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FYI Number 65: June 29, 2007

FY 2008 Senate USGS Appropriations Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee has sent its version of the FY 2008 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill to the Senate floor. Under this legislation, funding for the U.S. Geological Survey would increase by 2.2 percent over this year.

Yesterday, the committee released Senate Committee Report 110-91 that accompanies S. 1696. The report, written by the Senate Interior Appropriations Committee that is chaired by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), with Ranking Member Larry Craig (R-ID), sets forth the subcommittee's funding and policy recommendations. The House Appropriations Committee has completed its version of this bill earlier this month; see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2007/061.html.

The Office of Management and Budget has threatened a veto of the House bill. On Monday, OMB released a Statement of Administration Policy that is critical of overall spending in the bill, which exceeded the Administration's request by $2 billion. The wording in this statement echoed earlier statements (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2007/062.html), and did not include specific language regarding the USGS portion of the bill.

Selections from Senate Committee Report 110-91 pertaining to USGS follow. See http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app08.html to review the entire report. In a change from previous appropriations committees' report, this report, following a new Senate procedure, identifies the name of the senator making a request for an earmark. These senators' names are contained in parentheses following the earmark. The House Appropriations Committee did not have a similar procedure in place when it released its FY 2008 Interior report.

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 above this year.
The Senate Appropriations Committee would provide $1,009.9 million, an increase of 2.2 percent or $21.8 million above this year.

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 Senate Appropriations Committee would provide $78.5 million, a cut of 2.1 percent or $1.7 million.

The committee report states:

"Changes to the request include an increase of $2,000,000 to restore the proposed reduction to priority ecosystem studies and an increase of $1,500,000 to restore to the extent possible the proposed $2,300,000 reduction for geographic research and monitoring."

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 Senate Appropriations Committee would provide $243.3 million, an increase of 2.7 percent or $6.3 million.

The committee report states:

"A decrease of $500,000 has been taken to the proposed ocean action plan to fund that new initiative at $1,000,000. An increase of $21,749,000 has been provided to restore the proposed reduction to the minerals resources program. From within the $22,042,000 proposed 2008 budget for the Volcano Hazards program, the Committee expects that no less than $4,000,000 (Stevens) be provided for volcano monitoring and equipment at the USGS Alaska Volcano Observatory [AVO]. This amount is comparable to prior year AVO funding levels."

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 Senate Appropriations Committee would provide $224.1 million, an increase of 4.3 percent or $9.2 million.

The committee report states:

"Changes to the request include the following: $6,404,000 for the Water Resources Research Institutes, a program that was proposed for elimination; $2,000,000 to restore the proposed budget reduction to the cooperative water program; $500,000 (Alexander) to continue USGS participation in the Memphis aquifer study; $300,000 (Kyl) to restore the Upper San Pedro Partnership to the current year enacted level; $600,000 (Landrieu) to restore funding for the Long-term Estuary Assessment Group [LEAG]; $1,000,000 (Inouye, Akaka) to continue a cooperative well drilling and monitoring project and refine models to predict the low-flow characteristics of perennial streams in Hawaii; and $343,000 (Leahy) for the Lake Champlain monitoring program to supplement base funding of $157,000 for that program. An increase of $1,000,000 (Domenici, Bingaman) is provided to implement provisions of the United States-Mexico Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Act. A reduction of $500,000 has been taken to the proposed ocean action plan to fund that initiative at $1,000,000."

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 Senate Appropriations Committee would provide $182.1 million, an increase of 3.6 percent or $6.4 million.

The committee report states:

"Changes to the request includes increases of $1,000,000 for the Leetown Science Center (Byrd), which restores $800,000 for ongoing molecular biology research and provides $200,000 to conduct endocrine disruption research in the Potomac watershed; $825,000 to restore base funding for the wildlife, terrestrial and endangered resources program; $200,000 to restore base funds for the Fish and Wildlife Service Science Excellence program; $1,000,000 to partially restore the proposed budget reduction of $2,000,000 to the National Biological Information Infrastructure program; and $1,000,000 (Feinstein, Boxer) for the San Francisco Salt Ponds restoration effort. A reduction of $3,000,000 has been taken to the proposed Healthy Lands Initiative to fund that project at $2,000,000."

ENTERPRISE INFORMATION:

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

There were no recommendations in the Senate committee report.

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 Senate Appropriations Committee would provide the Administration's request, an increase of 0.6 percent or $0.4 million.

There were no recommendations in the Senate committee report.

FACILITIES:

The FY 2007 current budget is $95.4 million
The Bush Administration requested $101.6 million.
The House Appropriations Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee would provide the requested $101.6 million, an increase of 6.5 percent or $6.2 million.

There were no recommendations in the Senate committee report.

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

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