In his State of the Union address last month, President Barack Obama reaffirmed the prioritization of science and technology in his plans for the nation’s future. The President’s new economic plan calls for maintaining a commitment to funding research and development that can improve our quality of life.
If the U.S. debt ceiling is not raised by Tuesday, August 2nd, the U.S. Treasury has warned that the country will not be able to pay all its obligations . The debt ceiling is the amount that the country may legally borrow. Congressional Republicans have demanded budget cuts as a condition to raising the debt ceiling and avoiding a default.
Proposals from both Democrats and Republicans amount to a budget reduction of more than $1 trillion in spending over the next ten years; that’s approximately $100 billion per year. Defense spending cuts are off the table, and it’s likely that social security, Medicare and Medicaid programs will also be left untouched. Cuts are expected to be made to the roughly $600-billion domestic discretionary budget.
In President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last month, he argued that government support for research and development to fund innovation is a necessary and critical investment that must be made, even in the face of a rising national debt. A coalition of biomedical researchers support his vision on science. The 2012 budget President Obama sent to Congress earlier this month seeks an increase in funding for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and in basic science at other agencies, while making cuts and freezes in many other areas of government.