U.S. debt deal clouds hopes of big increases for science agencies

Monday, May 29, 2023 - 19:22 in Mathematics & Economics

An agreement struck over the weekend between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to avoid a U.S. government default has reassured jittery financial markets. But its formula for holding federal spending flat for 2 years means that science agencies will have to compete against all other civilian programs to win any increases from Congress. Such a zero-sum game would mark a return to the rules under which Congress operated for a decade ending in 2021, which limited but did not halt growth in research spending. Some research advocates predict it will be hard to win any sizable increases for science given everything else the government must fund. “I think we’re looking at a status-quo budget for FY2024,” says Matthew Hourihan of the Federation of American Scientists. “And when you...

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