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NIH Gets $100 Million More

The Senate approves an increase of about 0.3 percent for the 2013 NIH budget, but the Department of Energy doesn’t fare as well.

by Edyta Zielinska
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The Senate approves an increase of about 0.3 percent for the 2013 NIH budget, but the Department of Energy doesn’t fare as well.

The Senate offered a small raise of $100 million for the 2013 National Institutes of Health budget on Tuesday (June 12), despite the fact that the President requested no increase. The Department of Energy’s Office of Science, however, is facing a slight budget cut.

While researchers are appreciative of any increase to NIH funding, Jennifer Zeitzer, a director at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, told ScienceInsider, “it’s going to be difficult for people in the research community. One-hundred-million dollars doesn’t go very far.” While the budget has stayed roughly at the same level in recent years, research advocates say that given the rate of biomedical inflation, spending has actually dropped by 17 percent over the past decade. And the US House of Representatives approved a spending bill last week (June 6) would slash the DOE’s Office of Science budget by about $72.2 million, bringing it down to a total of $4.8 billion—$190.6 million below the Obama Administration’s request, ScienceInsider reported.

A vote on the bill proposing the NIH budget increase by the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled for today (June 14). The Senate has yet to vote on the bill approved containing the DOE cuts by the House, which the Obama Administration has threatened to veto.