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US Congress signals new funds for key science areas

Last-minute budgetary wrangling in the US Congress may have netted science agencies several hundred million dollars more than they had expected for the fiscal year 2008.

As Nature went to press, the House of Representatives had passed a supplementary budget bill for this financial year. The US$163-billion bill mainly provides extra money for the war in Iraq, but it also contains some domestic spending, including key research priorities.

It includes an additional $150 million for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $62.5 million each for NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy's Office of Science. The absolute amounts are relatively small (the NIH, for instance, is a $29-billion agency), but are a response to criticisms that funding of the NIH has remained flat for the past five years and that although physical-sciences research was designated a priority, it has not been funded as such during the past two years.

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US Congress signals new funds for key science areas. Nature 453, 1156 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/4531156a

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