Looks like some underhanded efforts were made to stiff small businesses. Under the recently signed American Recovery Act, a coded clause was slipped in during the assigned task to reconcile House and Senate versions that effectively cut off more than $200 million of funding from being available to small businesses and researchers. See this blog post for details.
But fortunately for the US, there are still some legislators with spines. Senators Landrieu and Snowe from the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship sent a letter to the director of the Department of Health and Human Services imploring them to fulfill their statutory obligation to small businesses nonetheless.
I wonder, with all the tossing of money at the flames of this recession, whether there won't be some sense to it all, whether the needs of researchers, and the benefits of supporting the vast army of unemployed PhDs seeking a useful outlet for their energies won't somehow be realized. Let's hope.