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Capitol Health Call
February 8, 2006

NIH Budget Slips

JAMA. 2006;295(6):617. doi:10.1001/jama.295.6.617-b

Another bill signed into law by President Bush on December 30 cuts the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget—the first such reduction since 1970. The NIH had seen its budget double between 1999 and 2003.

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill (HR 3010) allocates $28.6 billion to NIH for fiscal year 2006, a 0.1% decrease from 2005. But not all science research funding was cut for fiscal year 2006; federal research and development spending will grow by $2.2 billion to about $135 billion, an increase of 1.7%, although this increase comes at a time when the unadjusted inflation rate for 2005 was 3.5%. Of the increase, 97% will go to weapons development and spacecraft programs, said the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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