House VA/HUD appropriators marked up their FY 2002 funding bill on July 10. Although the complete bill text and report language are not yet available, some unofficial information has been reported on funding numbers for NSF and NASA. FYI #87provided details on what is known about the appropriations numbers for NSF; below is information on the NASA appropriations. Because NASA reorganized many of its accounts in the FY 2002 budget request, direct comparisons with FY 2001 funding levels are difficult.
The subcommittee bill would provide total NASA funding of $14,926.4 million. This is an increase of $641 million (4.5 percent) over the FY 2001 budget of $14,285.3 million, and an increase of $415 million (2.9 percent) over President Bush's request of $14,511.4 million.
The Office of Space Science would receive $2,759.4 million. This is a reduction of $27 million (1.0 percent) from the request of $2,786.4 million. FY 2001 funding was $2,321.0 million, but cannot be directly compared to the FY 2002 numbers due to the reorganization of accounts. Reductions from the request include the Next Generation Space Telescope (reduction of $20 million), New Millennium program (reduction of $10 million), and STEREO program (reduction of $10 million).
The subcommittee's recommendation for the Office of Earth Sciences was not yet available. Reports indicate that EOS follow-on programs would be reduced by $31.0 million from the request, although still $44.6 million above FY 2001 funding. The FY 2001 appropriation for the Office of Earth Sciences was $1,484.6 million.
The subcommittee bill would provide $685.9 million for the Office of Biological and Physical Research. This reflects an increase of $325.0 million, almost doubling the request of $360.9 million. Part of this increase is due to moving space station research funding into the Office of Biological and Physical Research. FY 2001 funding for this office was $312.9 million, but again, direct comparisons cannot be made.
The total appropriation for Human Space Flight is $7,322.4 million, an increase over both the request and current-year funding. The International Space Station would receive $1,831.3 million. An increase of $275 million over the request would be provided for development of a Crew Return Vehicle.
The subcommittee would provide $187.8 million for academic programs, an increase of $34.1 million over the request.
The subcommittee also reiterated concerns regarding the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), noting that the shift in responsibility for satellite technology export licensing from the Commerce to the State Department has resulted in "university-based fundamental science and engineering research, widely disseminated and unclassified, [becoming] subject to overly restrictive and inconsistent ITAR direction.... The Committee understands that, while OSTP and NASA have proposed language to the State Department, no clarification has yet been issued." An immediate report clarifying the issue is requested.