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Budget Request, and an Addendum

US President Donald Trump unveiled his budget plan for fiscal year 2019 yesterday. At first glance, it appears to contain large cuts to research funding, but then it calls for an infusion of funds to science agencies, as GenomeWeb has reported.

In the budget plan, the administration calls for a 21 percent overall cut to basic research, ScienceInsider notes. In particular, the plan seeks a 27 percent cut to the National Institutes of Health budget, a 29 percent cut to the National Science Foundation budget, and a 22 percent cut to the Department of Energy's Office of Science.

But in a case of "whiplash," as ScienceInsider puts it, the Trump Administration in an addendum to its budget plan calls for funding levels at those agencies that largely erase the proposed cuts. GenomeWeb notes that the addendum comes in response to the budget deal reached last week by the Senate that raised defense and non-defense discretionary spending caps for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

Under the plan addendum, the Trump Administration instead asks for an NIH budget of $33 billion, about the same as in 2017, for 2019. But Nature News notes that, as the administration wants the agency to take on three new institutes, the agency's funding might not be as stable as it seems. The plan addendum also includes $7.5 billion for NSF and $5.4 billion for the DOE's Office of Science, ScienceInsider says.

GenomeWeb adds that how Congress will respond to these requests is not certain. In the agreement reached last week, Senate lawmakers said they'd seek a budget increase of $2 billion over two years for NIH.