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And the Start of the Budget Season

President Barack Obama unveiled his $4 trillion budget proposal for FY 2016 yesterday, as GenomeWeb reports.

Under this budget proposal, the National Institutes of Health would receive $31.3 billion — a $1 billion increase from 2015. This, ScienceInsider notes, includes funds for the new Precision Medicine Initiative as well as for the BRAIN Initiative and an effort to combat antibiotic resistance.

"This is exciting," Stefano Bertuzzi, the executive director of the American Society for Cell Biology, tells Nature News. "In the scheme of everything, it brings us back to where we were before sequestration."

Sequestration placed mandatory caps on funding and took a chunk out of the federal budget. NIH said in 2013 that it funded some 640 fewer competitive research project grants that year due to the sequester.

Obama's current proposal also includes a 5.2 percent increase for the National Science Foundation, which would bring its budget to $7.7 billion; $4.9 billion for the Food and Drug Administration; $5.3 billion for the Department of Energy's Office of Science; and $755 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

However, the New York Times says the overall budget proposal is "more utopian vision than pragmatic blueprint" and will likely face challenges from Congressional Republicans.

"Investments in science and technology have the potential to create jobs and yield future economic growth," says Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), the chair of the House science committee, according to ScienceInsider. "Rather than focus on areas that have clear benefits for Americans, the president instead chose to push a partisan agenda."

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