FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

House Passes FY 2012 NASA/NIST/NSF Funding Bill; Department of Energy Funding Bill Stalled

Richard M. Jones
Number 136 - November 17, 2011  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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FY 2012 Appropriations for NASA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation:

Moments ago the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 298-121 the FY 2012 appropriations bill providing funding for NASA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Science Foundation.  Under this legislation funding for the three agencies would change as follows (as compared to the current level):

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Down 3.5 percent
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology: Up 0.1 percent
  • National Science Foundation: Up 2.5 percent

Of note, the final conference agreement provides $529.6 million for the James Webb Space Telescope.  The Administration requested $373.7 million; House appropriators had provided no funding.

In general, total funding for all the departments and agencies funded through the three appropriations bills (Agriculture; Commerce-Justice-Science; Transportation-HUD) in H.R. 2112 is higher than that originally proposed in two House bills.  In almost all instances, final funding is significantly less than that requested by the Obama Administration.  Total funding in the Commerce-Justice-Science portion of the bill (in which NASA, NIST, and NSF are funded) is 7 percent less than the Administration requested, and about 1 percent less than current levels. 

The Senate is scheduled to consider and expected to pass this bill tomorrow.

Forthcoming issues of FYI will review funding levels and report language in H.R. 2112 for NASA, NIST, and NSF.

FY 2012 Appropriation for Department of Energy:

The earlier plan for the Senate to pass the FY 2012 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill as a vehicle for a second package of appropriations bills has gone off track.  It now appears that this bill and the other eight remaining funding measures will be merged into a single bill.  H.R. 2112 (above) would extend FY2012 funding for the remaining departments and agencies through December 16.

Richard M. Jones
Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics