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FYI THIS MONTH: FEBRUARY 2004

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
fyithismonth@aip.org

FY05 BUDGET REQUEST: While non-defense/homeland security discretionary funding in general would only grow by 0.5% in President Bush's FY05 request, R&D funding in this category would receive a 2.5% increase. OSTP Director John Marburger called the Administration "highly favorable to R&D," but House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) declared, "It's impossible to seriously view this as a good budget for science."

NSF REQUEST: The Bush Administration has requested a 3.0% increase for NSF in FY05. Details of the request for specific NSF programs are provided in FYI #12. "I am committed to NSF, but this year's budget is the most difficult I have seen in years," said Senate VA/HUD Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Christopher Bond (R-MO).

DOD S&T REQUEST: Under the request, funding for Defense Department S&T programs would drop by 13.2% from current-year funding. Basic Research (6.1), Applied Research (6.2), and Advanced Technology Development (6.3) would all be reduced.

DOE OFFICE OF SCIENCE REQUEST: The Department of Energy's Office of Science would receive a 2.0% cut from current-year funding in the FY05 request. However, according to DOE budget documents, this is due to the elimination of FY04 congressionally-directed earmarks in the Biological and Environmental Research account, and the request would actually provide a 2.2% increase for core Office of Science programs.

NASA REQUEST; EXPLORATION INITIATIVE: President Bush would give NASA a 5.6% increase over FY04 funding. In order to align with the President's new Space Exploration Initiative, NASA programs and priorities have been reorganized. Both at the first meeting of a presidentially-appointed commission on the initiative, and at a congressional hearing, concerns were raised about the total cost of such a program and its impact on space science, Earth science, and other NASA programs.

NIST REQUEST: NIST's total budget would decline 14.6% in the President's request, with the Advanced Technology Program once again targeted for elimination.

REQUEST FOR SCIENCE EDUCATION PROGRAMS: The Education Department's Math and Science Partnerships would receive an 80.5% increase targeted to mathematics, while NSF's Partnerships would be cut by 42.4% as the first step in phasing out this program.

NIBIB REQUEST: The budget for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering would be increased by 3.1% over current funding.

FY05 USGS REQUEST: In its FY05 request, the Administration proposes cutting the budget for the U.S. Geological Survey by 1.9% from FY04 funding.