The looming fiscal cliff, with its January 1st deadline, could lead to automatic cuts to the US budget, including about $57.5 billion in funding over the next five years for research and development programs, reports Science Progress, a progressive science policy website.
For the first year, an analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science says that R&D spending would see a $12.1 billion cut. In addition, AAAS says that under sequestration, the National Institutes of Health would see a $2.4 billion cut for 2013 and the National Science Foundation would lose $456 million in funding that same year. Science Progress notes that under the sequestration, the agencies don't decide themselves which programs to cut.
"These cuts, should they be enacted, will have rippling ramifications for research across the country, in labs and universities in every state," Science Progress adds. It adds that while scientific research is "largely bipartisan issue," other aspects of the US budget are not and that those items need to be worked out to prevent sequestration cuts from occurring.