FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

Science and Technology Funding in the Economic Stimulus Act

Richard M. Jones
Number 16 - February 18, 2009  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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Yesterday, President Obama signed into law the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As previously outlined in FYI #15 the bill provides billions of dollars in new funding for science programs.

Further detail on the science funding provisions in this legislation are found in the 421 page Joint Explanatory Statement issued by the House - Senate conference committee. The following are excerpts from Division A of this statement, which may be viewed in its entirety here.

Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee on Conference

“The managers on the part of the House and Senate at the conference on . . . (H.R. 1 ) a bill making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization. . . . “

Department of Defense

NEAR TERM ENERGY EFFICIENCY TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATIONS AND RESEARCH

“The conference agreement provides $75,000,000 for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Army; $75,000,000 for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Navy; $75,000,000 for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Air Force; and $75,000,000 for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Defense-Wide only for the funding of research, development, test and evaluation projects, including pilot projects, demonstrations and energy efficient manufacturing enhancements. Funds are for improvements in energy generation and efficiency, transmission, regulation, storage, and for use on military installations and within operational forces, to include research and development of energy from fuel cells, wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources to include biofuels and bioenergy. The Secretary of Defense is directed to provide a report to the congressional defense committees detailing the planned use of these funds within 60 days after enactment of this Act. Additionally, the Secretary of Defense is directed to provide a report on the progress made by this effort to the congressional defense committees not later than one year after enactment of this Act and an additional report not later than two years after enactment of this Act.”

Department of Energy

ENERGY PROGRAMS

Energy efficiency and renewable energy

“The conferees agree to provide an additional $16,800,000,000 for the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program . . . . “

“Funds under this heading include $2,000,000,000 for Advanced Battery Manufacturinggrants to support the manufacturing of advanced vehicle batteries and components, as proposed by the Senate, instead of $1,000,000, does not include the Advanced Battery Loan guarantee program as proposed by the House.”

Science

“The conferees agree to provide an additional $1,600,000,000 for the Science program. After taking into account the additional $400,000,000 provided for Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) in a separate account, the funding level for Science is the same as proposed by the House, instead of $330,000,000 as proposed by the Senate.

“The conference agreement does not include $100,000,000 for advanced scientific computing as proposed in the House bill. The Senate bill carried no similar provision.”

Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy

“The conferees agree to provide $400,000,000 for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy authorized under section 5012 of the America COMPETES Act (42 U.S.C. 16538). This funding was provided by the House under ‘Science’. The Senate bill carried no similar provision.”

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

“NASA is directed to submit to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations a spending plan, signed by the Administrator, detailing its intended allocation of funds provided in this Act within 60 days of enactment of this Act.”

SCIENCE

“The conference agreement includes $400,000,000 for Science, to remain available until September 30, 2010. Funding is included herein to accelerate the development of the tier 1 set of Earth science climate research missions recommended by the National Academies Decadal Survey and to increase the agency's supercomputing capabilities.”

AERONAUTICS

“The conference agreement includes $150,000,000 for aeronautics, to remain available until September 30, 2010. These funds are available for system-level research, development and demonstration activities related to aviation safety, environmental impact mitigation and the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).”

EXPLORATION

“The conference agreement includes $400,000,000 for exploration, to remain available until September 30, 2010.”

CROSS AGENCY SUPPORT

“The conference agreement includes $50,000,000 for cross agency support, to remain available until September 30, 2010. In allocating these funds, NASA shall give its highest priority to restore NASA-owned facilities damaged from hurricanes and other natural disasters occurring during calendar year 2008.”

OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

“The conference agreement includes $2,000,000 for the Office of Inspector General, to remain available until September 30, 2013.”

National Institutes of Health

“The conference agreement provides $10,000,000,000 for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as proposed by the Senate instead of $3,500,000,000 as proposed by the House. The components of this total are as follows:”

NATIONAL CENTER FOR RESEARCH RESOURCES

“The conference agreement includes $1,300,000,000 for the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) instead of $1,500,000,000 as proposed by the House and $300,000,000 as proposed by the Senate. Bill language identifies $1,000,000,000 of this total for competitive awards for the construction and renovation of extramural research facilities. The conference agreement also provides $300,000,000 for the acquisition of shared instrumentation and other capital research equipment. The conference agreement includes bill language proposed by the House for extramural facilities relating to waiver of non-Federal match requirements, primate centers, and limitation on the term of Federal interest. The conference agreement includes language xpect that NCRR will give priority.to those applications that are expected to generate demonstrable energy-saving or beneficial environmental effects.”

OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR
(Including transfer of funds))

“The conference agreement provides $8,200,000,000 for the Office of the Director instead of $1,500,000,000 as proposed by the House and $9,200,000,000 as proposed by the Senate. Of this amount, $7,400,000,000 is designated for transfer to Institutes and Centers and to the Common Fund instead of $7,850,000,000 as proposed by the Senate. The conference agreement adopts the Senate guidance that, to the extent possible, the $800,000,000 retained in the Office of the Director shall be used for purposes that can be completed within two years; priority shall be placed on short-term grants that focus on specific scientific challenges, new research that expands the scope of ongoing projects, and research on public and international health priorities. Bill language is included to permit the Director of NIH to use $400,000,000 of the funds provided in this account for the flexible research authority authorized in section 215 of Division G of P.L. 110-161.

“The funds available to NIH can be used to enhance central research support activities, such as equipment for the clinical center or intramural activities, centralized information support systems, and other related activities as determined by the Director. The conferees intend that NIH take advantage of scientific opportunities using any funding mechanisms and authorities at the agency's disposal that maximize scientific and health benefit. The conferees include bill language indicating that the funds provided in this Act to NIH are not subject to Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer setaside requirements.”

BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES

“The conference agreement provides $500,000,000 for Buildings and Facilities as proposed by the House and the Senate. Bill language permits funding to be used for construction as well as renovation, as proposed by the Senate. The House language permitted only renovation. These funds are to be used to construct, improve, and repair NIH buildings and facilities, including projects identified in the Master Plan for Building 10.”

National Institute of Standards and Technology

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL RESEARCH AND SERVICES

“The conference agreement includes $220,000,000 for research, competitive grants, additional research fellowships and advanced research and measurement equipment and supplies. In addition, $20,000,000 is provided by transfer from the Health Information Technology (HIT) initiative within this Act. For HIT activities, NIST is directed to create and test standards related to health security and interoperability in conjunction with partners at the Department of Health and Human Services.”

CONSTRUCTION OF RESEARCH FACILITIES

“The conference agreement includes $360,000,000 to address NIST's backlog of maintenance and renovation and for construction of new facilities and laboratories. Of the amounts provided, $180,000,000 shall be for the competitive construction grant program for research science buildings, including fiscal year 2008 and 2009 competitions.”

National Science Foundation

“NSF is directed to submit to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations a spending plan, signed by the Director, detailing its intended allocation of funds provided in this Act within 60 days of enactment of this Act.”

RESEARCH AND RELATED ACTIVITIES

“For research and related activities, the conference agreement provides a total of $2,500,000,000, to remain available until September 30,2010. Within this amount, $300,000,000 shall be available solely for the major research instrumentation program and $200,000,000 shall be available for In allocating the resources provided under this heading, the conferees direct that NSF support all research divisions and support advancements in supercomputing technology.”

EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES

“The conference agreement includes $100,000,000 for education and human resources, to remain available until September 30, 2010. These funds shall be allocated as follows:
Robert Noyce Scholarship Program: $60,000,000
Math and Science Partnerships: $25,000,000
Professional Science Master's Programs: $15,000,000"

MAJOR RESEARCH EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES CONSTRUCTION

“The conference agreement includes $400,000,000 for major research equipment and facilities construction, to remain available until September 30, 2010.”

OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

“The conference agreement includes $2,000,000 for the Office of Inspector General, to remain available until September 30, 2013.”

United States Geological Survey

SURVEYS, INVESTIGATIONS, AND RESEARCH

“The conference agreement provides $140,000,000 for Surveys, Investigations and Research instead of $135,000,000 proposed by the Senate and $200,000,000 proposed by the House. The Survey should consider a wide variety of activities, including repair, construction and restoration of facilities; equipment replacement and upgrades including stream gages, seismic and volcano monitoring systems; national map activities; and other critical deferred a maintenance and improvement projects which can maximize jobs and provide lasting improvement to our Nation's science capacity.”

TITLE XVI - GENERAL PROVISIONS - THIS ACT

“Section 1601 provides that each amount appropriated or involved. Further, enactment of this Act shall have no effect on the availability of amounts under the continuing resolution for fiscal year 2009.”

“Section 1602 provides for quick-start activities. For infrastructure investment funds, recipients of funds provided in this Act should give preference to activities that can be started and completed expeditiously, with a goal of using at least 50 percent for activities that can be initiated within 120 days of enactment. Also recipients should use grant funds in a manner that maximizes job creation and economic benefit.”

“Section 1603, provides that funds appropriated in this Act shall be available until September 30, 2010, unless expressly provided otherwise in this Act.”

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
rjones@aip.org
301-209-3095