Federal Relations

May 16, 2018

FY2019 Appropriations Bills Begin to Move

With the FY2019 set to start October 1, the appropriations bills for the year have begun to move through Congress, with the House Appropriations Committee taking up a number of bills the past several days.

The subcommittee that oversees the Commerce-Justice-Science bill, which funds various agencies and programs of interest to the university– such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, and NOAA– cleared its bill last week and the measure is slated for full Appropriations Committee consideration tomorrow.

The subcommittee-approved version of the bill would fund NSF at $8.17 billion, an increase of approximately $400 million.  Within the agency, the Research and Related Activities account would receive $6.65 billion, an increase of $317 million above the current level.  The Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction account would be funded at $268 million under this version of the legislation, of which $123.8 million would be dedicated to the construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

Under the bill, the Space Grant Program at NASA would be level funded at $40 million in FY2019.

Within NOAA, the Integrated Ocean Observing System would see a slight increase to $37.5 million.  The bill would appropriate $68.5 million to the Sea Grant Program while separately funding the Marine Aquaculture program at $11.5 million.

The legislation also funds the various NOAA Cooperative Institutes (CIs).  Climate research CIs would be funded at $73.0 million in FY2019, compared to $60 million this year.  However, the bill would also eliminate the Competitive Research, Sustained Observation, and Regional Information Program in the broader Climate Research account at NOAA.

Additional details about the bill are available here.

The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee cleared its funding bill last night, sending it to the full committee for its consideration in the near future.  While most of the details about the bill are not yet available, it would fund the Earthquake Early Warning system at $21 million in FY2019.  Office of Federal Relations will provide additional details about this and other bills as they become available.

Across the Capitol, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) announced that his committee will move on its bills starting next week.