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Senate Defense Authorization Bill: Funding for S&T Programs

Richard M. Jones
Number 89 - June 21, 2012  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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The Senate Armed Services Committee released its report accompanying S. 3254, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 on June 8.  This bill recommends a decrease in total spending for the three defense science and technology programs, as did the Administration’s request and the House defense authorization bill, with all three figures approximately the same. 

The House and Senate authorization bills provide policy and spending parameters for defense science and technology programs, but do not provide actual funding. 

The following figures are from Senate Report 112-173, starting on page 364. 

Total Basic Research:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $2,116.5 million
The FY 2013 budget request was $2,116.9 million
The House authorization bill recommendation is $2,130.4 million, an increase of $13.9 million or 0.7 percent
The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $2,116.9 million, an increase of $0.4 million, essentially flat funding

Total 6.2 Applied Research:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $4,748.4 million
The FY 2013 budget request was $4,478.0 million
The House authorization bill recommendation is $4,498.3 million, a decrease of $250.1 million or 5.3 percent
The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $4,478.0 million, a decrease of $270.4 million or 5.7 percent

Total 6.3 Advanced Technology Development:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $5,573.3 million
The FY 2013 budget request was $5,266.2 million
The House authorization bill recommendation is $5,266.2, a decrease of $307.1 million or 5.5 percent
The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $5,281.9 million, a decrease of $291.4 million or 5.2 percent

Total 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $12,438.2 million
The FY 2013 budget request was $11,861.1 million
The House authorization bill recommendation is $11,894.9 million, a decrease of $543.3 million or 4.4 percent
The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $11,876.8 million, a decrease of $561.4 million or 4.5 percent

 

Total Army 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $2,529.8 million
The FY 2013 budget request was $2,209.5 million
The House authorization bill recommendation is $2,219.8 million, a decrease of $310.0 million or 12.3 percent
The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $2,209.5 million, a decrease of $320.3 million or 12.7 percent

Total Navy 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $2,122.3 million
The FY 2013 budget request was $1,979.7 million
The House authorization bill recommendation is $1,993.2 million, a decrease of $129.1 million or 6.1 percent
The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $1,979.7 million, a decrease of $142.6 million or 6.7 percent

Total Air Force 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $2,378.7 million
The FY 2013 budget request was $2,221.8 million
The House authorization bill recommendation is $2,231.8 million, a decrease of $146.9 million or 6.2 percent
The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $2,221.8 million, a decrease of $156.9 million or 6.6 percent

Total Defense-Wide 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $5,407.4 million
The FY 2013 budget request was $5,450.1 million
The House authorization bill recommendation is $5,450.1 million, an increase of $42.7 million or 0.8 percent


The Senate authorization bill recommendation is $5,465.8 million, an increase of $58.4 million or 0.1 percent

The Senate report section on Title II Research, Development, Test and Evaluation begins on page 37.  Of note is a section on page 69:

“Department of Defense labs workforce and infrastructure

“As a key element of the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) roughly $12.0 billion per year science and technology portfolio, its laboratories contribute to a broad range of science and technology activities, ranging from conducting Nobel-prize winning basic research to rapidly developing and fielding capabilities for the warfighter. The lab enterprise includes 62 organizations spread across 22 states with a total workforce of about 60,000 employees, more than half of whom are degreed scientists and engineers. In certain critical national security-related areas, these organizations - and more importantly, the highly skilled scientists, engineers and technicians in them - are national assets.

“The committee understands that among the numerous challenges facing the DOD lab enterprise, two key issues require focused and sustained attention:
(a) recruiting and retaining the best and brightest scientists, engineers, and technicians; and
(b) modernizing aging infrastructure.

“Congress has provided a number of authorities to the labs over the years, including direct hiring authority of scientists and engineers with advanced degrees. However, in testimony before the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Armed Services on April 17, 2012, it appears that there may be a need for the labs to have a similar authority for scientists, engineers, and technicians with undergraduate technical degrees with unique skills, expertise, and experience.

“Hence, the committee directs each service science and technology executive, consulting with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, to submit a report to the congressional defense committees not later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act that will describe whether direct hiring authority of undergraduate scientists and engineers is required, and provide an explanation why existing authorities under the laboratory personnel demonstration program authorized by section 342 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1995 (Public Law 103–337), as amended, are not sufficient to meet this need for direct hiring authority.

“Concerning aging laboratory infrastructure, the committee is pleased that the Army has initiated a survey of its laboratory infrastructure and directs the Navy and Air Force to undertake similar surveys of its laboratory infrastructure. In addition, the committee understands the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering is also conducting a survey of the DOD’s laboratories.  The committee directs the services to brief the congressional defense committees on the results of their surveys no later than March 1, 2013.”

Also of note is the following report language on page 193 explaining a provision in the Senate’s bill:

“Sense of Congress on non-United States citizens who are graduates of United States educational institutions with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (sec. 1083)

“The committee recommends a provision that would express a sense of Congress that would strongly urge the Department of Defense to investigate innovative mechanisms to access the pool of talent of non-United States citizens with advanced scientific and technical degrees from United States institutions of higher learning.

“The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112–81) contains a provision directing the Secretary of Defense to conduct an assessment of current and potential mechanisms to permit the Department of Defense to employ non-United States citizens with critical scientific and technical skills that are vital to the national security interests of the United States. The committee is awaiting this report, due by the end of calendar year 2012.

“In testimony before the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities of the Senate Committee on Armed Services on April 17, 2012, Department of Defense science and technology executives expressed concern over the possible unintended consequences of taking significant action on this front. The committee understands the trepidation expressed by the service executives, but feels strongly that the most substantial unintended consequence of lack of action will be the significant loss of technical talent to the country.”

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