FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

Status of FY 2012 Appropriations Bills

Richard M. Jones
Number 104 - August 31, 2011  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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The next few months will be important in determining the funding of federal scientific research in Fiscal Year 2012.  Although FY 2012 starts a month from tomorrow, Congress is unlikely to settle on final budgets until later this year.  Short term funding will be provided through one or bills.  The outlook is more promising for a quicker resolution of the final appropriations than in previous years because Congress and the Administration have settled on an overall cap on FY 2012 discretionary spending.

The House Appropriations Committee has completed work on all but three of the twelve appropriations bills: Labor - Health and Human Services – Education; State – Foreign Operations; and Transportation - Housing and Urban Development.  This contrasts with the situation in the Senate, where only the Military Construction – Veterans Affairs bill has been passed.

The following is a brief review of the House appropriations bills of direct interest to the physics community, listed by department or agency:

Department of Defense – Science and Technology Programs

The House of Representatives has passed HR 2219, the FY 2012 Defense Appropriations Bill. Under this legislation funding for the 6.1 Basic Research would increase 4.3 percent over this year.  6.2 Applied Research funding would decline 3.2 percent.  The budget for the 6.3 Advanced Technology Development program would be reduced by 8.2 percent.  Total funding for the three S&T programs would decline 4.4 percent.  See FYI #72 for additional information.

Department of Education

The Appropriations Committee has not drafted the FY 2012 Labor-HHS-Education bill.

Department of Energy – National Nuclear Security Administration

The House of Representatives has passed H.R. 2354, the FY 2012 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.  Funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration would increase 0.7 percent.  The Weapons Activities’ budget would increase 2.8 percent.  The budget for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation would decline 9.5 percent.  See FYI #74 for additional information.

Department of Energy – Office of Science

The House of Representatives has passed H.R. 2354, the FY 2012 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.  Funding for the Office of Science would be reduced by 0.9 percent.  The bill recommends the following changes in program budgets from this year: Fusion Energy Sciences: up 8.1 percent; Nuclear Physics: up 2.2 percent; Advanced Scientific Computing: up 1.2 percent; Basic Energy Sciences: up 0.6 percent; High Energy Physics: up 0.2 percent; and Biological and Environmental Research: down 10.6 percent.  See FYI #73 for additional information.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The House Appropriations Committee has approved H.R. 2596, the FY 2012 Commerce - Justice – Science Appropriations Bill.  It has not been considered on the House floor.  Under this bill, total NASA funding would decline 8.9 percent.  Science funding would decline 8.7 percent.  Aeronautics funding would increase 6.7 percent. A new budget category for Space Technology was created.  The budget for Exploration would decline 4.0 percent.  Funding for Space Operations would decline 26.1 percent.  Education funding would decline 5.2 percent, as would the budget for Cross Agency support, down by 1.8 percent.  See FYI #90 for additional information.

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

The Appropriations Committee has not drafted the FY 2012 Labor-HHS-Education bill.

National Institute of Standards and Technology

The House Appropriations Committee has approved H.R. 2596, the FY 2012 Commerce - Justice – Science Appropriations Bill.  It has not been considered on the House floor.  Under this bill, total NIST funding would decline 6.6 percent.  The budget for Scientific and Technical Research and Services would increase 2.0 percent.  Funding for Industrial Technology Services would be cut by 25.9 percent. The budget for Construction of Research Facilities would decline 20.7 percent.  See FYI #91 for additional information.

National Science Foundation

The House Appropriations Committee has approved H.R. 2596, the FY 2012 Commerce - Justice – Science Appropriations Bill.  It has not been considered on the House floor.  Under this bill, total funding for the foundation would remain level (no change.)  Research and Related Activities funding would increase 0.8 percent.  The budget for Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction would be reduced by 14.6 percent.  Education and Human Resources funding would decline 3.0 percent.  See FYI #89 for additional information.

U.S. Geological Survey

The House of Representatives has started its consideration of H.R. 2584, the FY 2012 Interior-Environment Appropriations Bill.  Under this bill, total funding for USGS would decline 2.8 percent. Program budgets within Surveys, Investigations, and Research would change as follows: Ecosystems: down 6.7 percent; Climate and Land Use Change: down 8.8 percent; Energy, Minerals, and Environmental Health: level funding; Natural Hazards: level funding; Water Resources: up 2.4 percent; Core Science Systems: down 3.4 percent; Administration and Enterprise Information: down 3.8 percent; Facilities: down 3.7 percent.  Also, no funding provided for a new National Land Imaging budget request.  See FYI #92 for additional information.

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