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FYI Number 61: May 12, 2006

House Appropriators Recommend Increase in FY 2007 USGS Funding

The FY 2007 request that the Bush Administration sent to Congress earlier this year called for a 2.1% reduction in total U.S. Geological Survey funding (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2006/027.html .) Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee voted to keep the percentage number by which funding would change, but made it instead an increase of 2.1%. Under this bill, USGS funding would increase 2.1% or $20.8 million from $970.7 million to $991.5 million.

The House Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee (http://appropriations.house.gov/) is chaired by Rep. Charles H. Taylor (R-NC); the Ranking Minority Member is Norman Dicks (D-WA.)

TOTAL USGS FUNDING: Up 2.1% or $20.8 million from $970.7 million to $991.5 million. The Administration requested $944.8 million.

GEOGRAPHIC RESEARCH, INVESTIGATIONS AND REMOTE SENSING: Down 39.2% or $50.7 million from $129.3 million to $78.6 million. The Administration requested $76.6 million.

GEOLOGIC HAZARDS, RESOURCES, AND PROCESSES: Up 2.8% or $6.6 million from $235.3 million to $241.9 million. The Administration requested $217.4 million.

WATER RESOURCES INVESTIGATIONS: Up 1.0% or $2.0 million, from $211.8 million to $213.8 million. The Administration requested $204.1 million.

BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH: Up 0.4% or $0.7 million, from $174.9 million to $175.6 million. The Administration requested $172.6 million.

ENTERPRISE INFORMATION: Up 145.1% or $67.4 million from $46.4 million to $113.7 million. The Administration requested $111.2 million.

SCIENCE SUPPORT: Up 4.4% or $3.1 million from $69.3 million to $72.4 million. The Administration requested $67.4 million.

FACILITIES: Up 0.7% or $0.7 million from $94.8 million to $95.5 million. The Administration requested $95.5 million.

The forthcoming committee report explains the large changes in the Geographic Research and Enterprise Information funding recommendations as follows:

"Geographic Research, Investigations, and Remote Sensing . . . . The large reduction from the enacted [FY 2006 level] is due to the transfer of funds for the former cooperative topographic mapping programs to the Federal geographic data coordination subactivity within the enterprise information activity. The Committee agrees with Administration efforts to streamline geographic investigations and enhance national service; this is better accomplished by consolidating geographic funding in the enterprise activity as recommended in the request."

Also of note in this section is the following language: "The Committee has fully funded the requested funds, $15,950,000, for the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, which will place the next generation Landsat sensor in orbit. Long-term remote sensing data is vital to many aspects of the government and private sector and is strongly supported by this Committee. This funding will complement the larger commitment required by the NASA."

In another area, the appropriators take issue with the Administration. Under Geologic Hazards, Resources and Processes, the report states: "The Committee has restored fully the mineral resources program, including $18,443,000 for research and assessments and $4,500,000 for minerals information. The Committee strongly disagrees with the proposed reduction in the Survey's mineral resources program. Minerals and mineral products are important to the U.S. economy with processed minerals adding billions of dollars to the economy. Mineral commodities are essential to both national security and infrastructure development. Mineral resources research and assessments are a core responsibility of the Survey. The Committee does not agree that objective data on mineral commodities can be generated in the private sector and the Committee importunes the Administration to not propose this program elimination again."

For information on the FY 2007 USGS request see http://www.usgs.gov/budget/2007/

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

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