The new fiscal year starts on October 1, and only two of the appropriations
bills have been signed into law. With the exception of the appropriation
for the U.S. Geological Survey, none of the bills funding physical and
astronomical sciences or K-12 math and science education have been passed.
Below is a recap of where these bills stand. The AIP Government Relations
website at http://aip.org/gov categorizes
budget-related FYIs by agency or department on an on-going basis; see
FY 2006 APPROPRIATIONS BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW:
INTERIOR AND ENVIRONMENT (H.R. 2361): This bill, which funds
the U.S. Geological Survey, was the first appropriations bill to be
sent to President Bush. The USGS budget will increase by 4.2% or $39.5
million on October 1. President Bush had sought a cut of 0.2% from the
current budget of $935.5 million (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/116.html).
Since this is signed legislation, it will not be affected by a year-long
continuing resolution or omnibus bill (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/133.html),
except if subsequent legislation reaches back to reduce funding.
FY 2006 APPROPRIATIONS BILLS PASSED BY BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE:
ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT (H.R. 2419): Both chambers have
passed versions of this legislation, rejecting the Bush Administration's
proposal to reduce the budget for the Office of Science by 3.8%. The
House bill would increase the budget by 1.8%, while the Senate bill
proposes a 2.9% increase; see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/098.html.
The House and Senate bills differ greatly in funding levels and policies
regarding the Administration's nuclear weapons initiatives; see
http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/099.html and http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/073.html
There is also great difference in how each bill would treat spent nuclear
fuel: see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/082.html
Remember that this bill also funds the Army Corps of Engineers, which
is in the spotlight because of the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.
HOMELAND SECURITY (H.R. 2360): Both the House and Senate passed
versions of H.R. 2360. The House bill would provide a 20.2% increase
for the Science and Technology Directorate (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/071.html)
while the Senate bill would increase funding by 31.1% (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/106.html).
The Administration sought a 23.0% increase. This bill is now in conference.
Hurricane Katrina will affect budget and policy decisions in this bill.
OTHER FY 2006 APPROPRIATIONS BILLS:
SCIENCE/STATE/JUSTICE/COMMERCE (House) and COMMERCE/JUSTICE/SCIENCE
(Senate) (H.R. 2862): The House passed this bill in June; the Senate
version is now on the floor. The bill provides funding for physical
sciences research in the three agencies. National Science Foundation:
the House would increase funding by 3.1% (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/087.html)
and the Senate bill by 1.1% (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/103.html.)
The Bush Administration sought a 2.4% increase. NASA: the House
bill would provide $16.471 billion (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/089.html)
and the Senate bill $16.396 billion (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/105.html.)
The Administration sought $16.456 billion. National Institute of
Standards and Technology: there are major differences in the two
bills. The Administration requested a cut of 23.9% in the overall NIST
budget. The House would reduce NIST's budget by 21.5%, which the Senate
bill would increase it by 20.8% (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/104.html).
Yesterday, the Senate rejected decisively an amendment to eliminate
funding for the Advanced Technology Program.
LABOR/HHS/EDUCATION (H.R. 3010): This bill funds the Department
of Education's Math and Science Partnership program and the National
Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. The House has passed
its bill, while the Senate bill awaits floor consideration. For the
Partnership program, the House would increase funding by 6.4%;
the Senate bill contained no increase (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/110.html.)
The Administration requested a change in the program content in its
budget request, resulting in an effective cut of 16.6%. For NIBIB,
the House voted a 0.5% increase as sought by the Administration, while
the Senate would increase funding by 3.7% (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/115.html.)
DEFENSE (H.R. 2863): The Senate Appropriations Committee has
not drafted its bill. Under the House-passed bill, funding for defense
science and technology programs (6.1, 6.2, and 6.3) would be reduced
by 0.6% or $83.6 million (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/091.html.)
The Administration requested a cut of 21.1%.