Despite the budget cuts across all departments of the University, scientific research at Cornell has the finances to prosper thanks to the funds received from the government’s stimulus plan.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 passed by Congress in February pumped $787 billion into the ailing economy. A part of the stimulus included increasing spending in education, health care and infrastructure.
But the Act also allotted $8.9 billion to scientific research, which was split among several of the nation’s major research centers, including NASA, the National Science Foundation, research universities and the U.S. Department of Energy.
President Obama signed the most sweeping piece of economic legislation in the nation’s history on Feb. 17 in Denver, Col., officially sparking what may prove to be a long road to financial recovery. On campus, students and professors voiced their opinion, highlighting attitudes ranging from cautious optimism to vitriolic critique.
In addition to the $8.7 trillion that the U.S. government has already pledged last November in order to restore the crumbling economy, the Senate and House now have compromised on an additional $789 billion bill in the form of a stimulus package towards the efforts.
Today the Senate passed its version of the stimulus bill. The House version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has a price tag of about $820 billion while the Senate version stands at a total of $838 billion. Now the two versions will have to be reconciled and signed by President Obama. The ultimate goal of the stimulus legislation is to restore demand by replacing private spending with public spending and using tax cuts to hopefully restore consumers’ income enough to spur consumption. It is widely accepted that a stimulus bill is the proper means by which to improve the economy – it is perhaps the best of some bad options.
During the presidential election the domestic policy of most concern to voters, other than the economy, was healthcare. President Obama ran on a campaign of implementing sweeping healthcare reform aimed at improving both efficiency and access. House Majority Whip James Clyburn has been quoted as saying it is better for reform to occur, “incrementally, than to go out and just bite something you can’t chew,” to which Speaker Pelosi had to rebut. While the current financial crisis may offer an opportunity to move towards universal coverage and an overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, it is more likely that Obama’s first term (at least the first fiscal year) will be witness to incremental reform.
The $819 billion economic stimulus plan passed yesterday in the House of Representatives would shower billions of dollars to a higher education sector that is in dire need of aid. The package, passed on a 244-188 vote, would boost Pell Grant to a historic high and introduce a new $2,500 tuition tax credit.
The House’s approval of the stimulus plan came a few days after Cornell announced a series of measures — including tuition increase, budget cuts and a hiring pause — to battle its 27-percent loss in its endowment and $6 million slash in state funding on Saturday.