The research community learned in February that US President Barack Obama's proposed 2013 budget would keep the National Institutes of Health's budget flat at $30.86 billion. But if researchers were disappointed that NIH wouldn't get an increase in Obama's plan, they would not like the budget proposal announced by House budget committee chairman Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), says ScienceInsider's Jeffrey Mervis. "In contrast to the spending blueprint that the president submits every February to Congress, Ryan's 'Path to Prosperity' isn't really a proposed budget for the 2013 fiscal year at all," Mervis says. "Ryan doesn't detail how he would allocate some $3 trillion-plus across every federal agency. … Don't bother looking for how much House Republicans want to spend on basic and applied research — a category for which President Barack Obama has proposed $64 billion in 2013, a 5% boost over 2012."
Meanwhile, a House panel questioned NIH Director Francis Collins and Thomas Insel, the acting director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, on their plan to slash the IDeA program's funding to increase the NCATS budget, reports ScienceInsider's Jocelyn Kaiser. Panel chair Denny Rehberg (R-MT) "emphasized that Congress did not give NCATS the authority to 'compete with industry or become a drug development organization,'" Kaiser says. "He also expressed concern about a shift away from basic research, now about 55% of NIH's budget. Collins assured him that he does not expect that figure to change."