Federal Relations

April 14, 2011

Final FY11 Action Today

NOTE:  NASA numbers have been corrected to reflect an increase in funding over FY10, not a decrease as reported on the original post.  I apologize for any inconvenience.

The FY11 continuing resolution (CR) negotiated last Friday to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year would reduce federal spending by about $38.5 billion from FY10 levels, including a 0.2 percent across-the-board (ATB) cut in domestic discretionary programs.  The measure would preserve the maximum Pell Grant award at $5,550 and make relatively modest cuts to basic research programs at most of the major federal agencies. 

The House began consideration of the package (HR 1437) today, with the expectation of final votes tomorrow.  Despite grumbling about the CR from all sides, the package is expected to pass the House tomorrow, followed later in the day by the Senate.  The President has indicated he will sign it.  The current short-term CR expires at the end of the day on Friday, April 15.

Highlights of HR 1437: 

National Institutes of Health – NIH is provided $30.7 billion in FY11, which is a $260-million (or 0.8 percent) reduction from FY10.  The additional 0.2% across-the-board cut will bring the total cut to NIH at 1% below FY10 levels.  The cuts come from a $210-million pro  rata reduction of all Institutes/Centers and Office of the Director and an additional $50-million decrease from the intramural buildings and facilities account.  There are no policy references to the Cures Acceleration Network nor to the statutory mandates governing grant numbers or grant size that were included in HR 1 (House Republicans first attempt on an FY11 CR).   

National Science Foundation – The CR cuts NSF overall by $52 million, or 0.8 percent, from FY2010 levels.  Again, the total cut is at 1% below FY10 levels when the 0.2% across-the-board cut is applied.  As compared to FY10, the Research and Related Activities Account is cut by $42 million for a total of $5.6 billion, and the Education and Human Resources account is cut by $10 million to $862 million.   

Department of Energy – The DOE Office of Science receives $4.884 billion, which is $20 million below FY10.  With the reduction of the $76 million in earmarks in FY10, this actually increases the Office of Science by $56 million.  The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), will receive $180 million (no funds were appropriated in FY10 for ARPA-E).  Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) programs receive $1.835 billion, which is $408 million below FY10, and includes a rescission of $292 million in earmarks.  The actual reduction to this program is only $116 million compared with FY10 due to the earmark rescission.  

Department of Defense – DOD 6.1 basic research would be funded largely at the Pentagon’s FY11 request level.  For FY11, overall 6.1 basic research would be funded at approximately $1.95 billion, which is about a $130 million or seven-percent increase over FY10.  The following is a breakout of 6.1 accounts by service:   

  • Army 6.1 basic research accounts would be funded at $403.3 million, $3.6 million below the FY11 request and $16.9 million below FY10.
  • Navy 6.1 basic research accounts would be funded at $556.4 million, the same as the FY11 request and $12.5 million above FY10.
  • Air Force 6.1 basic research accounts would be funded at $500.5 million, the same as the FY11 request, but $18.4 million below FY10.
  • Defense Wide 6.1 basic research accounts would be funded at $486.9 million, $48.1 million below the FY11 request, but $109.8 million above FY10.

For Defense-Wide 6.1 basic research, two accounts were not funded at the levels requested by the Pentagon.  Defense Research Services would receive $295.7 million, which is $32.5 million less that the request, but about $100 million above the FY10 funding level of $194 million.  The National Defense Education Program would receive $94.3 million, which is $15.6 million below the request, but $19 million above FY10.   

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency – The CR provides NOAA with $4.6 billion, which is $947 million below the FY11 requested level. This level requires administrative and overhead reductions and does not provide NOAA the funding increase requested for the Joint Polar Satellite System. The CR cuts NOAA Operations, Research, and Facilities by $119 million compared to FY2010 levels. It also prohibits funding for the establishment of a Climate Service at NOAA.   

United States Geological Survey – The USGS overall is cut by $26 million compared to FY2010 levels.   

Student Financial Aid and Higher Education – The maximum Pell Grant award is maintained at $5,550 for the current year and $23.0 billion is appropriated for the program.  Additional mandatory funds for the Pell Grant program are included for this current and future years but the “Year-Round” Pell Program would be eliminated effective July 1, 2011. 

The CR would eliminate the Leveraging Educational Assistance Program (LEAP) and would fund the Javits Graduate Fellowship Program at $8.1 million.  Other sources have reported that Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG), TRIO, and GEAR UP would see reductions of $20 million, $25 million, and $20 million, respectively.   

A different source is reporting that Title VI and Fulbright-Hays (International Education and Foreign Language Studies) programs will be cut by $50 million.  The same source is reporting that the Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) is funded at the current level of $26.9 million.   

NASA – Science would receive $4.945 billion in FY11, an increase of $448 million (10 percent) from the FY10 level of $4.497 billion.  Aeronautics would receive $535 million, an increase of $38 million (8 percent) above the FY10 level of $497 million.  Education programs at NASA would be funded at $145 million, $35 million (19 percent) below the FY10 level of $180.1 million.  The CR includes no funding for NASA’s Space Technology program.

National Institutes of Standards and Technology – Overall, NIST would be funded at $752 million, which is $55 million above H.R. 1 but $167 million below the FY 2011 requested level.  Specifically, the CR cuts the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) by $25 million compared to FY2010 levels, funding the program at $44 million, while funding the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program at $128.7 million, which is slightly above FY2010 levels. The Construction of Research Facilities money appropriated to NIST is prohibited from being applied to the Competitive Construction program.

USAID – The Collaborative Research Support Programs (CRSPs) are level-funded at $31.5 million and the Africa-US higher education partnerships program is level-funded at $15 million.   Significantly, the bill changes any “shall” to “should” in the Development Assistance section which, may impact how USAID interprets the bill language for these two programs.    

National Endowment for the Humanities – The NEH budget would be cut by $12.5 million from current funding of $167.5 million. This would preliminarily reduce funding for the Endowment to $155 million, the same level appropriated to the agency in FY09.  Adding in the 0.2 percent ATB cut results in a final funding level of $154.7 million.

Department of Homeland Security – The CR cuts DHS’s Science and Technology programs by $175 million compared to FY2010 levels; however, it includes a provision which specifically states, “funding for university programs shall not be reduced by more than twenty percent from the fiscal year 2010 level.”

Environmental Protection Agency – The EPA is reduced by $1.6 billion, a 16-percent decrease from FY10 levels. EPA climate change funding bill-wide is cut by $49 million, or 13 percent.

Department of Housing and Urban Development – The CR provides $100 million for the HUD Sustainable Communities initiative, which is $50 million below the FY 2010 enacted level. While the formula fund for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs remains the same, the CR eliminates funding for the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) and the Neighborhood Initiative (NI) grants as well as support for the University Communities Fund.

Economic Development Administration – The CR provides $284 million for the Economic Development Administration (EDA). EDA’s grant program is funded at $246 million, which is $11million more than FY2010 and the same as the FY2011 request. 

Department of Agriculture – The bill funds the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) at $264.5 million, an increase of $2 million over FY 2010.