Congress appears poised to increase funding for the U.S. Geological
Survey for FY 2002, despite the Bush Administration's attempt to cut
the agency's FY 2002 budget by almost 8%. This outcome follows the action
taken by the Senate Appropriations Committee last Thursday, and earlier
floor action in the House.
The House bill would increase funding for USGS by 2.3% in FY 2002.
The Senate bill would increase the budget by 1.4%.
Both outcomes were telegraphed in April hearings. Interior Secretary
Gale Norton ran into tough questioning from subcommittee appropriators
on both sides of the aisle and the Capitol about the proposed cuts in
the survey's budget for next year. Members were concerned about what
reductions would mean in USGS core and related activities, and did not
seem assuaged by the Secretary's assurances. The House Committee report
reflects this concern, stating:
"The Committee restored a number of high-priority research programs
that were proposed for reduction or elimination. The Committee believes
that the Department of the Interior and other Federal agencies should
make resource decisions based on the best science available. The Survey's
principal goals and objectives should include an appropriate mix of
basic and applied science that address both the needs of the Department
of the Interior as well as important scientific issues of national
Senate Appropriations Chairman Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) stated that
"the bill restores funding for the vital national science programs
conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey."
The USGS budget has six major components:
The National Mapping Program budget in FY 2002 would remain
basically flat under both bills, the House bill providing a small
increase; the Senate bill a small decrease.
The Geologic Hazards, Resources, and Processes FY 2002 budget
would increase 1.8% under the Senate bill and 1.3% under the House
The Water Resources Investigations budget for next year would
decline 1.3% in the Senate bill, and increase by 1.0% in the House
The FY 2002 Biological Research budget would increase 2.4%
under the Senate bill and 1.8% in the House bill.
Science Support would increase 10.3% in the Senate bill in
FY 2002 and 17.1% in the House bill.
The FY 2002 Facilities budget would decline 2.8% in the Senate
bill and 3.1% in the House bill.
Committee report language in both versions of the bill earmarks projects.
The report language for both bills is available here.
The House Report is 107-93; the Senate Report is 107-36.
Richard M. Jones
Public Information Division
American Institute of Physics