WASHINGTON _ President Clinton delivered his proposed 1996budget to Congress on Monday and Republicans were quick topromise that it will be largely ignored. Clinton's plan appears toleave federal out lays on science and technology relativelyundisturbed.

Clinton proposed an $11.8 billion budget for the National Institutesof Health (NIH) in fiscal 1996, a 4 percent increase over 1995'sestimated $11.3 billion budget. (The NIH's actual budget in 1994was $10.3 billion.)

The FDA expects a net outlay of $912 million in 1996 (thegovernment's fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 31), down $9million from 1995 estimates. But the agency's overall budget wouldincrease to slightly more than $1 billion due to user fees collectedfrom companies.

The Clinton budget proposed a 4 percent increase in the NationalScience Foundation's research and development budget, bringing itup to $2.5 billion for 1996. Clinton also proposed that the CommerceDepartment's Advanced Technology Program (ATP) be allotted$491 million, a 14 percent increase over 1995's estimated $431million budget.

The Clinton administration has hailed ATP as an example ofgovernment-industry cooperation to spur development of high-risktechnologies. One ATP program that awards grants to developers ofDNA diagnostic tools has already promised more than $30 million tosmall biotechnology firms. But Republicans are likely to hack awayat the program's funding since they view it as inappropriategovernment meddling. _ Lisa Piercey

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.

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