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WASHINGTON — In this year’s midterms, the future of federal science policy is in Republicans’ crosshairs.

Some of the most vocal critics of scientists and science agencies like the NIH and the CDC, including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, are poised to ascend to powerful committee chairmanships that will enable them to conduct sweeping investigations and put health officials on public trial. The new chairmanships could also give them the ability to tighten the purse strings for health agencies’ budgets — and to deny funding outright for new Covid-19 measures or other Biden health priorities. At the same time, some of the Republican party’s biggest defenders of science and science policy are poised to retire.

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