US House Republicans voted to place limits on funding for scientific research, including climate change studies, as they passed legislation that more narrowly defines their priorities.
Many in the American scientific community criticized the bill, which passed 217 votes to 205 and sets funding guidelines for the National Science Foundation for fiscal year 2016.
The America Competes Reauthorization Act still has to be reconciled with a Senate version, and the White House has threatened a veto if the measure passes as is.
The bill slightly raises overall scientific funding levels, from $7.3 billion this year to $7.6 billion in 2016.
But scientists expressed concern that Republicans were locking in specific funding amounts to each of the seven directorates of the research foundation.
In previous years the NSF itself determined the allocation of federal grants and funding.
Democrats fumed that the bill automatically slashes social, behavioral and economic sciences by 55 percent compared to 2015, while geosciences including climate research shrinks eight percent to $1.2 billion.
Research budgets for green energy programs would be hit too.
Conversely, Republicans prioritized funding for biology, computer science, engineering, mathematics and physical sciences.