While Congress and the Administration battle over short term
legislation to fund curtailed federal activities, Congress is
starting to break its own log jam. Over the last few days Congress
has resolved differences in several appropriations bills that
should have been sent to President Clinton by September 30. Among
those now ready for final action is H.R. 2099, the VA, HUD,
Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill for FY 1996. Last night,
House and Senate conferees cleared this bill for a final up-or-down
vote on the House and Senate floors. While H.R. 2099 should be
sent to the President in the very near future, there is a real
possibility that it will be vetoed because of cuts in HUD, EPA, and
National Service programs.
The VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Committees had
approximately 10% less in money for FY 1996 than last year. This
$80.3 billion bill funds both NASA and NSF. The following is known
about the NSF component of the bill:
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION, TOTAL BUDGET:
Under this bill, NSF would receive $3,180 million for FY 1996.
This is $180 million, or 5.4%, less than the NSF request of $3,360
million. The new FY 1996 NSF budget would be $49 million, or 1.5%,
less than the FY 1995 budget of $3,229 million.
RESEARCH AND RELATED ACTIVITIES:
Under this bill, the Research and Related Activities budget would
be $2,274 million. This is down $180 million, or 7.3%, from the
request of $2,454 million. The new budget would be $29 million, or
1.3%, above the FY 1995 budget of $2,245 million.
EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES:
The Education budget would be $599 million, the full amount
requested. This is $7 million, or 1.1% less than the FY 1995
budget of $606 million.
MAJOR RESEARCH EQUIPMENT:
This budget is for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave
Observatory (LIGO). $70 million was requested by NSF for LIGO,
which would be provided.
Congress provided the full request of $100 million. In FY 1995,
$118 million was budgeted.