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Research Agencies Considered Winners in Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus

A major spending bill that was released overnight includes significant increases to some critical research agencies. The National Science Foundation (NSF) would see an increase of $119.3 million from Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 to a total of $7.46 billion. Stakeholders fought hard to prevent Congress from funding NSF at the directorate level, thereby politicizing some of the research areas that NSF supports. A single restriction on spending for the social, behavioral and economic directorate prohibits funding it at more than the FY 2015 level. The National Institutes of Health won big in FY 2016, seeing a total increase of $2 billion, which will bring that funding level to $32.1 billion. In good news for arts and humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts saw a slight bump from $146.02 million in FY 2015 to $$147.95 million in FY 2016. The National Endowment for the Humanities also got a slight increase, from $146.02 million in FY 2015 to $147.94 million in FY 2016. Lawmakers are eager to finish business for the calendar year and return to their districts. The House of Representatives is expected to pass the negotiated spending package on Friday, and the Senate would consider the measure shortly thereafter.


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