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Made it Through

The US House of Representatives approved a $51.2 billion spending bill that would fund the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation, among others, for fiscal year 2015.

As Jeffrey Mervis notes at ScienceInsider, NSF "withstood a freewheeling assault" on its budget as only $10 million was cut from the $237 million increase given to the agency in a draft bill. Overall, this legislation gives NSF a total $7.4 billion in funding for FY 2015.

For example, he notes that legislators attempted to decrease the agency's management account, though that did not pass. One amendment that was approved to block a study examining how climate changes affects the quality of tea grown in China and elsewhere seemed to be a "pyrrhic victory" Mervis says, as the funds were already committed to the researcher.

However, Representatives Lamar Smith (R–TX) and Eric Cantor (R–VA), did block a $15 million increase for the agency's social, behavioral, and economic sciences directorate, though those funds, Mervis notes, with be spread among the other directorates.

Still, according to Inside Higher Ed, Smith said that "this amendment is only the first step,” and referred to the recent approval of legislation by the House science committee that would further cut funding for social and political science research.