Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Mitt Romney's choice as vice presidential running mate for the November US presidential election, is credited as the lead author of a budget passed by the House of Representatives this past spring that could lead to spending cuts in research and development across the government, including funding for biomedical research, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
AAAS's analysis of the House budget, which reduces total discretionary spending for next year by around 5 percent as compared to President Obama's proposal, found that non-defense related research and development would be cut by around 8 percent compared to the White House's plan and by around 5 percent compared to this year's non-defense R&D level.
The House resolution would not affect all R&D areas evenly as health research, conducted primarily at the National Institutes of Health, would receive a 1 percent cut, while energy efficiency and clean energy research would be cut in half and R&D at general science agencies such as the National Science Foundation would be cut by 6 percent compared to the current budget.
If by the end of 2012 Congress and the White House have not reached an agreement to avoid the budget sequestration that is set to kick in then, the budget cuts to R&D would be magnified — a roughly 8 percent cut would take effect, according to AAAS.
The organization's analysis suggests that if the sequestration were to be applied to the House budget, it could result in 12 percent reductions to R&D and about 16 percent cuts to non-defense R&D.
Since he announced Ryan as his running mate last week, Romney has said that he is not running for office with Ryan's budget as its platform. However, the House's passage of the 2013 proposal puts Ryan's proposals on the table for budget talks, regardless of who wins the election.