Status of FY 2012 Appropriations Bills

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Publication date: 
31 August 2011
Number: 
104

The  next few months will be important in determining the funding of federal  scientific research in Fiscal Year 2012.   Although FY 2012 starts a month from tomorrow, Congress is unlikely to  settle on final budgets until later this year.  Short term funding will be provided through  one or bills.  The outlook is more  promising for a quicker resolution of the final appropriations than in previous  years because Congress and the Administration have settled on an overall cap on  FY 2012 discretionary spending.

The  House Appropriations Committee has completed work on all but three of the  twelve appropriations bills: Labor - Health and Human Services – Education;  State – Foreign Operations; and Transportation - Housing and Urban  Development.  This contrasts with the  situation in the Senate, where only the Military Construction – Veterans Affairs  bill has been passed.

The  following is a brief review of the House appropriations bills of direct  interest to the physics community, listed by department or agency:

Department  of Defense – Science and Technology Programs

The  House of Representatives has passed HR 2219, the FY 2012 Defense Appropriations  Bill.     Under  this legislation funding for the 6.1 Basic Research would increase 4.3 percent  over this year.  6.2 Applied Research  funding would decline 3.2 percent.  The  budget for the 6.3 Advanced Technology Development program would be reduced by  8.2 percent.  Total funding for the three  S&T programs would decline 4.4 percent.   See FYI #72 for additional information.

Department  of Education

The  Appropriations Committee has not drafted the FY 2012 Labor-HHS-Education bill.

Department  of Energy – National Nuclear Security Administration

The  House of Representatives has passed H.R. 2354, the FY 2012 Energy and Water  Development Appropriations Bill.  Funding  for the National Nuclear Security Administration would increase 0.7 percent.  The Weapons Activities’ budget would increase  2.8 percent.  The budget for Defense  Nuclear Nonproliferation would decline 9.5 percent.  See FYI #74 for additional information.

Department  of Energy – Office of Science

The  House of Representatives has passed H.R. 2354, the FY 2012 Energy and Water  Development Appropriations Bill.  Funding  for the Office of Science would be reduced by 0.9 percent.  The bill recommends the following changes in  program budgets from this year: Fusion  Energy Sciences: up 8.1 percent; Nuclear Physics: up 2.2 percent; Advanced  Scientific Computing: up 1.2 percent; Basic Energy Sciences: up 0.6 percent; High  Energy Physics: up 0.2 percent; and Biological and Environmental Research: down  10.6 percent.  See FYI #73 for additional  information.

National  Aeronautics and Space Administration

The  House Appropriations Committee has approved H.R. 2596, the FY 2012 Commerce -  Justice – Science Appropriations Bill.   It has not been considered on the House floor.  Under this bill, total NASA funding would  decline 8.9 percent.  Science funding  would decline 8.7 percent.  Aeronautics  funding would increase 6.7 percent. A new budget category for Space Technology  was created.  The budget for Exploration  would decline 4.0 percent.  Funding for  Space Operations would decline 26.1 percent.   Education funding would decline 5.2 percent, as would the budget for  Cross Agency support, down by 1.8 percent.   See FYI #90 for additional information.

National  Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

The  Appropriations Committee has not drafted the FY 2012 Labor-HHS-Education bill.

National  Institute of Standards and Technology

The  House Appropriations Committee has approved H.R. 2596, the FY 2012 Commerce -  Justice – Science Appropriations Bill.   It has not been considered on the House floor.  Under this bill, total NIST funding would  decline 6.6 percent.  The budget for  Scientific and Technical Research and Services would increase 2.0 percent.  Funding for Industrial Technology Services would  be cut by 25.9 percent. The budget for Construction of Research Facilities  would decline 20.7 percent.  See FYI #91  for additional information.

National  Science Foundation

The  House Appropriations Committee has approved H.R. 2596, the FY 2012 Commerce -  Justice – Science Appropriations Bill.   It has not been considered on the House floor.  Under this bill, total funding for the  foundation would remain level (no change.)   Research and Related Activities funding would increase 0.8 percent.  The budget for Major Research Equipment and  Facilities Construction would be reduced by 14.6 percent.  Education and Human Resources funding would  decline 3.0 percent.  See FYI #89 for additional  information.

U.S.  Geological Survey

The  House of Representatives has started its consideration of H.R. 2584, the FY  2012 Interior-Environment Appropriations Bill.   Under this bill, total funding for USGS would decline 2.8 percent. Program  budgets within Surveys, Investigations, and Research would change as follows:  Ecosystems: down 6.7 percent; Climate and Land Use Change: down 8.8 percent;  Energy, Minerals, and Environmental Health: level funding; Natural Hazards:  level funding; Water Resources: up 2.4 percent; Core Science Systems: down 3.4  percent; Administration and Enterprise Information: down 3.8 percent;  Facilities: down 3.7 percent.  Also, no  funding provided for a new National Land Imaging budget request.  See FYI #92 for additional information.

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