Alabama Research Universities Could Get Shorted If Fiscal-Cliff Negotiations Fail

Friday, December 14, 2012

Millions in federal dollars that support Alabama research universities could be in jeopardy if Washington can't reach a deal to stave off automatic spending cuts prescribed by the so-called fiscal cliff.

Federal agencies have not yet said where they'll cut budgets to achieve $110 billion in spending reductions by 2022 if a deal isn't struck by Dec. 31.

But the White House's Office of Management projects non-defense spending awarded through annual congressional appropriations must fall 8.2 percent next year and direct non-defense spending must fall 7.6 percent to achieve sequestration goals set by the fiscal-cliff legislation.

According to Richard Marchase, interim president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the state's largest research college, that could mean the school's annual research budget would be slashed by as much as $25 million next year.

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