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Science AMA Series: Hi, I’m Matt Hourihan and I analyze bills–like the recent omnibus–for their impact on science and technology research and development funding. Ask me anything!
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Hi, I’m Matt Hourihan and I run the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program, where we follow trends in federal science spending and analyze legislation–like the recent omnibus–for its impact on science and technology budgets. We’ve served for 40 years as a source of info for policy makers and the science community. Ask me anything! After months of waiting and weeks of negotiating, the Republican-controlled Congress finally released their omnibus bill to fund government for the next several months, and they did something many scientists weren’t expecting: they completely diverged from President Trump’s blueprint. As part of their historically difficult science budget for 2018, the Trump Administration also recommended a set of steep cuts to take effect immediately in the current fiscal year, on everything from basic science at NIH to technology programs at the Department of Energy to climate research at NOAA. But Congress pretty much ignored these in their 2017 bill. According to our current estimates, the omnibus bill would increase federal R&D by five percent this year, with increases for basic and applied research, development, and R&D facilities funding. Among science agencies, there were a few clear winners, while most managed to avoid the sorts of cuts sought by the President. The bill has passed the House and looks set to pass the Senate today, per the latest update (knock wood). How does the bill shape up? Does it tell us anything about what might happen in the next funding debate, just over the horizon? What kind of say does President Trump have over all this? How does the federal budget process even work?? Ask me anything! (you can also follow me on Twitter or check out our website, or play around with our science budget data dashboard) I’ll be answering your questions at 3 pm EST. Ask Me Anything!