When the budget process started in late winter, there was uncertainty about how a major HUD rental housing program would affect the FY 1998 budget for the National Science Foundation and NASA. With less than two weeks to go, there is still major uncertainty. House and Senate conferees remain in disagreement about the way to reduce federal housing subsidies. Senate conferees included a solution in their appropriations bill which House conferees are wary of -- both as to process and substance.
Appropriations Recommendation on NSF, NASA Yesterday afternoon, the Senate VA/HUD Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its version of H.R. 2158, the VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill. The science policy community here in Washington was holding its breath because the amount of money this subcommittee had to spend (its 602(b) allocation) was significantly less than its House counterpart. Some details about the National Science Foundation's and NASA's FY 1998 requests have become available.
Major Research Equipment, Education As explained in FYIs #89 and 90, the House Appropriations Committee has released its report (105-175) on the VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill, H.R. 2158. While this report language is not binding, and is subject to change following a conference with the Senate Appropriations Committee later this year, it provides important insight into the thinking of the House appropriators.
Research and Related Activities The House Appropriations Committee has released its report (105-175) on the VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill, H.R. 2158. While this report language is not binding, and is subject to change following a conference with the Senate Appropriations Committee later this year, it provides important insight into the thinking of the House appropriators.
After months of speculation about the FY 1998 budget, some first figures are becoming available for the National Science Foundation and NASA. Yesterday, the House VA, HUD, Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its bill. Details will not be known until July 8, when the full House Appropriations Committee meets to vote on the legislation.
At an April 22 hearing of the Senate VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Chairman Christopher Bond (R-MO) started by declaring that "R&D are good investments," but ended saying that he needed concrete evidence from NSF to prove to his colleagues and constituents that they are "getting something for the money."
In an April 10 hearing, House VA/HUD Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA) commended the National Science Foundation and inquired whether its FY 1998 budget request of $3.367 billion, a 3 percent increase, was adequate. The request "barely keeps pace with inflation," Lewis noted, asking what "such a small amount of growth means for science?"
Last year the National Science Foundation and the National Science Board formed a Task Force to suggest changes to NSF's merit review criteria, which had not been revised since 1981. The Task Force unveiled its proposed criteria in November 1996 (see FYIs #162 and #163, 1996) and made them available to the scientific and engineering communities for public comment.
Education and Human Resources, Major Research Equipment This FYI briefly summarizes the FY 1998 Education and Human Resources Activity and Major Research Equipment budget requests of the National Science Foundation. Quotations are from NSF's FY 1998 budget request to Congress. Note that dollar figures in this series of FYIs are not adjusted for inflation.
EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES:
"The FY 1998 Budget Request for Education and Human Resources is $625.50 million, an increase of $6.50 million, or 1.1%, from the FY 1997 Current Plan of $619.0 million."