17 July 2017

Science Fares Poorly in House Spending Bills

Posted by bwebster

Appropriations Update: Part 1

 

Leaders in the House of Representatives have directed the Appropriations Committee to introduce and consider all 12 appropriations bills before the chamber breaks for August recess. Overall, science fared poorly in the House spending bills, although most agencies did not receive the drastic cuts proposed by the President’s budget request. Here’s a recap of the Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill for fiscal year 2018 (FY18), which includes funding for NASA, NOAA, and NSF.

 

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  FY 2016 FY 2017 President’s Budget Request for FY 2018 AGU Request FY 2018 House Appropriated Amount for

 FY 2018

Overall $19,285.00 $19,653.30 $19,052.90 $20,480.00 $19,900.00
Science Mission Directorate $5,589.4 $5,765.90 $5,711.80 $5,900.00 $5,585.50

*Proposed and enacted funding levels in millions

Thumbs Up   

  • Overall, NASA received a 1% increase in funding in the House appropriations bill, in year where many agencies were cut, NASA escaped relatively unscathed.
  • Additionally, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate received a 1.6% increase in funding in the House; most significantly, the Planetary Science Division received an almost 15% increase in funding.

Thumbs Down

  • NASA’s Earth Science Division received a dramatic cut of 11.3% in the House appropriations bill, which is less than the President’s Budget request. Although, the House did not eliminate NASA’s Office of Education, the office did receive a 10%.
  • NASA’s Heliophysics Division remained essentially flat in the House spending bill.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  FY2016 FY2017 President Budget Request for FY2018 AGU Request for FY2018 House Appropriated Amount for FY2018
Overall $5,773.50 $5,675.00 $4,775.30 $6,100.00 $4,965.67
National Ocean Service $500.10 $521.10 $387.00 $466.35
Fisheries (NMFS) $849.50 $851.54 $821.00 $848.03
Oceanic &

Atmospheric Research (OAR)

$461.90 $514.13 $350.00 $474.77
National Weather Service (NWS) $1,124.15 $1,121.57 $1,059.00

 

$1,115.98
NESDIS $2,350.66 $2,203.60 $1,816.00

 

$1,706.30

*Proposed and enacted funding levels in millions

Thumbs Up

  • The House bill would result in less drastic cuts to the agency than the President’s proposed budget.

Thumbs Down

  • Every line office would see a cut in the House bill. The offices that had the largest funding cuts from FY17 levels were NESDIS (-23%), OMAO (-24%), and NOS (-11%).
  • While almost all offices did receive funding above the President’s request, these levels still leave each office below FY17 levels. As a result, the House bill leaves NOAA at 12.5% below FY17 levels.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  FY 2016 FY 2017 President’s Budget Request for FY 2018 AGU Request for FY 2018 House Appropriated Amount for

FY 2018

Overall $19,285.00 $7,472.22 $6,652.89 $8,000.00 $7,300.00
Research & Related Activities $5,589.4 $6,033.65 $5,361.65 $6,033.65

*Proposed and enacted funding levels in millions

Thumbs Up

  • The House appropriations bill does not include language that would prioritize certain directorates over other.

Thumbs Down

  • The House spending bill cuts funding for NSF by $172 million, which mostly comes from a 62.8% cut to NSF’s Major Research Equipment and Facilities.
  • The House provides flat funding for NSF’s Research and Related Activities account, which includes funding for the Geosciences Directorate.