Bushwhacked NIH

September 10, 2003:

"The Senate defeated a motion to waive a budget “point of order” against an amendment offered by Senators Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). The 52 to 43 vote on the motion fell 8 votes short of the 60 needed to waive the point of order. The amendment, which would have declared the additional $1.5 billion as emergency spending not subject to the subcommittee’s spending limit, would have provided NIH with a total increase of $2.5 billion (9.2 percent) over FY 2003. As passed by the Senate, the bill includes $27.982 billion for NIH, a $1 billion (3.7 percent) increase."

March, 2004:

"President Bush's budget request for NIH in fiscal year 2005, announced Feb. 2, increases the FY 2004 level by 2.6 percent (or $729 million), totaling $28.757 billion, up from $28.028 billion in the current fiscal year."

February 2, 2005:

"And I thank the Congress for doubling the funding of the National Institutes of Health."

Don't get me wrong, the NIH budget has been doubled, due primarily to the Clenis. That doubling process itself was in danger of completion in 2003 (28-something bln would have been needed for a complete doubling, 27-something bln was given); in 2004 it didn't keep up with inflation and in 2005, future cuts have been threatened. So, when it comes down to a choice between slashing federal revenue by a third or funding non-terror related science, there's one party known to consistently raise their finger in solidarity, and I don't mean the blue-tipped index-finger!