FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FY 2012 Senate Appropriations Bill: National Institute of Standards and Technology

Richard M. Jones
Number 116 - September 22, 2011  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved its version of the FY 2012 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill.  This bill provides funding for the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

This FYI reviews those portions of S. 1572 pertaining to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  There are two pages in Senate Report 112-78 accompanying this bill regarding NIST; selections follow.  Readers are encouraged to consult the pdf version of this report to see the full language regarding NIST using the page numbers provided.  See FYI #91 for the House bill.

In the introductory section on the Department of Commerce on page 10, the report states:

“The Department of Commerce is a major innovation engine for the Nation. Few other departments in the U.S. Government have all the elements in one place to keep America competitive in this volatile economy. DOC’s science and research programs strive to find new ways to solve today’s problems and anticipate tomorrow’s challenges. New research brings new technology, and DOC develops new standards and partners with industry to keep citizens safe and manufacturers on the right track. These new technologies and ideas deserve protection, and the Department also preserves intellectual property for our Nation’s creative thinkers -- small and big businesses alike. Once ready for the global marketplace, DOC establishes trade agreements, sending new ideas into the marketplace while protecting our workers and helping businesses create jobs at home. The Department monitors progress through statistical analysis, economic monitoring and periodic census.

“As a leader in America’s competitiveness, DOC needs realistic funding, proper management and oversight to keep the United States scientifically relevant and technologically innovative in the global marketplace. The Committee’s recommendations in this bill ensure that DOC has the funding to carry out its mission and mandates.”

National Institute of Standards and Technology (total)
(page 20)

The FY 2011 appropriation was $750.1 million
The FY 2012 Administration request was $1,001.1 million
The House Appropriations Committee recommends $700.8 million, a decline of $49.3 million or 6.6 percent from the current year
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommends $680.0 million, a decline of $70.1 million or 9.3 percent. 

Scientific and Technical Research and Services

The FY 2011 appropriation was $507.0 million
The FY 2012 Administration request was $678.9 million
The House Appropriations Committee recommends $517.0 million, an increase of $10.0 million or 2.0 percent from the current year
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommends $500.0 million, a decline of $7.0 million or 1.4 percent. 

There is report language on page 20 for three programs: National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, NIST Facility Security, and Greenhouse Gas Measurements.  Regarding greenhouse gases, the report states:

“The Committee supports NIST’s greenhouse gas measurement program, especially as it relates to leveraging existing assets and services from private sector partners.  Augmenting the program through a collaborative approach is expected to deliver substantial cost savings and efficiencies as well as position the program for long-term sustainability. NIST is directed to partner with networks that are national in scale and possess attributes consistent with high quality atmospheric and weather monitoring systems, including highly trained field teams capable of installing and maintaining research grade environmental sensing equipment; comprehensive data collection, processing and dissemination infrastructure; as well as demonstrated experience collaborating with the Federal Government through the provision of environmental observing system data.”

Industrial Technology Services

The FY 2011 appropriation was $173.3 million
The FY 2012 Administration request was $237.6 million
The House Appropriations Committee recommends $128.4 million, a decline of $44.9 million or 25.9 percent from the current year
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommends $120.0 million, a decline of $53.3 million or 30.8 percent. 

Selections from the report language on page 21 follow:

“Supporting the Nation’s manufacturers, especially small businesses, is critical to keeping America innovative in a global marketplace. The Committee’s recommendation provides $120,000,000 for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program.

“The Committee notes that the fiscal year 2011 level provided no new funding for the Technology Innovation Program [TIP]. Regrettably, the Committee is unable to provide funding to continue TIP grants in 2012 or to continue the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.”

Construction of Research Facilities

The FY 2011 appropriation was $69.9 million
The FY 2012 Administration request was $84.6 million
The House Appropriations Committee recommends $55.4 million, a decline of $14.5 million or 20.7 percent from the current year
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommends $60.0 million, a decline of $9.9 million or 14.2 percent. 

Selections from the report language on page 21 follow:

“The recommendation funds the highest-priority construction, maintenance, and repair projects at NIST. The Committee directs NIST to provide quarterly reports on the status of all construction projects.”

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