In-Focus: Bush Administration FY 2004 Physics-Related Budget Requests

Share This

Publication date: 
17 April 2003

The release of the Bush Administration's FY 2004 request for physics- related budgets earlier this year was necessarily confusing. Operating without the benefit of final FY 2003 appropriations figures or baselines for most program budgets, the Administration compared its new request for the fiscal year starting this October 1 with the request that it had made a year earlier. Within a few weeks of the release of the FY 2004 budget the FY 2003 appropriations legislation was signed, resulting in fairly solid figures that then had to be adjusted for further reductions.

The following figures represent the calculated percentage change between the current year budget and the Administration's FY 2004 request for most of the budgets tracked by FYI. In some cases it was not possible to make this calculation because the FY 2003 bill did not specify how the funds are to be allocated. Note that program content can change between years, as facilities can be completed or started, activities shifted between offices, or designated-funding not carried over. Finally, note that the Consumer Price Index was 3.0% higher last month than in March of last year.

The figures below are ranked from the greatest percentage increase to the greatest percentage decrease. The dollar figure that follows the percentage figure is the change between this year and the Administration's request for FY 2004.

NSF Major Research Equipment and Facilities: Up 36.2% or $53.8 million
NASA Space Science: Up 14.4% or $505.6 million
NASA Biological and Physical Research: Up 12.7% or $109.8 million
NIST Laboratories: Up 8.5% or $29.9 million
DOE Fusion Energy Sciences: Up 4.2% or $10.4 million
NSF Education and Human Resources: Up 3.9% or $34.8 million
DOD 6.3: Up 3.9% or $195.0 million
DOE Advanced Computing Research: Up 3.6% or $6.1 million
NSF Polar Programs: Up 3.4% or $10.7 million
NSF (total): Up 3.2% or $171.2 million

[March 2002 - March 2003 Consumer Price Index Increase: Up 3.0%]

DOE Nuclear Physics: Up 2.6% or $9.8 million
NSF Mathematical and Physical Sciences: Up 2.6% or $26.9 million
DOE High Energy Physics: Up 2.5% or $18.1 million
DOE Office of Science: Up 1.5% or $49.7 million
NIH: NIBIB: Up 1.4% or $3.8 million
NSF Research and Related Activities: Up 1.2% or $49.9 million
NSF Engineering: Up 1.1% or $6.0 million
NSF Geosciences: Up 0.5% or $3.2 million

NASA Human Space Flight: Down 0.6% or $33.8 million
DOE Basic Energy Sciences: Down 0.8% or $8.1 million
DOE Biological and Environmental Research: Down 0.8% or $4.1 million
USGS: Down 2.6% or $23.8 million
Dept. of Education Improving Teacher Quality: Down 2.7% or $80.0 million
DOD 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3 (total): Down 4.9% or $531.0 million
DOD 6.1: Down 7.6% or $107.0 million
NASA Earth Science: Down 9.1% or $155.8 million
DOD 6.2: Down 14.3% or $619.0 million
NIST (total): Down 29.8% or $210.7 million
NIST Advanced Technology Program: Down 84.8% or $151.0 million
Dept. of Education Math and Science Partnerships: Down 87.5% or $87.9 million
NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership: Down 88.1% or $93.3 million

For additional information on the FY 2003 budget outcomes, or the FY 2004 Administration request, see

Explore FYI topics: