Details of Final FY 2011 Appropriations Bill Emerging

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Publication date: 
12 April 2011

Following last Fridays night’s final negotiations on a bill to fund the federal government through September 30 of this year, the staff of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees worked to specify the cuts that would be made to department and agency programs.  Racing to complete the 459 page bill in order for it to be considered on the House and Senate floors this week, the legislation was filed in the House this morning at 2:00 AM. 

Current short-term funding expires on April 15, more than six months into FY 2011.  Under the deal stuck last week, a total of $38.5 billion was cut from current spending levels (which includes the previous reductions that were made in other short-term funding measures.)  A House Appropriations Committee release explained “when this agreement is signed into law, Congress will have taken the unprecedented step of passing the largest non-defense spending cut in the history of the history of our nation – tens of billions larger than any other non-defense reduction, and the biggest overall reduction since World War II.”  Total FY 2011 funding will be $78.5 billion less than that requested by the Obama Administration.

Numbers are beginning to be released about funding levels for departments, agencies, and programs.  A release from the Senate Appropriations Committee states, “as these cuts must be implemented in just the remaining six months of the fiscal year, their impact will be especially painful in some instances.” 

The below figures, provided by the House Appropriations Committee, do not include the 0.2 percent across the board cut that was made to all non-defense accounts.  In all instances, reductions from current FY 2010 levels are shown, and the numbers are rounded.  It should also be noted that the House Appropriations statement explains: “This list contains highlighted program cuts. This list is not comprehensive of all program funding levels in the legislation.”


National Science Foundation
Research and Related Activities: Down $43 million
Education and Human Resources: Down $10 million

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Education: Down $38 million
Cross Agency Support: Down $83 million
Construction and Environmental Compliance: Down $54 million

National Institute of Standards and Technology
Scientific and Technical Research and Services: Down $7 million
Technology Innovation Program: Down $25 million
Construction: Down $77 million


Department of Energy - Office of Science: Down $35 million


U.S. Geological Survey: Down $26 million
Climate change programs (bill wide): Down $49 million


National Institutes of Health - Buildings and Facilities: Down $50 million


In addition to these figures from the House Appropriations Committee, other sources provide the following comments on FY 2011 science funding:

White House Blog:

“We protected funding for critical programs that invest in science programs, our kids’ education, and critical health programs. . . .  Even though we will no longer double the funding of key research and development agencies, you will still see strong investments in National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation and the [DOE] Office of Science.” 

“We were able to avoid making than $500 million cut in lifesaving biomedical research at National Institutes of Health.”

Senate Appropriations Committee:

“The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) receives $180 million to develop high-risk, but promising future energy technologies.  This is $130 million above H.R. 1 and $180 million above the FY10 enacted level.”
“The National Science Foundation (NSF) is funded at $6.9 billion, which is $307 million above H.R. 1 and $53 million below the FY10 enacted level.  In September, Norm Augustine and the National Academy of Sciences updated the 2005 ‘Rising Above the Gathering Storm’ report.  They sounded the alarm once more that the United States is losing ground and that the road to increased economic competitiveness is doubling investments in scientific research and development and bring us the discoveries that create the new products and new companies that can help America get back to work and back to competing with our friends around the world.  The level provided in the CR [Continuing Resolution or final funding bill] saves approximately 500 research grants to support about 9,000 more scientists, technicians, teachers, and students."

House Appropriations Committee – Republicans:

Commerce, Justice, Science: The Commerce, Justice, Science section of the CR contains a total of $53.4 billion, a $10.9 billion, or 17%, reduction from fiscal year 2010 levels, and a reduction of $7.1 billion, or 12%, from the President’s fiscal year 2011 request.

“The CR provides funding above fiscal year 2010 levels for National Institute of Standards and Technology research and manufacturing programs . . . . The bill also includes $18.5 billion for NASA and fully funds the newly authorized exploration program.

“This section of the CR also prohibits funding for: the establishment of a Climate Service at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; the approval of new fisheries catch-share programs in certain fisheries; and for NASA and the Office of Science and Technology Policy to engage in bilateral activities with China.”

Energy and Water:   “The Energy and Water section is funded at $31.8 billion in the CR. This is a 10% reduction – or $3.6 billion – from the President’s fiscal year 2011 request, and a 5% reduction – or $1.7 billion – from fiscal year 2010 levels. These significant cuts further the House Republican commitment to deficit reduction and reining in the size of government, while at the same time protecting American security, providing support for private sector growth, and promoting a balanced national energy supply.

“The bill . . .  provides a $697 million (7%) increase for the National Nuclear Security Administration to ensure adequate funding for critical components of our national defense.”

Interior:  “The CR includes $29.6 billion in discretionary funding in the Interior and Environment section of the bill, which is 8.1%, or $2.62 billion, below the fiscal year 2010 enacted level and 8.5%, or $2.8 billion, below the President’s request.”

“ . . . climate change funding bill-wide is cut by $49 million (-13%)”

Labor, HHS, Education: “The Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies section of the CR contains a total of $157.7 billion, roughly a $5.5 billion, or 3.36%, reduction from fiscal year 2010 levels. The bill is also nearly $13 billion, or 7.6 percent, below the President’s fiscal year 2011 request.”

House Appropriations Committee – Democrats:

Energy and Water: “Science and ARPA-E programs are funded at $5 billion; $161 million above the enacted [FY 2010] level and $997 million above HR 1.”

Labor, HHS, Education:  “National Institutes of Health is funded at $30.7 billion; $260 million, or 0.8 percent, below the [FY 201] enacted level.  HR 1 cut NIH by $1.6 billion.”

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