Policy Corner: FASEB Update on Federal Funding Bills
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), of which ACSM is a member society, has provided a recap of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees consideration of the fiscal year (FY) 2013 funding bills. Despite the tight spending limits, there is some good news to share.
National Science Foundation (NSF) – the House Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Subcommittee released its version of the bill that funds NSF on April 18th. The subcommittee provided $7.333 billion for the NSF – a $299 million (4.3 percent) increase over the enacted FY 2012 level and $41 million below the President’s FY 2013 request. Included in the total NSF budget is $5.943 billion for research and related activities, $196 million for major research equipment and facilities construction, and $876 million for education and human resources. A press release summarizing the bill and the complete bill text are available on the committee website. The CJS Subcommittee held a markup on the draft bill on April 19th. During the 40 minute hearing, CJS Subcommittee Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA), Full Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), and Ranking Members Chaka Fattah (D-PA) and Norm Dicks (D-WA) all complimented the bill’s increased funding for research at NSF. No amendments were added to the bill. CJS Subcommittee Chairman Wolf’s opening statement is available here. Chairman Rogers’ opening statement can be viewed here. Representative Fattah’s opening statement is available here and Representative Dicks’ remarks can be viewed here. The CJS bill was approved via voice vote and may be considered by the full House Appropriations Committee sometime next week.
Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE SC) – on April 18th, the House Energy and Water (E&W) Appropriations Subcommittee approved its appropriations bill, which provides the DOE SC with $4.825 billion – $49 million (1.0 percent) below the enacted level of $4.874 billion in the final FY 2012 bill and $167 million below the President’s FY 2013 request of $4.992 billion. In addition, the bill provides $200 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program. In their opening statements, Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Peter Visclosky (D-IN) said that DOE SC research programs that advance American innovation and competitiveness were a high priority in the bill. No amendments were offered during the brief mark-up, but Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) took the opportunity to voice his support for the DOE national labs. A press release summarizing the bill and the complete bill text are available on the committee website. The full House Appropriations Committee will mark-up the Energy & Water Appropriations bill on Wednesday, April 25th.
National Science Foundation (NSF) – on April 17th, the Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee passed its FY 2013 funding bill, which provides $7.273 billion for the NSF. This funding level is $240 million (3.4 percent) above the enacted FY 2012 level of $7.033 billion and $100 million below the President’s FY 2013 request of $7.373 billion. During the mark-up, Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) noted the importance of NSF research and referenced the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) was the only member to vote against the bill. The subcommittee has not yet provided funding details on specific accounts within NSF, but a summary of the bill and an audio-only webcast of the mark-up are available on the committee website. The full Senate Appropriations Committee approved the CJS bill yesterday (April 19th) by a vote of 28-1. Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye’s (D-HI) opening statement from the full committee mark-up is available here.
The Senate E&W Subcommittee is scheduled to mark-up the bill that funds DOE SC on Tuesday, April 24th at 10:30 a.m.
The House Appropriations Committee is expected to approve the 302(b) allocations (e.g. the total level of funding available for each of the 12 spending bills) at the full committee mark-up of the E&W bill on April 25th.
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the 302(b) allocations for their subcommittees on April 19th by a bipartisan vote of 27-2 (Senators Ron Johnson, R-WI and Jerry Moran, R-KS were the “no” votes). In good news, the subcommittees that fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH), DOE SC, the Veterans Administration Medical and Prosthetic Research Program, and the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) at the Department of Agriculture received increases above their FY 2012 spending limits. The allocations for the subcommittees that fund the federal science agencies are as follows:
On April 18th, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) joined in the budget drama by sending a letter to the House Appropriations Committee Chairman stating that President Barack Obama will not sign any FY 2013 appropriations bills that are below the caps established by the Budget Control Act (BCA). The spending limits in the House Appropriations Committee bills are lower than the levels in the BCA. The OMB letter can be viewed here. It notes that, “Unfortunately, the House Budget Resolution for FY 2013 breaks our bipartisan agreement and proposes $28 billion in new cuts in annual non-defense spending – exactly the area we have already cut the most. The resolution’s framework allows only two options: every appropriations bill will provide inadequate funding, or some bills will provide adequate funding so that other bills will face even deeper, more problematic cuts. These funding levels will mean deep and painful cuts in investments that America needs to succeed – in education and training, in research and development, and in clean energy and infrastructure – and will undermine future economic growth and degrade many of the basic government services on which the American people rely.”
FASEB will continue to monitor the appropriations process and keep you updated on new developments.