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House Appropriators Begin Drafting of FY 2012 Bills

Richard M. Jones
Number 58 - May 16, 2011  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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Last week the House Appropriations Committee started to draft its FY 2012 funding bills.  Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) announced a schedule that would send the bills funding the Department of Energy, NASA, National Science Foundation, NIST, Department of Defense, and U.S. Geological Survey to the House floor before the August 6 recess.  Writing and securing passage of the FY 2012 bills will be difficult because appropriators will have nearly $46 billion less in funding for non-security programs when compared to the current year.

In commenting on these proposed cuts, Rogers stated “Facing record-high deficits, this year, more than ever, we must make the hard budget decisions to help rein in spending. The Appropriations bills this year will include double-digit reductions for virtually every non-security area of government, while providing additional resources for the nation’s critical and urgent needs – such as our national defense. Many of these cuts will not win any popularity contests, but these types of reductions are imperative to overcoming our unparalleled fiscal crisis so that we can get our economy moving, create jobs and provide future financial security.”  Ranking Member Norm Dicks (D-WA) was not persuaded, saying “These reductions are irresponsible and they would necessitate draconian cuts to programs that Americans depend on.”

When the House passed its budget resolution it set in play a process that allowed Rogers to propose spending caps for each of the twelve appropriations subcommittees.  In all, these tentative allocations provide $121,565 million less than that requested by the Administration.  Only the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee would be given a larger budget than this year.  Proposed cuts would be especially deep for four subcommittees: State, Foreign Operations; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; Agriculture; and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education.  With the exception of the Agriculture bill, the other three bills will not be taken up by the full House until it returns from its recess on September 6.  Since FY 2012 starts on October 1 it will be very difficult to conference all of the twelve bills with the Senate before the start of the new fiscal year.

Under the Republican budget plan, FY 2012 funding for each of the subcommittees would change as follows:

  • Defense: Up 3.3 percent from this year; down 1.7 percent from request.
  • Energy and Water Development: Down 3.3 percent from this year; down 16.1 percent from request.
  • Commerce, Justice, Science: Down 5.8 percent from this year, down 12.9 percent from request.
  • Interior, Environment: Down 7.1 percent from this year; down 12.2 percent from request.
  • Labor, Health and Human Services, Education: Down 11.6 percent from this year; down 23.0 percent from request.

The Senate has not passed a budget resolution, and no appropriations schedule has been distributed.

The House Appropriations Committee has released the following figures and schedule:

Energy and Water Development Subcommittee
The tentative allocation of $30,639 million is $1,043 million less than the current year, and is $5,901 million less than that requested by the Obama Administration.
This bill provides funding for the Department of Energy, including the Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration.
The subcommittee is scheduled to mark up its bill on June 2; the full committee on June 15.

Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee
The tentative allocation of $50,237 million is $3,090 million less than the current year, and is $7,438 million less than requested by the Obama Administration.
This bill provides funding for the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The subcommittee is scheduled to make up its bill on July 7; the full committee on July 13.

Interior, Environment Subcommittee
The tentative allocation of $27,473 million is $2,086 million less than the current year, and is $3,818 million less than that requested by the Obama Administration.
The bill provides funding for the U.S. Geological Survey.
The subcommittee is scheduled to mark up its bill on July 6; the full committee on July 11.

Defense Subcommittee
The tentative allocation of $530,025 million is $17,000 million more than the current year, and is $8,913 million less than that requested by the Obama Administration.
The bill provides funding for the Department of Defense, including its 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 S&T programs.
The subcommittee is scheduled to mark up its bill on June 1; the full committee on June 14.

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Subcommittee
The tentative allocation of $139,218 million is $18,218 million less than the current year, and is $41,583 million less than that requested by the Obama Administration.
The bill provides funding for the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Education.
The subcommittee is scheduled to mark up its bill on July 26; the full committee on August 2.

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