House Passes FY 2012 NASA/NIST/NSF Funding Bill; Department of Energy Funding Bill Stalled

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Publication date: 
17 November 2011

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FY  2012 Appropriations for NASA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National  Science Foundation:

Moments  ago the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 298-121 the FY 2012 appropriations  bill providing funding for NASA, the National Institute of Standards and  Technology, and the National Science Foundation.  Under this legislation funding for the three  agencies would change as follows (as compared to the current level):

  • National  Aeronautics and Space Administration: Down 3.5 percent
  • National  Institute of Standards and Technology: Up 0.1 percent
  • National  Science Foundation: Up 2.5 percent

Of  note, the final conference agreement provides $529.6 million for the James Webb  Space Telescope.  The Administration  requested $373.7 million; House appropriators had provided no funding.

In  general, total funding for all the departments and agencies funded through the  three appropriations bills (Agriculture; Commerce-Justice-Science;  Transportation-HUD) in H.R. 2112 is higher than that originally proposed in two  House bills.  In almost all instances,  final funding is significantly less than that requested by the Obama  Administration.  Total funding in the  Commerce-Justice-Science portion of the bill (in which NASA, NIST, and NSF are funded)  is 7 percent less than the Administration requested, and about 1 percent less  than current levels. 

The  Senate is scheduled to consider and expected to pass this bill tomorrow.

Forthcoming  issues of FYI will review funding levels and report language in H.R. 2112 for  NASA, NIST, and NSF.

FY  2012 Appropriation for Department of Energy:

The  earlier plan for the Senate to pass the FY 2012 Energy and Water Development  Appropriations Bill as a vehicle for a second package of appropriations bills  has gone off track.  It now appears that  this bill and the other eight remaining funding measures will be merged into a  single bill.  H.R. 2112 (above) would  extend FY2012 funding for the remaining departments and agencies through December  16.