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FYI Number 61: June 13, 2007

House Appropriators Reject FY 2008 USGS Requested Cuts

The House Appropriations Committee, rejecting the Bush Administration's proposed cuts to the U.S. Geological Survey's FY 2008 budget, has sent to the House floor a bill recommending a 4.5 percent increase in the survey's budget.

The committee released House Committee Report 110-187 that accompanies H.R. 2643, the FY 2008 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (see http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app08.html.) The report provides the recommendations of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee that is chaired by Norman Dicks (D-WA); the Ranking Minority Member is Todd Tiahrt (R-KS). Selections from the committee report follow, as well as percentage changes from the current USGS budget.

OVERALL USGS:

The FY 2007 current budget for USGS is $988.1 million.
The Bush Administration requested $975.0 million.
The House Appropriations Committee would provide $1,032.8 million, an increase of 4.5 percent or $44.7 million.

The report recommends the following funding levels for various USGS programs:

GEOGRAPHIC RESEARCH, INVESTIGATIONS, AND REMOTE SENSING:

The FY 2007 current budget is $80.2 million
The Bush Administration requested $75.00 million.
The House Appropriations Committee would provide $80.0 million, a cut of 0.3 percent or $0.2 million.

The committee report states:

"The recommendation includes $2,000,000 for the national cooperative geographic information system mapping program and $3,000,000 for the geographic analysis and monitoring activity to enhance the integrated multi-hazards initiative and to restore reductions in the request. The recommendation fully funds the budget request of $24,150,000 for the Landsat Data Continuity Mission."

GEOLOGIC HAZARDS, RESOURCE AND PROCESSES:

The FY 2007 current budget is $237.0 million
The Bush Administration requested $222.1 million.
The House Appropriations Committee would provide $249.8 million, an increase of 5.4 percent or $12.8 million.

The committee report states:

"The recommendation includes a total of $51,636,000 for the minerals resources program, an increase of $21,749,000 above the request. This large funding increase restores the minerals assessment team; the Committee strongly encourages the Administration to support this vital program and not suggest its elimination again. Other changes include increases of $4,000,000 for the earthquake multi-hazards program, $500,000 each for the volcano and global seismographic network programs, and $1,000,000 for national cooperative geologic mapping. The increase for earthquake science and monitoring should be used to enhance monitoring and analysis around the Nation and be implemented in cooperation with the integrated multi-hazards demonstration project. The Committee is aware that earthquake science is vital to the Nation and the Survey should consider major faults wherever they occur."

WATER RESOURCES INVESTIGATIONS:

The FY 2007 current budget is $214.9 million
The Bush Administration requested $212.5 million.
The House Appropriations Committee would provide $223.5 million, an increase of 4.0 percent or $8.6 million.

The committee report states:

"Changes from the request include: an increase of $2,667,000 for the National streamflow information program to enhance the multi-hazards initiative and to rebuild basic capacity for this vital network; $1,000,000 for hydrologic research and development; $964,000 for the cooperative water program; and an increase of $6,404,000 for the Water Resources Research Act program to bring its funding back to the fiscal year 2006 level."

BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH:

The FY 2007 current budget is $175.7 million
The Bush Administration requested $181.1 million.
The House Appropriations Committee would provide $187.1 million, an increase of 6.5 percent or $11.4 million.

The committee report states:

"The recommendation includes the requested amount to continue support of the national rare species data network and the highly pathogenic avian influenza monitoring effort. Changes from the request include a non-specified increase of $4,500,000 to restore basic biological research and monitoring capacity such as restoring funding for contaminant/endocrine biology and northwest forest biology, and $1,500,000 for the cooperative research units. The Committee recommendation fully funds the budget request of $5,000,000 for the Healthy Lands Initiative, and provides no less than the request for the multi-hazards initiative."

ENTERPRISE INFORMATION:

The FY 2007 current budget is $111.8 million
The Bush Administration requested $112.1 million.
The House Appropriations Committee would provide the requested $112.1 million, an increase of 0.3 percent or $ 0.3 million.

The committee report states:

"The Committee notes with concern that the Survey continues to have difficulties consolidating the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC). The ongoing delays are harming the Federal functions of geospatial and technical science. Services to the national geospatial community are too important to risk loss or delay of these functions. The Committee directs the Survey to implement a new and streamlined approach to establish a future Federal NGTOC with operations centers in both existing sites."

SCIENCE SUPPORT:

The FY 2007 current budget is $67.8 million
The Bush Administration requested $68.2 million.
The House Appropriations Committee would provide $68.7 million, an increase of 1.4 percent or $0.9 million.

The committee report states:

"The Committee has rejected the request for $2,440,000 in this account related to development costs of the department-wide financial and business management system (FBMS). Funding for the FBMS activity has been consolidated in the 'Office of the Secretary' account."

FACILITIES:

The FY 2007 current budget is $95.4 million
The Bush Administration requested $101.6 million.
The House Appropriations Committee would provide the requested $101.6 million, an increase of 6.4 percent or $6.1 million.

The committee report states: "The Committee fully supports the needed updates in the request for the wildlife research facilities."

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH PROGRAM INCREASE:

The Bush Administration requested $10.0 million.
The House Appropriations Committee would provide $10.0 million.

The committee report states:

"The Committee recommends a $10,000,000 increase for vital research efforts of Survey scientists related to various aspects of global climate change. The Committee notes the overall high quality of research programs of the Survey in this important area, and requests that the Survey notify the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations of its allocation of these funds within 60 days of enactment. The Committee notes that these funds may be used to support the National Global Warming and Wildlife Science Center, if authorized."

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

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