One of the more surprising outcomes in this year's budget cycle for
science and technology programs is contained in the below conference
report language. Despite wide spread expectation that this would be
the year that the Bush Administration would succeed in eliminating the
Advanced Technology Program (ATP), there is almost $80.0 million for
the program in FY 2006.
When Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC) retired, the survival of ATP
seemed very much in doubt. Hollings was the chief defender of ATP in
previous years, and this year the House again had agreed with the Administration
to kill ATP.
However, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) and his appropriations colleagues
took a different approach, including $140.0 million for ATP in their
version of H.R. 2862, the Science, State, Justice and Commerce Appropriations
Bill. ATP funding was maintained, although at a far lower figure, in
the final version of the bill. In addition, dramatic cuts in the Manufacturing
Extension Partnership program that were sought by the Administration
were rejected. The final version of this bill, drafted by Shelby and
his counterpart, House appropriations subcommittee chairman Frank Wolf
(R-VA) and their staffs, has passed the House and is awaiting action
in the Senate. Selections from the conference report accompanying the
bill, 109-272 follow. The entire report may be read at http://thomas.loc.gov/
The figures in the quoted report selections below, as was true for
the NSF and NASA appropriations, must be reduced by 0.28% as required
by a bookkeeping requirement in the bill. Figures that have been adjusted
are so noted. In addition, all amounts are subject to further reduction
(perhaps two to three percent), if Congress decides to offset hurricane
TOTAL NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY:
The FY 2005 budget was $699.2 million.
The Administration requested $532.0 million.
The new (tentative) adjusted budget is $759.7 million, an increase of
8.7% or $60.5 million. See an important note under construction funding
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL RESEARCH AND SERVICES
The FY 2005 budget was $378.8 million.
The Administration requested $426.3 million.
The new (tentative) adjusted budget is $398.8 million, an increase of
5.3% or $20.0 million.
The conference report specifies funding levels for different programs
within this budget. The report also states:
"The conference agreement includes, by reference, language
in the Senate report regarding the Office of Law Enforcement Standards.
The conference agreement also includes, by reference, language in the
House report regarding the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program,
and international standards negotiations. (See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/088.html.)
"Within the funding for Research Support Activities, the conference
agreement continues funding of $2,400,000 for a telework project and
$6,500,000 for a critical infrastructure program, both of which received
similar funding in previous fiscal years. The conference agreement also
includes $1,027,000 for the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science
and Technology Program, $1,503,000 for the Nanoparticle Risk Impact
and Assessment Program, and $612,000 for the Operation Safe Commerce
Program. Finally, the amount for Research Support Activities includes
$4,864,000 for high priority requested program increases, such as the
National Nanomanufacturing and Nanometrology Facility, biosystems and
health, and quantum processing initiatives."
HOLLINGS MANUFACTURING EXTENSION PARTNERSHIP:
The FY 2005 budget was $107.5 million.
The Administration requested $46.8 million.
The new (tentative) adjusted budget is $105.7 million, a cut of 1.7%
or $1.8 million.
The report states: "The conference agreement adopts, by reference,
language in the House report regarding the requirements for applicants
seeking assistance." (See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/088.html.)
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM:
The FY 2005 budget was $136.5 million.
The Administration requested no funding.
The new (tentative) adjusted budget is $79.8 million, a cut of 41.6%
or $56.7 million.
The report states: "The conference agreement does not adopt
bill language providing specific funding for new awards as proposed
by the Senate." (See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/104.html.)
CONSTRUCTION OF RESEARCH FACILITIES:
The FY 2005 budget was $72.5 million.
The Administration requested $58.9 million.
The new (tentative) (adjusted) budget is $175.4 million, an increase
of 141.9% or $102.9 million.
"The conference agreement includes $48,898,000 for maintenance,
repair, construction and major renovations of the NIST campuses at Boulder,
CO, and Gaithersburg, MD. The conferees provide $35,498,000 for safety,
capacity, maintenance, and major repairs, including not less than $5,000,000
for Advanced Measurement Lab maintenance; $9,400,000 for central utility
plant upgrades for the Boulder, CO campus; and $4,000,000 for the NIST
North relocation and remediation project. The balance of funds under
this heading is allocated to activities specified in section 207."
Section 207 of this bill lists ten earmarks with a total value of