Funding for US science agencies will stay flat or even increase over the next several months, under a US$1-trillion spending deal announced on 30 April. The plan devised by Congress, which covers the remainder of the 2017 budget year, avoids the sharp cuts to science proposed by US President Donald Trump. The biggest winner is the National Institutes of Health (NIH), whose budget would rise by $2 billion compared with the 2016 level, for a total of $34 billion. The National Science Foundation would remain steady at just under $7.5 billion, and NASA’s budget would rise by about 2%, to $19.7 billion. And the Environmental Protection Agency, which Trump wants to cut by 31% in the fiscal year 2018, would receive roughly $8.1 billion, a decrease of about 1% from 2016. But that does not mean that scientists can breathe easily just yet: the largely positive 2017 deal does not necessarily indicate how Congress will handle funding for 2018, says Michael Lubell, a physicist at City College of New York in New York City. Lawmakers “have a year to fall in line [with the president] if they want to”, he says.
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