At yesterday’s afternoon briefing Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director John Holdren explained when reviewing the FY 2015 budget request that science and technology “do better overall than might have been expected,” while acknowledging “we recognize this budget could be better.” Tight spending limits written into law strictly limit the total amount of money available for all discretionary programs in FY 2015, including those for federal science and technology agencies.
The Obama Administration proposes to increase total federal research and development spending by 1.2 percent in FY 2015. Although not a dramatic increase as compared to previous years, the total increase in discretionary spending is limited to just 0.2 percent under the law. Total discretionary spending (e.g., non-entitlement programs) is $1.012 trillion this year, increasing to $1.014 trillion in the fiscal year starting on October 1.
“The 2015 budget reflects this Administration’s clear-eyed recognition that our Nation’s standing as a global leader today is built largely on a foundation of science and technology,” Holdren said when opening the hour-long budget briefing. Reiterating a point often heard in other annual budget roll-outs, he spoke of the tough choices that had to be made in developing the new request including “areas where we can get the biggest bang for the buck”
An OSTP release notes that the request includes the following increases:
Non-defense R&D: Up 0.7 percent
Defense R&D: Up 1.7 percent
Basic and Applied Research: Up 0.4 percent
Development: Up 2.3 percent
The release of the budget request came a month later than scheduled due to the months-long delay in enacting final FY 2014 appropriations legislation. All budget materials have not been released. The Department of Energy’s Office of Science will issue detailed numbers on Friday; the National Science Foundation will not release its budget until Monday. OSTP has provided information on the overall request and several initiatives. A webcast of yesterday’s briefing can also be found on this site.
Future issues of FYI with information on budget requests will be issued on the following:
- Department of Defense Science and Technology programs
- Department of Energy: Office of Science
- Department of Energy: National Nuclear Security Administration
- National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
- National Institute of Standards and Technology
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: National Weather Service
- National Science Foundation
- STEM education
- U.S. Geological Survey