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FYI Number 118: September 8, 2004

Status of FY 2005 Appropriations Bills

The new fiscal year starts in a little over three weeks, and twelve of the thirteen appropriations bills are far from complete. As Congress returns to work this week, it faces a daunting work load beset by real time constraints in a highly partisan environment. This FYI reviews the status of the appropriations bills of greatest interest to the physics community. A subsequent FYI will look at some of the constraints to the completion of these bills.

DEFENSE:

The FY 2005 Defense Department Appropriations bill has been signed into law. It is the only appropriations bill that has been completed. Under PL 108-287, total spending for the 6.1 (basic research), 6.2 (applied research) and 6.3 (advanced technology development) programs will increase 10.3% over this year. Total 6.1 funding will increase 7.8%, 6.2 funding will increase 11.9%, and 6.3 funding will increase 9.8%. See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2004/097.html

ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT APPROPRIATIONS BILL:

The House passed its version of this FY 2005 funding bill on June 25. The Senate bill has not cleared the subcommittee.

H.R. 4614 would increase the high energy physics budget by 2.7%; the nuclear physics budget by +6.5%, the basic energy sciences budget by +8.8%, the fusion energy sciences budget by +5.1%, and the advanced scientific computing research budget by +15.7%. The only budget that would be cut is that for Biological and Environmental Research, by a proposed -10.9%. All figures are as compared to the current year's budget.

The House bill provides no funding for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, Advanced Concepts Research, Enhanced Test Readiness, and the Modern Pit Facility.

For further details, see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2004/074.html, http://www.aip.org/fyi/2004/081.html, and http://www.aip.org/fyi/2004/082.html.

VA, HUD AND INDEPENDENT AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL:

This bill provides funding for both the National Science Foundation and NASA. The House Appropriations Bill has sent its bill to the House floor where it awaits action. The Senate bill has not cleared the subcommittee.

NSF: The unnumbered House bill includes a reduction of 2.0% in the total NSF budget from the current year. The Research and Related Activities budget would be cut by 2.3%. The Education and Human Resources budget would be slashed by 10.2% For further detail, see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2004/099.html

NASA: The House bill would cut the total NASA budget by 1.5% from the current year. The Science, Aeronautics and Exploration budget would decline 2.7%. The Exploration Capabilities account would be reduced 0.3%. See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2004/098.html

COMMERCE, JUSTICE, STATE APPROPRIATIONS BILL:

The House has passed its version of this legislation that provides funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The Senate has not acted on its bill.

Under H.R. 4754, the budget for the NIST laboratories would be increased by 13.5% as compared to the current year. The budget for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program would go up by 170.5%, while funding for the Advanced Technology Program would be terminated. See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2004/093.html

INTERIOR APPROPRIATIONS BILL:

The House has passed its version of this bill that provides funding for the U.S. Geological Survey. The Senate has not acted.

H.R. 4568 provides a 0.7% increase for USGS as compared to this year. Under this bill, the budgets for USGS programs would see the following changes: Mapping, Remote Sensing and Geographic Investigations funding would decline 5.4%. Geologic Hazards, Resources and Processes funding would decline 1.4%. Water Resources Investigations funding would decline 2.0%. The budget for Biological Research would be cut by 1.4%. The Enterprise Information budget would decline 2.2%. Funding for Science Support would be slashed by 25.7%. Facilities funding would increase 3.1%. See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2004/078.html

HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS BILL:

The House has passed its Homeland Security Appropriations Bill; the Senate Appropriations Committee has sent its bill to the floor, with action expected this week.

H.R. 4567 provides a 22.4% increase for the Research, Development, Acquisitions and Operations Account, the major component of the Science and Technology Directorate. S. 2537 contains an increase of 17.0%. See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2004/079.html and http://www.aip.org/fyi/2004/088.html

LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS BILL:

The House Appropriations Committee has passed its bill which provides funding for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at NIH and the Math-Science Partnership Program at the Department of Education. The Senate has not acted.

Under this unnumbered House bill, funding for the partnership program would increase 80%. Figures for NIBIB are not yet available. See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2004/109.html

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

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