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House Committee Proposes Trimming Research Funding

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – As part of an effort to make good on promises by Republican House members to cut the federal budget deficit, the House Appropriations Committee Chairman has outlined $100 billion in cuts to discretionary spending for 2011, including for funding of biomedical research programs.

The plan would include a cut of $1 billion to the National Institutes of Health, $755 million to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $186 million to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and $139 million to the National Science Foundation.

The proposal from committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R – Ky.) was announced yesterday initially as a $74 billion cut to the White House's budget request for fiscal 2011, but today Rogers released a statement providing the $100 billion figure.

The plan is to provide for a continuing resolution (CR), generally used as a short-term measure adopted while Congress works out the details of the budget, to fund the Federal Government through the remainder of the fiscal year, which runs through September, at a number $100 billion below what the Obama Administration sought in its request.

"While making these cuts is hard, we have a unique opportunity to right our fiscal ship and begin to reduce our massive deficits and debt," Rogers said in a statement yesterday. "We have taken a wire brush to the discretionary budget and scoured every program to find real savings that are responsible and justifiable to the American people."

In addition to the cuts at NIH, CDC, and NIST, the proposal also would lower the budget for the US Department of Energy's Office of Science by $1.1 billion; $53 million for food safety and inspection services, and $246 million for the agricultural research, as well as cuts to a number of other agencies and programs.

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