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Lean Times: Proposed budget keeps science spending slim

President Bush's proposed fiscal year (FY) 2006 budget devotes $132 billion to research and development, approximately the same amount as the government plans to spend in FY 2005. Although administration spokespeople asserted that science spending would grow 1 percent under the President's 2006 plan, spending would decrease 1.4 percent after expected inflation—leading to another year of belt tightening for most federal science agencies.

"While this is an austere budget, the President recognizes the importance of investing in science and technology," says Marcus Peacock, program associate director for the federal Office of Management and Budget. "Our priorities are the same as last year: winning the war on terror, homeland defense, continuing the growth of an economy that's continuing to grow."

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