The House Appropriations Committee has passed and sent to the House
floor the FY 2005 VA, HUD and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill.
Under this bill, the National Science Foundation's budget would be cut
by 2.0% or $111 million.
Here are the numbers:
The current NSF budget is $5,577.9 million.
The Bush Administration request is $5,744.7 million. This is an increase
of 3.0% or $167 million over the current budget.
The House appropriations bill recommends $5,467.0 million for FY 2005.
Neither the draft version of the committee's report or the press release
issued yesterday explains why this reduction was made.
The committee's report provides further detail on various budget components:
RESEARCH AND RELATED ACTIVITIES (R&RA):
The current budget is $4,251.4 million. The administration requested
$4,452.0 million. The House bill would provide $4,151.8 million, which
is a reduction of $99.6 million or 2.3% from this year.
The committee report shows two different figures for the R&RA reduction,
explaining that after various accounting revisions are made, funding
would be reduced $73.7 million from this year. Notably, the Math and
Science Partnership Program would continue to be funded in the Education
and Human Resources budget instead of in R&RA as proposed by the
administration in its budget submission. Administrative costs now funded
in R&RA were shifted to the foundation's salary account.
The committee report explains that "Given the overall funding
constraints, no funds are provided for the proposed [$20 million]
Workforce for the 21st Century program, the proposed new class of
Science and Technology Centers, or the proposed Innovation Fund."
The full request of $350 million was provided for the Office of Polar
Programs, the report stating, "The Committee expects NSF to
provide the necessary resources for operations, research support and
logistics, and science and research grant support to fully fund the
Regarding nanotechnology, the report states, "the Committee
remains concerned that researchers are reaching the physical limits
of current complementary metal oxide semiconductor process technology
and that this will have significant implications for continued productivity
growth in the information economy." After commending NSF's
activities, the report "encourages NSF to consider increasing
research support, where feasible, through this program."
MAJOR RESEARCH EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES CONSTRUCTION:
Several facilities would be funded at approximately the requested level:
ALMA (at $49.7 million), EarthScope (at $47.3 million), and Rare Symmetry
Violating Process (at $30.0 million).
The report states: "The Committee recommends $51,200,000 for
the IceCube Neutrino Detector Observatory, an increase of $9,450,000
above fiscal year 2004 level and $17,800,000 above the request. The
Committee has accelerated the funding profile to enable certain economies
to be achieved that will reduce the overall total project cost."
The Integrated Ocean Drilling program would be funded at $30.0 million;
the request was $40.9 million.
The administration requested $12.0 million for the National Ecological
Observatory Network in this account. The committee did not provide this
funding, but did include $6.0 million in the R&RA account above
for "continued planning and design activities."
EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES (EHR):
EHR funding would be cut under the House bill. As is true for the R&RA
component, the draft committee report shows two different reductions
because of the accounting changes described above.
The current EHR budget is $939.0 million. The administration requested
$771.4 million. The House bill would provide $843.0 million. This is
a reduction of 10.2% or $96.0 million from the current year.
The committee report draft language provides detail about various EHR
programs, and should be available shortly at the following site under
Under this bill, program funding would be changed from the current
year as follows:
Math and Science Partnerships: $82.5 million recommended; $139.2 million
current year EPSCoR: $94.4 million recommended; $94.4 million current
Elementary, Secondary and Informal Education: $175.5 million recommended;
$212.3 million current year
Undergraduate Education: $160.3 million recommended; $155.5 million
Graduate Education: $156.0 million recommended; $156.0 million current
Human Resource Development: $115.3 million recommended; $115.9 million
Research, Evaluation and Communication: $53.2 million recommended; $65.8
million current year.