Members of Congress make numerous decisions impacting the funding and conduct of federal R&D, yet they often get little input from their constituents about science policy or budgets. Those Members with probably the biggest impact on science programs are the appropriators. There are 13 appropriations subcommittees in each chamber of Congress. Within those subcommittees, R&D agencies often have to compete for funding with other priorities, such as veterans' and housing programs.
Authorization bills provide funding caps or guidelines for federal programs. While in theory, appropriators are supposed to be guided by authorizing legislation when determining federal funding, in reality they do not necessarily heed the authorizers, and many authorization bills never make it into law. However, authorization bills, if they are timely, can often influence funding for a project or agency.
There are several major appropriations and authorization committees or subcommittees in each chamber that have jurisdiction over most federal programs tracked by FYI. To get information on committee chairs, rosters, hearing schedules and legislation, or to determine if your representative or senators sit on a certain committee, please see the (sub)committee web sites below.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3:
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION:
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY:
House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: