The recently passed omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 83 ("For better or worse, spending bill passes," Dec. 15), provides critical funding to federal research agencies and supports research programs that have a positive impact on our state and our universities. The efforts of Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Rep. Steny Hoyer and other state leaders who helped pass this legislation should be applauded. The fact is that, despite controversy about some provisions in the bill, H.R. 83 secures valuable funding that will help ensure that the U.S. continues to be a global innovation leader and that Maryland continues to play a central role in contributing to our national research productivity and economic development.