President Bush's proposed fiscal year 2007 budget would keep overall research-and-development (R&D) spending at current levels and shift funds to the three agencies critical to a White House initiative to maintain U.S. leadership in science and technology.
The $2.77 trillion spending plan includes $137 billion for R&D in 2007. While this number is up more than $3 billion from the spending estimate for 2006, the actual gain when adjusted for the predicted inflation rate of 2.2 percent is only 0.4 percent. "In general, the science budgets this year are flat, except for increases in selected high-priority agencies," says John H. Marburger III, director of the federal Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The American Competitiveness Initiative, announced in the President's State of the Union address last month, seeks to bolster basic and applied research in fields that are a