Spending deal cuts proposed R&D funds

The budget deal reached Friday evening will limit the Obama administration's ambitious plans for agencies devoted to science and innovation, the White House acknowledged Saturday evening.

The bipartisan compromise with Congressional leaders cuts $78.5 billion from President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget request and $39 billion in actual spending. The White House released some details of the agreement on Saturday evening, arguing the deal preserves key investments in science.

"Even though we will no longer double the funding of key research and development agencies, you will still see strong investments in National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation and the Office of Science," said White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer.

President Obama's budget proposal devoted $148 billion to R&D overall including the permanent extension and expansion of the R&D tax credit. The president defended the increased spending as vital to the nation's economic future.

"While it’s absolutely essential to live within our means, while we are absolutely committed to working with Democrats and Republicans to find further savings and to look at the whole range of budget issues, we can’t sacrifice our future in the process," Obama said in February upon the release of his budget proposal.