be accompanied by a combination of cuts to discretionary spending of a similar size spread over 10 years.  That leaves the FY2012 budget which begins on Sept. 1, 2011, with a cap on discretionary spending of $1.043 trillion (discretionary spending is appropriated, and includes funding for the NIH; mandatory spending is for entitlement programs, such as social security and medicare).  This cap will increase by around a couple of percentage points each year.  The good news is that this leaves more money for discretionary spending than was being considered by the house.  The bad news is that it doesn't look like funding research is going to get easier any time soon - not without a  miraculous recovery of the economy....

....and in case you missed it....
the house approved the FY12 DOD appropriations bill, by a vote of 331-83. No amendments were offered to reduce or eliminate CDMRP (Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program) funding!  As far as I can tell this should be able to make it through the senate and if that happens, start getting your preproposals ready people!

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