Trump Calls for Cutting National Science Foundation Funding By $1 Billion

President Trump on Monday called for cutting spending at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the government's top funder of nonmedical research, by about $1 billion. The White House's fiscal 2020 budget proposal recommends lowering NSF's budget to $7.1 billion, from its current level of $8.1 billion.

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The 12 percent decline would exceed the single-digit reduction to overall nondiscretionary funding in the president's budget request to Congress. The NSF provides about one-quarter of all federal research grants and covers fields such as engineering, mathematics, computer science and social sciences. It also funds the purchase of large-scale scientific equipment.

According to the NSF website, foundation-funded researchers have gone on to win 236 Nobel Prizes.

Trump's 2020 budget proposal also calls for dramatically reducing funding for education, agriculture, health programs, transportation and the State Department. Congress has largely ignored Trump's previous requests for deep discretionary budget cuts and has steadily increased NSF funding levels in recent years. This year’s battle will begin in earnest this week, as spending panels in both the Senate and the House of Representatives are scheduled to begin to review the president’s request.

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