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Lawmaker Says Trump’s Proposed $300M NIST Budget Cuts Could Spur Layoffs

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The Trump Administration’s 2020 budget request will potentially cut around $300M in research and development funds for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Fedscoop reported Tuesday.

Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Mich., said during the House Subcommittee on Research and Technology hearing on Tuesday that the proposed budget cuts would terminate 17 percent or around 400 of the institute’s science and engineering personnel. The potential cuts will also affect the manufacturing extension partnership program, which includes efforts to improve U.S. tech performance and manufacturing capabilities.

“NIST is committed to doing the very best it can with a budget that we are ultimately allocated through this process,” said Walter Copan,  NIST director, during the hearing.

Trump’s budget will allocate $686.8M for the institute and increase funding for quantum information science, artificial intelligence and microelectronics research initiatives. The proposal will also fully fund the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, which handles research into 5G connectivity.

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