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Obama proposal protects higher ed

The spending freeze President Obama called for in his Tuesday night State of the Union address would largely spare higher education.

Obama's  proposed five-year discretionary spending freeze would spare education and research, which are too critical to the nation's future to sacrifice, he said.

"Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine," he said. "It may feel like you're flying high at first, but it won't take long before you'll feel the impact."

Obama indicated a desire to invest in biomedical research, information technology and energy. He proposed paying for those initiatives by cutting oil company tax breaks, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education.

This sits well with higher education backers.

"We agree with the president that the nation needs to take strong action to reduce budget deficits, and that as we do so, we must continue to direct additional resources toward research and education to ensure America's economic competitiveness and global leadership," said Robert M. Berdahl, president of the Association of American Universities, in the Chronicle of Higher Education. "It is our hope that sustained investment in research and education, even as we reduce deficits, is something Democrats and Republicans can agree on."

But as the Chronicle reports today, that investment may not go over well in the Republican-led House of Representatives.

Read on.

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