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GEN News Highlights : Jan 21, 2011

Heads Up—Research Spending at Risk

GOP leaders are trying to cut $100 billion or more from nondefense programs.

Scientists fear that if GOP leaders succeed in cutting $100 billion or more from nondefense programs, the U.S. biomedical research community will suffer greatly. Republicans largely took over the House of Representatives during last fall’s elections by promising to cut both the size of government  and government spending. They are now moving ahead to carry out those plans.

If the cuts go into effect new clinical trials may not be initiated and basic research that could lead to new clinical trials will not get done, an NIH scientist told GEN, speaking on conditions of anonymity. “We may lose a whole generation of scientists as current students may no longer see research as a viable career option,” he notes.

It remains to be seen how much the GOP will actually be able to cut since the Democrats control the Senate. The budget war will loom large through 2011 and beyond, and the associated political battles will be a huge part of the national news all year.