FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

Senate Readies its Stimulus Bill

Richard M. Jones
Number 13 - February 9, 2009  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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If all goes according to schedule, the Senate will vote tonight on a procedure allowing it to hold a vote tomorrow on its version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This will in turn set up what is expected to be a contentious conference between the House and Senate to write a final version of this legislation that is to be sent to President Obama by the weekend.

Getting the necessary sixty votes for the approval of this evening’s procedural vote has been difficult. After it was determined that no Republican senator would vote for the bill as originally drafted by the Senate leadership, a group of moderates in both parties worked late last week to craft a compromise version that cut about $100 billion in proposed spending. The Senate bill totals $820 billion in new spending and tax reductions.

Below is a comparison of the $819 billion House-passed version of this legislation, and the Senate “compromise” version that will be voted on tomorrow. FYI #10 reviews the original Senate bill. Note that the below Senate language is taken from a lengthy summary of the compromise amendment, and is fundamentally different from committee report language. Selections from the House language below previously appeared in FYI #7 that was taken from the House Appropriations Committee report.

There is a considerable range in the recommended funding levels in the House and Senate versions of this bill for science and technology programs. In the remainder of this week, House and Senate appropriators and the Obama Administration will craft a final bill that can be passed by both chambers and be signed by the President.

HOUSE: National Institute of Standards and Technology

Scientific and Technical Research and Services
Recovery funding: $100 million

Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Technology Innovation Program
Recovery funding: $100 million
The House report states:
“Industrial Technology Services includes the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Technology Innovation Program: $30 million is for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and $70 million is for the Technology Innovation Program (TIP).”

Science Building Construction Grants
Recovery funding: $300 million
The House report states:
“This program is a competitive construction grant program for research science buildings. These grants are awarded to colleges, universities, and other nonprofit, science research organizations on a merit basis.”

SENATE: National Institute of Standards and Technology

The Senate summary states:
“$475 million total for NIST including: $307 million for renovation of NIST facilities and new laboratories using green technologies; $168 million for scientific and technical research at NIST to strengthen the agency’s IT infrastructure; provide additional NIST research fellowships; provide substantial funding for advanced research and measurement equipment and supplies; increase external grants for NIST-related research.”

 

HOUSE: NASA

Science
Recovery funding: $400 million
The House report states:
“Within the funds provided, not less than $250 million will be used to accelerate the development of the Tier 1 set of Earth science/climate research missions recommended by the National Academies decadal survey as being critically important for answering key Earth science/climate research questions. . . . “

SENATE: NASA

The Senate summary states:
“$1.3 billion total for NASA including: $450 million for Earth science missions to provide critical data about the Earth’s resources and climate; $200 million to enable research and testing of environmentally responsible aircraft and for verification and validation methods for complex aerospace systems and software; $450 million to reduce the gap in time that the U.S. does not have a vehicle to access the International Space Station; and $200 million for repair, upgrade and construction at NASA facilities.”

 

HOUSE: National Science Foundation

Research and Related Activities
Recovery funding: $2.500 billion
The House report states:
“Within the R&RA appropriation, $300 million is provided for the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program.”

Education and Human Resources
Recovery funding: $100 million
The House report states:
“$100 million is provided for Education and Human Resources at the NSF. Within this amount, $60 million is provided for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program and $40 million for Math and Science Partnerships.”

Construction and Development of Major Research Equipment and Facilities
Recovery funding: $400 million

SENATE: National Science Foundation

The Senate summary states:
“National Science Foundation (NSF) Research: $1.2 billion total for NSF including: $1 billion to help America compete globally; $150 million for scientific infrastructure; and $50 million for competitive grants to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.”

 

HOUSE: Department of Energy - Science

Science
Recovery funding: $2.000 billion
The House report states:
Within this amount, $400 million is included for the Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy to support high-risk, high-payoff research to accelerate the innovation cycle for both traditional and alternative energy sources and energy efficiency.”

SENATE: Department of Energy - Science

The Senate summary states:
“The Department of Energy’s Science program sees $330 million for laboratory infrastructure and construction.”

 

HOUSE: U.S. Geological Survey

Repair and Restoration of Science Facilities and Scientific Equipment
Recovery funding: $200 million

SENATE: U.S. Geological Survey:

No mention in the Senate summary.

 

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