OMB Nominee OK With Some U.S. Funds for Science

January 25, 2017

President Trump's nomination of U.S. Representative Mick Mulvaney (right) to lead the Office of Management and Budget has alarmed many scientists. After he voted against a bill to provide funds for study of the Zika virus, Mulvaney asked in a Facebook post (since deleted), "Do we really need government-funded research at all."

At a confirmation hearing Tuesday, he said some federal support for research was appropriate. He made the statement answering questions from Senator Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California. "I do believe there is a proper role for the federal government in research," he said, Science reported. He specified that federal support was appropriate in areas where the private sector was unlikely to provide funding. Asked if research would be a priority in the Trump administration, Mulvaney said that the emphasis would be on value, not the size of grants. “When we look at grant programs … the key is not the amount of the grant to begin with, but what we are getting for the taxpayer dollars,” he said.

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