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FYI Number 104: June 30, 2005

Senate Appropriators Recommend 20.8% Increase for NIST

The bill written by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science that was approved by the full Appropriations Committee and then sent to the floor rejects many of the requests made by the Bush Administration in its submission to Congress. Notably, H.R. 2862 provides funding for the Advanced Technology Program which the Administration sought to terminate, as well as considerably more money than requested for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program. The subcommittee is chaired by Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL); Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) is the Ranking Democratic Member.

Below are the House (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/088.html for additional details) and Senate recommendations over current year funding, as well as selections from Senate Report 109-88. The full report may be accessed at http://thomas.loc.gov/ under "Committee Information."

OVERALL NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY:

The Bush Administration requested a 23.9% reduction in NIST's total budget, from $699.2 million to $532.0 million in FY 2006.

The House bill would provide $548.7 million, a reduction of 21.5% or $150.5 million.

The Senate bill would provide $844.5 million, an increase of 20.8% or $145.3 million.

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL RESEARCH AND SERVICES:

The Bush Administration requested an increase of 12.5% or $47.5 million, from $378.8 million to $426.3 million.

The House bill would provide $397.7 million, an increase of 5.0% or $18.9 million.

The Senate bill would provide $399.9 million, an increase of 5.6% or $21.1 million

The report states: "The recommendation provides the maximum funding deemed prudent for this account to insure that NIST meets its mission." Also, "Within the funds made available for Electronics and Electrical Engineering, $7,000,000 is for the Office of Law Enforcement Standards.

"Within the funds made available for Research Support Activities, $16,028,000 is for the Building Competence for Advanced Measurements Program, $1,027,000 is for the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Program, $10,678,000 is for the Postdoctoral Research Associates Program, $1,503,000 is for the Nanoparticle Risk Impact and Assessment Program, and $612,000 is for the Operation Safe Commerce Program."

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM:

The Bush Administration requested no funding for this program which it seeks to terminate. Current funding is $136.5 million.

The House bill agreed with the Administration's request, and provided no funding.

The Senate bill would provide $140.0 million, an increase of 2.6% or $3.5 million.

The report states, "Within the amounts made available, $60,000,000 is to be used to fund new awards. ATP is an industry-led, highly competitive, and cost-shared program that allows U.S. companies to develop the next generation of breakthrough technologies. These innovations enable revolutionary products, cutting-edge industrial manufacturing processes, and creative new services for the world's markets. Independent studies have shown that ATP is delivering on its mission. In a sampling of just 6 percent of the ATP projects, the sampled projects returned $17,000,000,000 in net economic benefits, approximately an eight-fold return on investment. The ATP program is critical to ensuring that U.S. industries capture market share in the facing of growing global competition, particularly in the fields of science and technology."

MANUFACTURING EXTENSION PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM:

The Administration requested a cut of 56.5% or $60.7 million, from $107.5 million to $46.8 million.

The House bill would provide $106.0 million, a cut of 1.4% or $1.5 million.

The Senate bill would provide, as did the House bill, $106.0 million.

The report states: "The Committee recommends an appropriation of $106,000,000 to fully fund all MEP centers. MEP supports a network of locally-run centers that provide technical advice and consultative services to small manufacturing companies in all 50 States and Puerto Rico. Many of these firms lack the technical knowledge and experience to implement cutting edge technologies and cost saving processes, which places them at risk from foreign competition. The MEP, since its inception, has consistently been the one program that small manufacturers could look to for assistance. Whether it is assisting with quality standards, implementing Y2K solutions, or providing strategic planning, the MEP has delivered the services needed by small manufacturers. Based on a sampling of clients surveyed in fiscal year 2004, MEP clients indicated that the assistance they received resulted in increased sales of $1,500,000,000; retained sales of $2,600,000,000; cost savings of $686,000,000; and the creation and retention of 50,315 jobs. These economic impacts justify the full funding of the MEP."

CONSTRUCTION OF RESEARCH FACILITIES:

The Administration requested $58.9 million. The current budget is $72.5 million.

The House bill would provide $45.0 million.

The Senate bill would provide $198.6 million.

The report states: "The recommendation funds the highest priority safety, capacity, maintenance, and repair projects at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Of the amounts provided: $4,000,000 is to enable the relocation of staff from the leased NIST North building back to the main Gaithersburg, Maryland, campus; $9,400,000 is for the final phase of construction of the Boulder, Colorado, Central Utility Plant; $4,000,000 is for the design and renovation of Building 4 in Boulder to facilitate the relocation of the Instrument Shops from Wing 3 of Building 1; $6,500,000 is for Phase I of the Building 1 renovation design which includes construction documentation and Architectural and Engineering Post Construction Award Service [PCAS] for the renovation of Wings 3 and 4; $4,000,000 is for the Institute for Security Technology Studies; and $10,100,000 is for Phase II of the Building 1 renovation design which includes construction documents and construction management for the remaining wings and spine of Building 1 in Boulder. Funding for the latter will allow economies of scale to be achieved in procuring construction support and design services. In addition, $35,000,000 is provided for ongoing Safety, Capacity, Maintenance, and Major Repairs projects at the Gaithersburg and Boulder facilities.

"The Committee has included bill language requiring that out-year budget estimates be submitted by the Secretary of Commerce for fiscal year 2007 and each year thereafter as part of the annual budget justification materials for each construction project supported by the NIST appropriations."

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

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