Crossposting from Scientopia.
Additional comment from: Cackle of Rad, Chris Mooney, PZ Myers, joetotheizzoe

There is a long tradition of Congressional members trying to whip up a little support from their base by going after federally funded extramural research projects of the NIH. I have described some of this here and here.
You will note the trend, this has by and large been an effort of socially conservative Republican Congress Critters to attack projects that focus on issues of sexual behavior, drug taking, gender identity, homosexuality, etc. We know this is their focus because despite talking about “waste” of federal money they make no effort to realistically grapple with cost/benefit. No doubt because in their view the only necessary solution to behavioral health issues is “Stop it! If you can’t then you must be morally inferior and do not deserve any public concern”.
You will also note that they don’t really mean it in many cases. You’ll see this blather when they know they have no chance of getting the votes. In a prior case I reviewed, the complainers identified cancer as being a “real” concern worthy of funding, and then picked on a cancer-related project. A long while back when I first got interested (and I can’t remember the specific details- it was a psychology type grant on beautifying dorm rooms or something), the Congress Critter’s amendment specified an existing specific grant year- there was no way that I could see that the funds can be retrieved in such a situation. So you could see where much of this is just naked political posturing with no intent of actually doing anything. But still…it continues the anti-science environment and political memery. So we should address it.
Cackle of Rad has tipped us to a new effort by Rep Eric Cantor (R; VA) and Adrian Smith (R; NE) to invite you, the public, to identify NSF projects that irritate you. One assumes they think the public should be allowed to vote the projects out of funding.
Now, admittedly, I find the specific examples to be refreshing and new

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About a year ago I took up the topic of the putative December 1 start date for NIH grant applications submitted in Feb/Mar and reviewed in Jun/Jul. In “Never, ever, ever, nuh-uh, no way, ever trust a Dec 1 start date!“, I discussed the fact that Congress’ failure to pass an appropriation bill on time for the start of a new fiscal year (October 1) means that the NIH operates under a continuing resolution until such time as Congress gets off its duff.

My perception has been that this means that no new grants would be funded. Perhaps competing continuation applications (a subsequent interval of funding for a project which has already been funded for period of time), but not new grants.

Well, I thought today I would step on over to RePORTER and do a wild card search for new R01 grants (1R01%) that had a start date of Dec 1, 2010 or later.

Huh. 66 new grants on the books already. Looks like NIMH, NIGMS, NEI, NHLBI, NIDCR, NIDCD, NIAID are on the ball with multiple new awards each. Interesting.

Now, of course we are only in the third day of the month and very frequently the ICs trickle their starts out from the first to the fifteenth of the earliest possible starting month. So I’m going to need to revisit this in a couple of weeks. Ultimately it is going to be fascinating to see which ICs go ahead and fund new grants under continuing resolutions and which do not.

27 new R21s and 12 new R03s are on the books for Dec 1 or later…again from this same list of ICs.