FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

First Information: FY 2013 Funding for NSF, NASA and NIST

Richard M. Jones
Number 54 - April 20, 2012  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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The FY 2013 appropriations process moved into a new phase with the drafting of several appropriations bills providing significant support for physics and related research programs. This week, the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee and the House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee voted their approval of two funding bills for the fiscal year starting on October 1.  These bills now go to the full House Appropriations Committee before they are sent to the floor.  Also this week, the full Senate Appropriations Committee passed the FY 2013 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill.

See FYI #53 for a brief overview of proposed funding for the Department of Energy.  Below are excerpts from House and Senate documents regarding funding for the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION:

From an April 17 Senate Appropriations Committee release:

“The National Science Foundation (NSF) is funded at $7.3 billion, an increase of $240 million above the fiscal year 2012 enacted level.”

From the April 19 opening statement from House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA):

“A primary area of focus in the bill this year is scientific research, innovation and competitiveness.  Despite a reduced allocation, this bill includes significant increases for research accounts at NIST and NSF.  Investments in scientific research are key to long-term economic growth and job creation, and contribute to the security and economic well-being of future generations.
 
“The bill includes $7.3 billion for the National Science Foundation, an increase of $299 million, or 4.3%, above FY12 for basic research and science education.  This funding will go toward the types of research that will keep America’s economy strong by setting the groundwork for the development of new technologies.”

From the April 19 opening statement of House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Chaka Fattah (D-PA):

“The chairman's mark provides a healthy increase for the National Science Foundation, although I suspect the Chairman and many of the rest of us would like to invest more there.”

From an April 18 House Appropriations Committee release:

“The legislation funds NSF at $7.3 billion, which is $299 million above fiscal year 2012 and $41 million below the President’s request. NSF’s entire increase is provided to core research and education activities, which are critical to innovation and U.S. economic competitiveness, including funding for an advanced manufacturing science initiative and for research in cyber-security and cyber-infrastructure.”

Information on the Administration’s FY 2013 request is available here.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY:

From an April 17 Senate Appropriations Committee release:

“NIST is funded at $826 million, which is $75 million above the fiscal year 2012 enacted level. The bill provides an increase of $56 million for NIST’s laboratories and technical research while maintaining strong support with industry partners including $128.5 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and $14.5 million for the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech).”

From the April 19 opening statement from House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Wolf:

“For NIST, the bill includes $830 million, including an increase of $54 million for research. The bill also includes $128 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, and $21 million for an Advanced Manufacturing competitive research program, to make the American manufacturing sector a source of job growth.”

From the April 19 opening statement of House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Fattah:

“The Manufacturing Extension Partnership program receives $128 million, including $2.5 million to continue the work of the National Innovation Marketplace, to help expand our manufacturing base by connecting manufacturers, parts suppliers, purchasers and others. The bill also includes $21 million, as requested by the President, for a new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia program at NIST, which will expand research and development in support of manufacturing, and it provides $149 million, as requested, for NSF's Advanced Manufacturing initiative.
 
"We are also continuing our investment in a new program authorized under the America COMPETES Act to provide loans to small manufacturers to invest in technology. This loan program, the chairman's re-shoring initiative, and the work of NIST overall is extremely important to the future of manufacturing. And I would note that for the subcommittee's final hearing, the chairman held a full hearing on the question of manufacturing, which I think continues to increase the committee's awareness about how we can continue to have a positive impact on manufacturing. I want to thank the chairman for holding that hearing. We have over 11 million Americans working in manufacturing today, and we need to retain those jobs and increase the number of such jobs as we go forward.”

From an April 18 House Appropriations Committee release:

“NIST is funded at $830 million in the bill, which is $79 million above fiscal year 2012 and $27 million below the President’s request. Within this total, important core research activities to help advance U.S. competitiveness, innovation, and economic growth are increased by $54 million above fiscal year 2012. In addition, the bill includes $128 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program - which provides training and technical assistance to U.S. manufacturers - and $21 million for an Advanced Manufacturing competitive research initiative.”

Information on the Administration’s FY 2013 request is available here.

NASA:

From an April 17 Senate Appropriations Committee release:

“The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is funded at $19.4 billion, an increase of $1.6 billion over the fiscal year 2012 enacted level. The large increase results from a reorganization of operational weather satellite procurement from NOAA into NASA. Without the funds for weather satellite procurement, this level represents a $41.5 million cut from the fiscal year 2012 enacted level.

“The bill preserves a NASA portfolio balanced among science, aeronautics, technology and human space flight investments.

“Funding for the development of the Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle is $1.2 billion, the same as fiscal year 2012. Heavy lift Space Launch System (SLS) development is funded at $1.5 billion, $21 million less than fiscal year 2012. The bill also provides $244 million for construction needed to build, test, and operate Orion and SLS. Commercial crew development is provided $525 million, an increase of $119 million above fiscal year 2012.

“The bill provides $5 billion for Science which is $69 million less than fiscal year 2012. Within Science, the bill restores $100 million of a proposed cut to robotic Mars science programs, resulting in a total of $461 million for Mars robotic science.”

From the April 19 opening statement from House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Wolf:

“For NASA, the bill includes $17.6 billion, which provides funding above the aggregate request for America’s next generation exploration system -- the Orion crew vehicle and heavy-lift rocket.  This funding will keep NASA on schedule for upcoming flight milestones.
 
“Commercial Crew development is funded at $500 million, consistent with the current authorization and the report accompanying the House Budget Resolution.  In light of limited budgets and the need to find the fastest, safest and most cost effective means of achieving a U.S. capability for access to the International Space Station, the bill directs NASA to winnow the commercial partners and advance the schedule for moving to traditional government procurement methods.
 
“I am also pleased to note that the bill includes $570 million - which is $18.4 million above the request - for aeronautics research. Aerospace is a pillar of the American manufacturing sector and this investment will boost our aviation competitiveness.
 
“The bill includes $5.1 billion for NASA Science programs, including $1.4 billion for Planetary Science.  This amount restores cuts in the President’s request that would have inhibited progress on all planetary science goals, including flagship missions to Mars or Europa.”

From the April 19 opening statement of House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Fattah:

“The bill makes a strong commitment to NASA Science by providing in full the amount requested for the James Webb Space Telescope. In addition, the bill funds future robotic missions to Mars, which will ensure that the United States continues its vital leadership in the area of Mars exploration. This is a matter of importance to many members, and in particular to my colleague, Adam Schiff, and we are going to continue to work in this area as we move toward full Committee markup to make sure we have it correct.”

“I am also pleased that we have made a significant investment in NASA Space Technology in this bill and that NASA Commercial Crew Development is funded at a $500 million level. I believe in American enterprise, and the fact that we don't need the government to always do things the private sector can do. We will see very shortly the private sector and American ingenuity at work, flying to the space station to deliver cargo."

From an April 18 House Appropriations Committee release:

“NASA is funded at $17.6 billion in the bill, which is $226 million below fiscal year 2012 and $138 million below the President’s request. This funding includes:
 
“$3.7 billion for Exploration -- $59 million below fiscal year 2012. This includes funding to keep NASA on schedule for upcoming Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Space Launch System flight milestones and to maintain progress in a reconfigured commercial crew program.
 
 “$4 billion for Space Operations -- $249 million below fiscal year 2012. The legislation will continue the closeout of the Space Shuttle program for a savings of $503 million.
 
 “$5.1 billion for NASA Science programs -- $5 million above fiscal year 2012. This includes $1.4 billion for planetary science to ensure the continuation of critical research and development programs that were imperiled by the President’s request. This also includes $628 million, as requested, for the James Webb Space Telescope.”

Information on the Administration’s FY 2013 request is available here.

Further information on this bill will be provided after the committee report is released. 

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