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Congressional Consequences

"Federal financing of science research, which has risen quickly since the Obama administration came to power, could fall back to pre-Obama levels if the incoming Republican leadership in the House of Representatives follows through on its list of campaign promises," reports the New York Times' Kenneth Chang. In speaking with the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Patrick Clemins and Joanne Carney, Chang discusses the potential impacts that the Republicans' Pledge to America platform — under which R&D spending for non-military agencies would be slashed by 12.3 percent for fiscal year 2011 — could have on research programs funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. In particular, Chang says, funding for stem cell research remains an "uncertainty." Carney, director of the AAAS Center for Science, Technology, and Congress, told the Times: "I think everyone is holding their breaths and seeing what happens in the courts."

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal's Alicia Mundy highlights how a new Republican majority in the House could benefit pharma. According to Mundy, "the pharmaceutical industry hopes to hold on to concessions it won from Democrats during their recent brief reign in Congress, while benefiting from anti-regulatory sentiment among Republicans who captured the House."