House FY 2015 NOAA Appropriations Bill

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Publication date: 
8 May 2014
Number: 
86

Yesterday the House Appropriations Committee released an unnumbered Full Committee Print to accompany the FY 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill. This is a draft version of the committee report that is to be issued providing all-important language on the departments and agencies funded by this bill.  This FYI reviews selected programs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration discussed in the report. 

The House Appropriations Committee’s recommendations for NOAA can be found on pages 19-34 of the report.  Also, on page 3 of the report under the heading “Major Themes and Initiatives” are is the following language:

“More accurate and timely weather forecasts and warnings.—The mission of the National Weather Service is to provide forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy. Recent events remind us of the loss of life, tragedy and disruption that can result from severe weather. The bill includes $1.1 billion for the operations and systems of the National Weather Service. In addition, the bill provides the requested amounts for two next-generation National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) flagship weather satellite programs: the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) ($917 million) and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series (GOES-R) ($981 million). These amounts will allow NOAA to maintain acquisition and launch schedules and minimize any future gaps in data that are critical to forecast accuracy.”

Total NOAA:

The FY 2014 appropriation was $5,320.6 million
The FY 2015 request is $5,496.7 million, an increase of $176.1 million or 3.3 percent
The House bill provides $5,310.1 million, a decrease of $10.5 million or 0.2 percent below current funding

Report language found on page 19 states: “The recommendation prioritizes funding for National Weather Service (NWS) operations, weather research, and related satellite programs.”

Within NOAA are the following selected programs:

National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service:

The FY 2014 appropriation was $2,083.1 million
The FY 2015 request is $2,247.9 million, an increase of $164.8 million or 7.9 percent

NESDIS funding as shown on page 28 of the appropriations report varies dramatically without explanation from that on page 26 of NOAA’s FY 2015 request

National Ocean Service:

The FY 2014 appropriation was $498.7 million
The FY 2015 request is $519.4 million, an increase of $20.7 million or 4.2 percent
The House bill provides $469.8 million, a decrease of $28.9 million or 5.8 percent below current funding

Report language begins on page 19 and includes a funding table on page 20. 

National Weather Service:

The FY 2014 appropriation was $1,067.3 million
The FY 2015 request is $1,063.4 million, a decrease of $3.9 million or 0.4 percent
The House bill provides $943.2 million, an apparent decrease of $124.1 million or 11.6 percent below current funding

Report language is found on pages 26-28.  The language in this report, which states that the appropriation is $16,327,000 above the request, contrasts without explanation with the FY 2015 NOAA request as shown on page 21 which shows a NWS budget request of $1,063,347,000. 

Report language pertains to new budget structure; analyze, forecast, and support; observations; tsunami warning network; science and technology integration; workforce and infrastructure analysis; central processing, advanced weather interactive processing system; dissemination; New Generation Air Transportation System Weather Program; severe weather studies; and storm surge modeling.

Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research:

The FY 2014 appropriation was $426.8 million
The FY 2015 request is $462.2 million, an increase of $35.4 million or 8.3 percent
The House bill provides $379.8 million, a decrease of $47.0 million or 11.0 percent below current funding

Report language found on page 23 pertains to regional climate data and information; independent analysis; weather and air chemistry research; Earth System Prediction Capability; U.S. Weather Research Programs; Multi-function Phased Array Radar; ocean exploration and research, Ocean Research Advisory Panel; Sea Grant; high performance computing initiatives; and ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes research, laboratories and cooperative institutes.