As explained in FYI
#157, the seven remaining unfinished appropriations bills have been
combined into a massive omnibus funding bill, H.R. 2673. The following
are selections from H. Rept. 108-401 pertaining to the National Institute
of Standards and Technology, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging
and Bioengineering, the NIH Roadmap Initiative, and the Math-Science
Partnership Program within the Department of Education.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY:
The FY 2004 budget cycle saw a continuation of the struggle over the
Advanced Technology Program of the National Institute of Standards
and Technology. While both the Bush Administration and the House of
Representatives supported dramatic cuts leading to the termination of
ATP, the final bill provides funding to keep the program in place.
First, the numbers:
The conferees made a significant reduction in overall NIST funding.
After adjusting the conference report number for the required 0.59%
across-the-board-reduction, the institute's budget for FY 2004 is
$624.4 million. This is a cut of 11.8% or $83.1 million from last
year's budget of $707.5 million. The Bush Administration requested
All FY 2004 numbers have been adjusted for the required 0.59%
NIST:SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL RESEARCH AND SERVICES
This budget contains funding for the NIST laboratories and the
Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program. After subtracting out the
$5.7 million for the award program, the remaining budget for the
laboratories for FY 2004 is $336.7 million. This is a cut of 4.3% or
$15.2 million from last year's laboratory budget of $351.9 million.
The Administration requested $381.8 million.
NIST:INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY SERVICES
Advanced Technology Program: The conferees provided $178.1 million
for this program. This is essentially flat funding for this program,
as last year's budget was $178.0 million. The Administration
requested $27 million to cover only "administrative and other
expenses needed to terminate" this program. The conference report
states: "The conference agreement does not include a $50,000,000
program as proposed by the Senate for ATP focused competitions on
homeland security technologies. The conferees agree that a focused
competition on homeland security technologies should be held out of
the $60,700,000 provided for new awards."
Manufacturing Extension Partnership: The conferees provided $39.4
million for this program. This is a cut of 62.8% or $66.5 million
from last year's budget of $105.9 million. The Administration
requested $12.6 million.
NIST:CONSTRUCTION OF RESEARCH FACILITIES
Conferees provided $64.6 million for "the construction and major
renovations of the NIST campuses at Boulder, Colorado, and
Gaithersburg, Maryland." The Administration requested $69.6 million.
The report states: "The conference agreement provides sufficient
funding to complete the new Advanced Measurement Laboratory in
Gaithersburg, Maryland and the conferees expect occupancy by 2005.
The conference agreement adopts, by reference, language proposed by
the Senate regarding a facilities improvement plan."
Other parts of the omnibus bill contains funding levels and in one
case, program direction, for other research accounts.
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: NIBIB and ROADMAP INITIATIVE
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF BIOMEDICAL IMAGING AND BIOENGINEERING: The
bill provides $287.2 million (adjusted) for NIBIB for FY 2004. This
is an increase of 3.2% or $8.9 million from last year's budget of
$278.3 million. The Administration requested $282.1 million. There
was no policy report language pertaining to NIBIB.
NIH ROADMAP INITIATIVE: As reviewed in /fyi/2003/130.html,
the director of NIH released a "roadmap initiative" in October
that includes multidisciplinary research. The conference report states:
"The conference agreement includes language proposed by the Senate
authorizing the Director of NIH to enter into agreements to carry out
research in support of the NIH roadmap initiative. The House bill did
not include such a provision. This provision has been included to assess
the merits of this funding approach and to demonstrate whether this
funding mechanism would accelerate the research agenda. The conferees
direct the Director of the NIH to enter into these agreements solely
on the basis of scientific merit, opportunity for medical breakthroughs
and urgency of need. It is the conferees intent that these funds be
obligated solely at the discretion of the Director of NIH. The conferees
understand that all awards would be subject to a competitive process.
The language in this Title appropriating funds for the Office of the
Director of NIH includes a limitation of $7,500,000 which may be used
under the authority created in this general provision."
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: MATH AND SCIENCE PARTNERSHIPS:
The conference agreement provides $149.1 million for this program in
FY 2004. This is an increase of 48.5% or $48.7 million from last
year's budget of $100.4 million. The Administration requested $12.5
million. There was no policy language in the conference report. The
National Science Foundation also has a Math and Science Partnership
Program; the FY 2004 budget for the foundation's program is $139.2