Federal Relations

December 14, 2010

FY11 Omnibus Spending Bill Increasingly Possible (Updated 12/17)

**12/17 Update: Now increasingly unlikely, as several committed votes in favor have switched

Today, in a step towards closing out the FY11 appropriations process, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its omnibus appropriations package. The package would enable modest increases to federal research agencies that the University of Washington draws competitive grant support from. Additionally, the package contains support for several UW specific projects. Items of note from the Senate omnibus are listed below. The package will require 60 votes in the Senate in order to overcome a filibuster. At present, it appears that Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) has the votes necessary to advance the legislation. However, the process is far from a done deal. A final outcome should be clear by the end of the week, when the House hopes to adjourn for the year.

UW Specific Projects in the Senate Omnibus

  • Puget Sound Littoral Sensing- $4.96 million
  • National Tidal Energy Test Platform- $3.76 million
  • Healing in Bone & Eye with Sphere-templated Polymers- $1.2 million
  • Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials in Transport Aircraft Structures (AMTAS)- $750,000
  • Dental Education in the Care of Persons with Disabilities (DECOD)- $570,000
  • Small Business Development Center (Tacoma)- $265,000

Agency Funding Levels of Note in the Omnibus

  • Commerce-Justice-Science Section
    NSF: $7.34 billion (an increase of approximately $400 million from FY10)
    NOAA: $5.5 billion (an increase of approximately $800 million from FY10)
                    – Technology Innovation Program: $70 million
                    – Manufacturing Extension Program: $125 million
  • Interior-Environment Section
    USGS: $1.2 billion (an increase of approximately $900 million from FY10)
  • Labor-HHS-Education Section
    NIH: $31.8 billion (an increase of about $750 million from FY10)

*Additionally, $5.7billion is provided to fill a shortfall in the Pell Grant program, which was created by increased eligibility