NSF for the Future Act - H.R.2225

"To authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026 for the National Science Foundation, and for other purposes."
Primary Sponsors
Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Summary of Selected Provisions
  • Recommends Congress roughly double the National Science Foundation’s annual budget to $18 billion over five years, a portion of which would go toward creating a Directorate for Science and Engineering Solutions
  • Recommends the new directorate receive an initial annual budget of $1.4 billion and grow to $3.4 billion over five years
  • Establishes that the directorate would focus on a periodically refreshed list of up to five focus areas. In selecting the focus areas, the NSF director must consider the following “societal challenges”: climate change and environmental sustainability, global competitiveness in critical technologies; cybersecurity; national security; STEM education and workforce; and social and economic inequality
  • Broadly updates policies across NSF’s research and education programs, including by requiring grant applicants to assess the potential ethical implications of the research they propose to conduct
Actions on the House bill
House passed bill by vote of 345 to 67
House Science Committee passed amended bill by voice vote
Bill introduced
Relevant FYI Bulletins

The House-passed version of Congress' annual defense policy legislation includes a government-wide ban on federal research grantees participating in “malign” talent recruitment programs supported by China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The Senate has advanced a more expansive version of the restriction through separate legislation.

As part of its broader push on innovation legislation, the Senate is proposing to dramatically expand EPSCoR, a program that channels research funds to states that have historically received a small share of science agency funding. Counterpart House legislation does not recommend expanding the program, setting it up as an important point of negotiation.

The Senate passed a landmark competitiveness policy package this week containing the Endless Frontier Act proposal for a multi-billion-dollar technology R&D initiative. Key members of the House are now crafting a compromise proposal they regard as better-suited to existing agency strengths.

The House Science Committee held a hearing last week to solicit ideas for bolstering the U.S. research enterprise, seeking to inform bipartisan innovation bills that it plans to advance in the coming months.

The House Science Committee has introduced a bill proposing to double the National Science Foundation budget over five years and add a directorate to the agency focused on “societal challenges.” The committee views the bill as an alternative to the Endless Frontier Act, which proposes appending a massive technology-focused directorate to NSF.