Coalition Expresses Concern about FY 2016 Authorization Level for Defense Basic Research Program

Share This

Share/Save
Publication date: 
6 July 2015
Number: 
93

The Coalition for National Security Research recently issued a statement regarding the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization bills passed by the House and Senate.  Each of the two bills authorizes a decrease in the budget for the 6.1 Basic Research Program. 

The Coalition for National Security Research (CNSR), to which the American Institute of Physics and several of its Member Societies belong, describes itself as “a broad-based coalition of 74 members including industry, research universities and institutes, and scientific and professional associations committed to a strong Defense Science and Technology (S&T) Program.”  CNSR commented on the House and Senate bills as follows:

“On May 15, 2015, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1735, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016, and the Senate passed its version on June 18, 2015.

“While CNSR appreciates both bills’ efforts to support Defense Science and Technology (S&T), with a top-line value of at least $12.2 billion, we are concerned about the funding proportion for 6.1 Basic Research relative to the rest of the Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) budget. Both the House and Senate NDAA bills reduce funding for 6.1 below FY 15 levels. This will decrease the number of opportunities for new discoveries, as well as better connecting academia with government and industry, a priority for Secretary of Defense Carter and our coalition.

“DOD basic research supports exploring fundamental issues that will ultimately lead to the military technologies of the future being discovered today. Investments in DOD basic research have provided the novel discoveries that ultimately led to U.S. military lasers, radar, fiber optics, infrared technologies, stealth technology and advanced composite materials, among many other technologies supporting our warfighters.

“CNSR urges Congress to adhere to the 20/20 Principle, which calls for investments in basic research to comprise 20 percent of Defense S&T and Defense S&T to comprise 20 percent of Defense Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E). The 20/20 Principle is based on the recommendations from the National Academies reports Rising Above the Gathering Storm (2007) and the Assessment of Department of Defense Basic Research (2005).”

Authorization levels in the Senate’s bill, S. 1376 are below, compiled from Committee Report 114-49. The section on Title II, Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, with considerable narrative on different programs, starts on page 43; detailed funding tables start on page 396.    The Senate figures below are taken from this report; the Administration’s requests were calculated from the FY 2016 R-1 budget request document prepared by Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller).  The House and Senate figures are as compared to the current FY 2015 appropriation. An important note: actual funding for these programs is provided by the defense appropriations bill.  Both the House and Senate have passed their versions of this funding bill, see FYI #86.

Total 6.1 Basic Research:
The FY 2015 appropriation was $2,277.8 million
The FY 2016 request is $2,089.0 million, a decrease of $188.8 million or 8.3 percent
The House bill authorizes $2,127.0 million, a decrease of $150.8 million or 6.6 percent
The Senate bill authorizes $2,229.0 million, a decrease of $48.8 million or 2.1 percent

Total 6.2 Applied Research:
The FY 2014 appropriation was $4,647.8 million
The FY 2015 request is $4,713.2 million, an increase of $65.4 million or 1.4 percent
The House bill authorizes $4,696.2 million, an increase of $48.4 million or 1.0 percent
The Senate bill authorizes $4,691.8 million, an increase of $44.0 million or 1.0 percent

Total 6.3 Advanced Technology Development:
The FY 2015 appropriation was $5,326.4 million
The FY 2016 request is $5,464.4 million, an increase of $138.0 million or 2.6 percent
The House bill authorizes $5,377.0 million, an increase of $50.6 million or 1.0 percent 
The Senate bill authorizes $5,439.3 million, an increase of $112.9 million or 2.1 percent

Total 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:
The FY 2015 appropriation was $12,252.0 million
The FY 2016 request is $12,266.6 million, an increase of $14.6 million or 0.1 percent
The House bill authorizes $12,200.2 million, a decrease of $51.8 million or 0.4 percent
The Senate bill authorizes $12,360.1 million, an increase of $108.1 million or 0.9 percent

Total Army 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:
The FY 2015 appropriation was $2,554.9 million
The FY 2015 request is $2,200.6 million, a decrease of $354.3 million or 13.9 percent
The House bill authorizes $2,203.6 million, a decrease of $351.3 million or 13.8 percent
The Senate bill authorizes $2,230.6 million, a decrease of $324.3 million or 12.7 percent

Total Navy 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:
The FY 2014 appropriation was $2,155.3 million
The FY 2015 request is $2,114.4 million or a decrease of $40.9 million or 1.9 percent
The House bill authorizes $2,142.4 million, a decrease of $12.9 million or 0.6 percent
The Senate bill authorizes $2,178.0 million, an increase of $22.7 million or 1.1 percent

Total Air Force 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:
The FY 2015 appropriation was $2,281.7 million
The FY 2016 request is $2,378.4 million or an increase of $96.7 million or 4.2 percent
The House bill authorizes $2,383.4 million, an increase of $101.7 million or 4.5 percent
The Senate bill authorizes $2,413.4 million, an increase of $131.7 million or 5.8 percent

Total Defense-Wide (i.e., DARPA, etc.) 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:
The FY 2015 appropriation was $5,260.1 million
The FY 2016 request is $5,573.1 million, an increase of $313.0 million or 6.0 percent
The House bill authorizes $5,470.8 million, an increase of $210.7 million or 4.0 percent
The Senate bill authorizes $5,538.1 million, an increase of $278.0 million or 5.3 percent

 

Explore FYI topics: