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
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
The Senate bill would provide $399.9 million, an increase of 5.6% or
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
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
The Senate bill would provide $140.0 million, an increase of 2.6% or
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
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
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
"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