HIGHLIGHTS OF DEVELOPMENTS IN WASHINGTON IMPACTING THE PHYSICS COMMUNITY FROM FYI, THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS BULLETIN OF SCIENCE POLICY NEWS
Richard M. Jones, Audrey T. Leath
USGS FUNDING: House appropriators propose increasing the FY 2002 USGS budget by 2.3percent over the request; Senate appropriators would increase it by 1.4 percent.
ABRAHAM TESTIFIES AT HOUSE COMMITTEE HEARING: Before a House Science Committee that was largely critical of the Administration's request for energy programs, Energy Secretary Abraham defended his proposed budget and explained that a review of those programs might lead to an amended request.
DOD BUDGET REQUEST SUBMITTED: Finally, the Administration's long-delayed FY 2002 request for the Defense Department was sent to Congress. Total funding for Basic Research, Applied Research, and Advanced Technology Development would all be reduced from FY 2001 levels under this budget submission. Personnel needs received the highest priority in this request, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld stated.
NSF APPROPRIATIONS: In their FY 2002 VA/HUD bill, House appropriators would give NSF a 9.4 percent increase over current funding, significantly greater than the 1.3 percent increase proposed by President Bush. Senate appropriators would provide an increase of 5.6 percent. Details of the House and Senate committee report language are compared in FYIs #97, #98, and #99. House VA/HUD Chairman James Walsh called increasing NSF funding over the request an "absolute priority."
NASA APPROPRIATIONS: The House VA/HUD appropriations bill would increase NASA funding by at least 4.5 percent over FY 2001; the Senate bill only recommends a 1.9 percent increase. Both amounts are greater than the request.
DOE APPROPRIATIONS: The Senate Energy and Water Development appropriations bill would increase funding for most DOE science programs above the levels of current funding, the Administration's request, and the House Energy and Water Development bill.
NRC SURVEY OF PHYSICS RESEARCH: A 10-year review of physics research by a National Research Council panel has culminated in a new report which lays out six priority areas for future research and nine recommendations to strengthen the field of physics for the new decade.
NIST APPROPRIATIONS: House appropriators would follow the President's lead and eliminate funding for new Advanced Technology Program grants, while in the Senate, the program would be continued. NIST's core laboratories would receive an increase over current funding in both bills.
SENATE VA/HUD LANGUAGE: In their report accompanying the VA/HUD appropriations bill, Senators commented on a number of science and technology issues, including balance in the federal research portfolio, workforce issues, coordination among R&D agencies, nanotechnology, space station research, and export control regulations.