Under legislation approved yesterday by the House VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, the National Science Foundation's budget would increase by 6.2%, or $329.1 million, in FY 2004. The House Appropriations Committee will consider the bill within the next few days, although the full House will not vote on this bill until it returns from its summer recess. Senate appropriators have not scheduled action on the companion bill.
House and Senate appropriators are working with a tight budget. The discretionary spending (e.g., funding which is not mandated by law) allocation for this bill, which includes NASA, HUD, VA and EPA, increased by 3.3% over the current year.
The committee report should be released within the week. The following is known about the committee's funding recommendations:
The overall NSF budget would increase 6.2%, or $329.1 million, to $5,639.1 million.
The Research and Related Activities budget would increase 6.2%, or $249.9 million, to $4,306.4 million. Within this budget:
- The Mathematical and Physical Sciences activity budget would increase 6.4%, or $66.7 million, to $1,107.8 million.
- The Geosciences activity budget would increase 3.7%, or $25.8 million, to $718.1 million.
- The Engineering activity budget would increase 3.6%, or $19.6 million, to $560.1 million.
- The U.S. Polar Programs budget would increase 11.3%, or $35.9 million, to $355.0 million.
The Education and Human Resources Activity budget would increase 0.2%, or $1.5 million, to $904.7 million.
The Major Research Equipment and Facilities budget would increase 29.5%, or $43.8 million, to $192.3 million. Within this budget:
- The requested level of funding would be provided for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, George E. Brown Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, South Pole Modernization, and National Ecological Observatory Network.
- Less than the requested amount of funding would be provided for the IceCube Neutrino Detector (reduced 16%, or $8 million, to $42 million,) Earthscope (reduced 3.3%, or $1.5 million, to $43.5 million), and Terascale Computing Systems (reduced 50%, or $10 million, to $10 million.) (Percentage reductions as compared to the request, not current year funding.)
- The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program would be funded at $25 million. This program was to be started in Fiscal Year 2005.