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Administration Identifies R&D as Critical to Economic Growth and Job Creation

Richard M. Jones
Number 99 - May 31, 2013  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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A three-page memorandum was sent to the heads of federal departments and agencies on May 29 from Sylvia Burwell, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, providing guidance for the development of the FY 2015 budget.  This request will be sent to Congress early next year.  Of interest to the research community is the following sentence in the second paragraph of the memorandum:

“The 2015 Budget should continue to build on the President's plan, by reducing spending on lower priority programs in order to create room for effective investments in areas critical to economic growth and job creation, including education, innovation, infrastructure, and research and development.”

In making this declaration, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) continues to characterize R&D, innovation, and education as “effective investments in areas critical to economic growth and job creation.”  This is not the first time research has been described in these terms, as the importance of R&D has been a recurring theme in budget guidance from at least the Clinton Administration.   Last year’s budget guidance memorandum contained language paralleling that found in the memo released this week:

“The 2014 Budget must continue to cut lower-priority spending in order to create room for the most effective investments in areas critical to economic growth and job creation, including education, innovation, infrastructure, and research and development.”

The Office of Science and Technology Policy often releases a budget guidance memorandum to the heads of science and technology agencies.  A memorandum has not been issued by OSTP for FY 2015; the FY 2014 memorandum is here. 

The May 29 OBM memorandum instructs department and agency heads to submit a FY 2015 budget that is 5 percent below the estimated 2015 amount contained in the budget submission sent to Congress earlier this year.  While most attention is focused on a budget request for the next fiscal year, the submissions also include budget projections for four or more years beyond that next year.  These “out year” estimates are used for planning purposes.  An illustration of NASA’s estimates for FY 2015 through FY 2018 can be viewed here.  In this case, the total request is the same in every year, and is identical to the FY 2014 request.

The new OMB memorandum is available here.

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