One of the first actions the new 111th Congress will take in January is the passage of a massive economic stimulus bill. At a news conference yesterday, President-Elect Barack Obama said the deteriorating economy "has made it even more clear that we are facing an economic crisis of historic proportions," and called on Congress to ready a bill for his signature. "We cannot hesitate and we cannot delay," Obama stated.
Obama's views are shared by the Democratic congressional leadership, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announcing their intention to move quickly. Various dollar figures are being discussed for this legislative package, all in multiples of hundreds of billions of dollars.
There are indications that an economic stimulus bill could contain significant new dollars for several science agencies. On November 17, Majority Leader Reid and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-WV) introduced S. 3689 that would, Byrd told his Senate colleagues, create 635,000 jobs. The $100.3 billion bill includes $1,659.0 million in new science-related spending. The following is the bill language from S. 3689 as it pertains to selected DOE, NASA, USGS, and NIH programs:
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY:
"For an additional amount for 'Science', $175,000,000, to remain available until expended."
"For necessary expenses, not otherwise provided for, in carrying out return to flight activities associated with the space shuttle and activities from which funds were transferred to accommodate return to flight activities, $400,000,000, with such sums as determined by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as available for transfer to 'Science', 'Aeronautics', 'Exploration', and 'Space Operations' for restoration of funds previously reallocated to meet return to flight activities."
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY:
"For an additional amount for 'Surveys, Investigations, and Research', $84,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2010, for repair and restoration of facilities and other deferred maintenance projects."
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH:
"For an additional amount for 'Office of the Director', $1,000,000,000, which shall be transferred to the Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health and to the Common Fund established under section 402A(c)(1) of the Public Health Service Act in proportion to the appropriations otherwise made to such Institutes, Centers, and Common Fund for fiscal year 2008: Provided, That funds shall be used to support additional scientific research and be available for the same purposes as the appropriation or fund to which transferred: Provided further, That this transfer authority is in addition to any other transfer authority available to the National Institutes of Health: Provided further, That none of these funds may be transferred to `National Institutes of Health--Buildings and Facilities', the Center for Scientific Review, the Center for Information Technology, the Clinical Center, the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, or the Office of the Director (except for the transfer to the Common Fund)."
S. 3689 contains additional DOE funding for its programs in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Advanced Battery Loan Guarantee Program, Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund, Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup, and Weapons Activity. For this language, search bill text by bill number S. 3689 at this Library of Congress site.