The Senate spending bill’s 2 percent cut to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is modest in comparison to the double-digit cuts proposed in the House bill and the Trump administration’s budget request.
Following precedent, the White House has released its memo to federal agencies signaling its R&D priorities for the president’s fiscal year 2019 budget request. Among its directions, the memo calls for fiscal restraint and reinforces the administration’s commitment to rolling back support for later-stage R&D and technology commercialization.
At a recent Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee hearing convened to highlight innovative technologies to increase water infrastructure resiliency, the three members present also emphasized the importance of forecasting investments to the nation's water security.
The House and Senate appropriations bills for the National Nuclear Security Administration would provide much of the Trump administration’s requested 10 percent increase to weapons-related research, development, test, and evaluation activities.
In a new report, the Defense Department outlines its plan to reform the organizational structure of its research and engineering activities, in compliance with the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. A principal aim of the reorganization is to foster a more risk-tolerant culture of innovation.
The House and Senate appropriations bills for the National Institute of Standards and Technology would fund the agency’s laboratory programs at near the current level, but NIST’s standards coordination and manufacturing programs are potentially slated for deep funding cuts.
At a recent hearing, House Science Committee members stressed the increasing importance of computing competency in the U.S. workforce and discussed ways to increase students’ access to programs that provide these and other STEM skills at all levels of education.
The House spending bill for the Department of Energy proposes to halve the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy, changes that would upend the department’s later-stage R&D activities. Both House and Senate spending bills also propose a range of less drastic funding cuts to DOE’s other applied energy offices.
The House appropriations bill for NASA would raise the Science Mission Directorate’s $5.77 billion budget by 2 percent, while the Senate bill would cut it by 3 percent. As in previous years, the appropriations committees take opposing stances on funding for the Earth Science and Planetary Science Divisions.
The House appropriations bill for the National Science Foundation would maintain funding for the agency’s research and education directorates at current levels, while the Senate bill would decrease both by 2 percent.