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Moving Dollars Around

A reauthorization bill put forth by the US House of Representatives' science committee seeks to reshape federal research policy, ScienceInsider reports.

The America COMPETES Act reauthorization, which has an all-Republican slate of sponsors, covers the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology as well as the Department of Energy's research efforts and federal science education policy.

"[S]ome of [the bill's details] are certain to infuriate, while others are likely to please" the scientific community, ScienceInsider says.

The bill would allocate $7.6 billion to NSF in 2016, which is less than what the Obama administration has requested, but more than its current budget, according to ScienceInsider. However, the focus of the funds would shift toward the natural sciences and engineering and away from the geosciences and the social and behavioral sciences.

For instance, the bill gives some $100 million more than the president's request to the biology, computing, engineering, and math and physical science directorates at NSF. However, it gives the geosciences $165 million less than requested and the social and behavioral sciences $140 million less than requested.