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FYI Number 83: August 2, 2007

Administration Criticizes FY 2008 NSF, NASA and NIST Funding Bill

There were only a few lines of commendation in a four page "Statement of Administration Policy" issued by the Office of Management and Budget on the House FY 2008 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill. The Administration criticized both the provisions of this legislation and its price tag, and warned, "if H.R. 3093 were presented to the President, he would veto the bill."

This is not the first time that the Administration has threatened to veto an appropriations bill because its level of proposed spending and the overall FY 2008 congressional budget are larger than that requested by the President. The following are excerpts from this July 24 statement:

SPENDING:

"H.R. 3093 exceeds the President’s request for programs funded in this bill by $2.3 billion, part of the $22 billion increase above the President’s request for FY 2008 appropriations. The Administration has asked that Congress demonstrate a path to live within the President’s topline and cover the excess spending in this bill through reductions elsewhere, while ensuring the Department of Defense has the resources necessary to accomplish its mission. Because Congress has failed to demonstrate such a path, if H.R. 3093 were presented to the President, he would veto the bill."

AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS INITIATIVE/NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION:

"The Administration commends the Committee’s implementation of ACI with its strong support for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the standards and research activities of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. However, the Administration supports neither the additional $72 million above the request allocated to NSF education programs that lack proven effectiveness, nor report language that seeks to allocate funds away from the NSF research programs that most directly contribute to America’s economic competitiveness."

COMMERCE DEPARTMENT/NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY:

"The House bill reflects the strong support for Commerce programs, particularly in the areas of science, environmental stewardship, and statistics. However, the Administration does not support the nearly $475 million of unrequested funding for the Department."

"The Administration does not support the additional $100 million for the Economic Development Administration or the extra $155 million provided for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program and the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). MEP centers can be sustained with reduced Federal funding by economizing on costs such as excessive marketing activities and through increased contributions from clients for MEP consulting services that most firms secure through the private sector. The Administration believes that ATP, which was headed for termination in FY 2007, subsidizes commercial research and development activities that are inappropriate for Federal funding and should be supported by private investment."

NASA:

"The Administration supports the House’s full funding for NASA’s Exploration Systems and Space Shuttle. However, the Administration does not endorse funding in excess of the request for Aeronautics, Education, and Science, where increases for near-term support would create unsustainable outyear funding requirements. The Administration also strongly objects to reductions to the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Continuation Project that would reduce the future system availability of critical space communications capabilities for NASA and other partner agencies. The Administration further objects to the proposed establishment of several new appropriations accounts in FY 2008, that are not necessary and would adversely impact NASA’s financial management system, processes, and controls."

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

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