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FYI Number 114: September 8, 2003

FY 2004 NSF Budget Coming Into Focus

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have completed work on their versions of the FY 2004 VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill for FY 2004. The House bill contains the most money for the National Science Foundation in the new fiscal year, with an increase of 6.2%. The Senate bill recommends an increase of 5.2%.

Four figures provide perspective on the pending increase for NSF:

This year's NSF budget increased 10.4% over FY 2002.

The Bush Administration's calculated FY 2004 NSF request was a 3.2% increase over FY 2003.

The Consumer Price Index increased 2.1% from the second quarter of 2002 to the same period in 2003.

The House Science Committee's "Views and Estimates" recommended a total NSF FY 2004 budget of $6.390 billion, as authorized in the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002. The House bill would provide $5.639 billion; the Senate bill $5.586 billion.

Regarding this Act, the draft report language of the Senate Appropriations Committee explained that "The Committee continues to be supportive of the efforts achieved in the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-368) and the pursuit of a doubling path for NSF funding. However, due to funding constraints, the Committee is not able to provide such funding at this time, but will continue to pursue these efforts in the future."

A future FYI will excerpt Senate Committee report language of interest to the physics community. The following figures have been released:

The overall NSF budget would increase 6.2%, or $329.1 million, to $5,639.1 million in the House bill. In the Senate bill, it would increase 5.2%, or $275.8 million, to $5,585.8 million.

The Research and Related Activities budget would increase 6.2%, or $249.9 million, to $4,306.4 million in the House bill. In the Senate bill, it would increase 4.0%, or $164.2 million, to 4,220.6 million.

- The Mathematical and Physical Sciences activity budget would increase 6.4%, or $66.7 million, to $1,107.8 million in the House bill. In the Senate bill, it would increase 4.3%, or $44.9 million, to $1,085.9 million.

- The Geosciences activity budget would increase 3.7%, or $25.8 million, to $718.1 million in the House bill. The Senate bill provides no increase.

- The Engineering activity budget would increase 3.6%, or $19.6 million, to $560.1 million, in the House bill. The Senate bill provides a 1.8%, or $9.5 million, increase to $550.0 million.

- The U.S. Polar Programs budget would increase 11.3%, or $35.9 million, to $355.0 million in the House bill. The Senate bill provides a 7.1%, or $22.7 million, increase to $341.7 million.

The Education and Human Resources Activity budget would increase 0.2%, or $1.5 million, to $904.7 million in the House bill. The Senate bill provides an 8.0%, or $72.7 million, increase to $975.9 million.

The Major Research Equipment and Facilities budget would increase 29.5%, or $43.8 million, to $192.3 million in the House bill. The Senate bill provides a 0.8%, or $1.1 million, increase to $149.7 million. Within this budget (figures are as compared to the Administration's request, not current year funding.):

- Both bills provide the requested level of funding for the George E. Brown Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation.

The House bill provides the requested level of funding for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array; the Senate bill $0.2 million more.

The House bill provides the requested level for South Pole Modernization; the Senate bill $0.34 million more.

The House bill provides less than the requested amount of funding for the IceCube Neutrino Detector (reduced 16%, or $8 million, to $42 million), as does the Senate bill that provides $35.5 million.

The House bill provides less than the requested amount of funding for Earthscope (reduced 3.3%, or $1.5 million, to $43.5 million), as does the Senate bill that provides $43.7 million.

The House bill provides less than the requested amount of funding for Terascale Computing Systems (reduced 50%, or $10 million, to $10 million), as does the Senate bill that provides $10.1 million.

The Senate bill provides no funding for "new starts."

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
fyi@aip.org
(301) 209-3095

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