Appropriators Complete Work on FY 2002 National Science
The Senate VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee
completed its work yesterday, and this afternoon took its FY 2002 bill
before the full Senate Appropriations Committee. Some information on
the National Science Foundation portion of the bill has been made available.
Despite a higher subcommittee allocation, the Senate bill provides significantly
less money for the NSF in FY 2002 than the House bill.
The Senate bill numbers are unexpected because subcommittee chairman
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Ranking Minority Member Christopher "Kit"
Bond (R-MO) are the strongest advocates in the Senate for a doubling
of the NSF budget over five years. Such a doubling would have required
roughly a 15% increase to keep the foundation's budget on a steady projection.
The lack of a higher allocation was cited as the reason why the NSF
numbers are not higher. The Senate bill provides about 1/3 of what is
needed for a "doubling" budget.
The subcommittee bill would increase the total National Science Foundation
budget for FY 2002 by 5.6% to $4,672.5 million. The House bill would
provide a 9.4% increase to $4,840.1 million. The difference between
the two bills is $168 million. Both bills are higher than the Bush Administration's
request of $4,472.5 million. The current budget is $4,426.1 million.
The Senate bill also provides less for Research and Related Activities
than the House bill. The Senate bill recommends an increase of 4.9%
to $3,515.5 million. The House bill would increase this budget by 8.7%
to $3,642.3 million. The difference between the bills is $127.8 million.
The Bush Administration had sought a reduction to $3,326.9 million.
The current budget is $3,350.0 million.
The two bills differ markedly in the Major Research Equipment account.
The Senate bill would reduce this budget by 10.5% to $108.8 million.
In contrast, the House bill recommends an 11.3% increase to $135.3 million.
The difference is $26.5 million. The Bush Administration sought a reduction
to $96.3 million. The current budget is $121.6 million.
The House bill is also higher for the Education and Human Resources
budget. The Senate bill includes an 11.0% increase to $872.4 million,
which was the Administration's request. The House bill would increase
this budget by 12.8% to $886.0 million. The difference between the two
bills is $13.6 million. The current budget is $785.6 million.
Report language from both the House and Senate bills will be summarized
in forthcoming issues of FYI, as well as information on the Senate numbers
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted its approval of this bill
this afternoon, and sent it to the full Senate. It appears that no changes
were made in the National Science Foundation portion of the bill. The
Senate floor schedule is unclear at this point, as Democratic and Republican
leaders are arguing over the agenda for the two weeks remaining before
the summer recess.
Richard M. Jones
Public Information Division
American Institute of Physics