The FY 2014 budget cycle came to an end on January 17 when President Obama signed H.R. 3547, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, providing $1.012 trillion dollars in funding for this year. An official copy of the Explanatory Statement accompanying this bill has not yet been released.
See “Latest Congressional Budget Action—FY 2014” for a review of the FY 2014 final appropriations for the Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy – National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy – Office of Science, NASA, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Geological Survey. An FYI on the NOAA - National Weather Service appropriation is available here. In addition to program funding levels, these ten FYIs contain selections from the working copy of the Explanatory Statement and other materials.
Several Members of Congress released statements regarding the appropriations bill and science. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee explained:
“This agreement will not be viewed as perfect by everyone. It required difficult choices, and nobody got everything they wanted. But this agreement is what we need now to move the country forward by funding the critical missions of our government and investing in America’s greatest assets -- our people, our infrastructure, and the research and discoveries that will create jobs today and in the future.”
House Science, Space and Technology Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) issued the following statement:
“I am pleased that we passed the bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations bill. We have been moving from budget fight to budget fight for far too long. This bill gives our agencies much-needed funding stability for the next nine months. By partially repealing the devastating sequester cuts, this is a step in the right direction. However, our agencies are still funded below what the President and Congressional Democrats sought. If we want to remain a world leader, we must invest in our research and innovation enterprise and STEM education. These investments return huge payoffs to the American people both in economic growth and societal benefits. I sincerely hope that we will continue working to fully fund basic research, energy technology innovation, aeronautics and space exploration, manufacturing, climate science, and all of the other important elements of our nation’s R&D, education, and innovation enterprise.”
Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) commented:
“While it wasn’t perfect, I was pleased that the 2014 Appropriations bill preserves essential funding for scientific research and development. The work done at Argonne and Fermi National Labs not only supports our local economy, employing as many as 4,725 people in Illinois, but it is critical to our nation’s long-term economic success. Funding scientific research and development results in one of the highest return-on-investments our nation can make. It is essential we continue to fully support funding for our national labs to preserve our global competitive advantage.
“With some proposing deep cuts, it was a tough struggle to preserve funding for scientific research and development, but with bipartisan support we were able to fund this important work at reasonable levels.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) issued the following statement about funding for NASA’s Planetary Science program:
“I am pleased that the spending bill contains strong funding for the continued development of the Mars 2020 rover and for a mission to Jupiter and its moon Europa. I hope that this will dissuade the Administration from putting forward a 2015 budget that again seeks to cut funding for NASA’s path breaking exploration of our solar system. Congress has now sent a clear message time and time again to NASA and OMB about the importance of sufficient funding for the planetary science program, but I continue to hear disquieting rumors that there may be further attempted cuts in the FY 2015 budget, including possible delays to the next two Mars missions and shutting down some current missions. If any such proposals are included in the upcoming budget, my colleagues and I will fight them.
“[House Appropriations Committee] Chairman Frank Wolf [R-VA] and Ranking Member Chaka Fattah [D-PA] have been steadfast in their support of planetary science and I am deeply grateful to them for recognizing the importance of this endeavor and the need to support the most specialized workforce in the world, many of whom are my constituents working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.”
Attention now turns to the FY 2015 budget request that is scheduled to be sent to Congress on March 4, approximately one month after the statutory deadline. There are reports that last week the Office of Management of Budget began informing federal agencies of its decisions about their requests. No details of the FY 2015 budget have been released. The negotiations about next year’s appropriations bills may be somewhat easier since agreement was reached on an overall discretionary limit that will increase to $1.014 trillion in FY 2015.