House and Senate appropriators on the two Interior Subcommittees have
rejected the Bush Administration's proposed FY 2003 budget reductions
for the U.S. Geological Survey. The Senate bill has been approved by
the full Appropriations Committee, and the committee report detailing
its recommendations is available. The House Appropriations Subcommittee's
bill has not been taken up by the full committee, and so the report
has not been released.
Here are the numbers:
The current budget for USGS is $914.0 million.
The Bush Administration's FY 2003 request was $867.3 million.
The House subcommittee's FY 2003 recommendation is $928 million.
The FY 2003 Senate Appropriations Committee figure is $926.7 million.
Senate appropriators made clear their disagreements with the Bush Administration's
FY 2003 request and admonished the Administration to change its approach
in the preparation of the FY 2004 request. Senate Appropriations Committee
report 107-201 states:
"The Committee is dismayed that the budget estimate
for the USGS once again recommends large reductions to valuable ongoing
programs. Proposals such as the elimination of the Toxic Substances
Hydrology program, a significant reduction to the National Water-Quality
Assessment program (NAWQA), and the elimination of Federal funding
for the Water Resources Research Institutes are but a few of the recommendations
included in the budget estimate. The Committee does not agree to the
termination or weakening of programs for which there is strong support
from a broad constituency, and a demonstrated value through the significant
amount of non-Federal funds that are leveraged through most USGS programs.
In the Committee's view, it will remain difficult to find the resources
to support new directions for the Survey as long as the annual need
to restore large amounts to base programs continues. As budget planning
gets underway for fiscal year 2004, the Committee urges those involved
in the process to bear in mind the expressed public support across
the United States for the Survey's programs."
Under the Senate bill, the following changes would be made in the USGS
Mapping, Remote Sensing, and Geographic Investigations: This
budget would decline 1.7%, or $2.2 million, from $133.3 million to $131.1
Geologic Hazards, Resources and Processes: The budget for this
program would increase 2.5%, or $5.8 million, from $232.8 million to
Water Resources Investigations: The Senate bill provides for
an increase of 1.8%, or $3.8 million, from $205.8 million to $209.6
million. Two controversial administration changes were rejected, the
Senate committee report stating: "The Committee does not concur
with the proposed reductions and has restored programmatic funds as
follows: $5,796,000 for the NAWQA program; $13,919,000 for the Toxic
Substances Hydrology program, which was proposed for elimination in
its current form. . . ." The toxic substances program was to have
been moved to the National Science Foundation under the administration's
Biological Resources: The Senate bill includes a 3.5%, or $5.8
million, increase in this program's budget from $166.4 million to $172.2
Science Support: The committee would reduce this budget by 0.6%,
or $521,000, from $86.3 million to $85.7 million. The report states:
"Changes to the budget request include decreases of $1,625,000
for accessible data transfer work and $1,000,000 for the Enterprise
Facilities: The Senate bill would reduce funding 0.1%, or $95,000,
to $89.4 million.
The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee passed its bill on June
25. It should go before the full committee in the near future.