Federal Relations

May 22, 2019

House Bills Reject Proposed Cuts to Science and Research

This morning, the House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to markup the FY2020 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) and Interior bills, measures that largely reject the cuts to science and research proposed by the Administration in its budget request.

CJS

NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) would be funded at $8.64 billion under this bill, an increase of $561.1 million above the current level and $1.57 billion more than what the Administration proposed.

Within NSF, the Research and Related Activities account would be funded at $7.11 billion, $586.3 million more than the FY2019 level and an increase of $1.44 billion above the request.

The Major Research Equipment, Facilities, and Construction (MREFC) account would see a total of $223.2 million, which was what was requested by the Administration.  Within that amount, $46.3 million would be dedicated to the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.  The Education and Human Resources account would see an increase of $40.0 million to $950 million, $126.5 million above what the White House requested.

NASA

The bill would fund NASA at a total of $22.31 billion, an increase of $81 million above the current level and $1.30 billion more than what the Administration requested.

The Science Mission Directorate would see an increase of $255.6 million in this bill for a total of $7.16 billion.  Of that amount, $2.02 billion would be for Earth Science and $2.71 billion would be for Planetary Science.  Astrophysics would see a total of $1.37 billion while $352.6 million would be dedicated to the Webb Telescope.

The bill would allocate $510.7 million to the WFIRST project, which was zeroed out by the Administration.

Space Grant, a part of the STEM Engagement Office, would be funded at $48.0 million.

NOAA

Within NOAA, Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), the primary research arm of the agency, would receive $595.4 million, an increase of $70.3 million above the FY2019 level.

The Climate Research Program would see a total of $186.5 million, an increase of $27.5 million.  The Cooperative Institutes and Labs funded through Climate Research is slated for $74.0 million, $13.0 million more the current allocation.  Climate research competitive programs would see an $11-million increase to $71.0 million.

The bill proposes to fund Sea Grant at $73.0 million (a $5-million increase) while the Aquaculture line would be funded at $12.0 million.

The report is available here.

Interior

The Interior bill scheduled to be taken up also rejects many of the cuts to research programs proposed by the Administration.

USGS

The Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) would see an increase of $13.0 million to a total of $38.4 million.  Of that increase, $4 million would be designated for the creation of a new CASC in the Midwest.

The bill also proposes to fund the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system at $19.0 million, with another $6.7 million for additional infrastructure build-out for the system.

The USGS cooperative research units program, slated for elimination by the Administration, would see a $5.6-million increase to a total of $24.0 million.

NEH

The National Endowment for the Humanities, currently funded at $155 million, would see an increase to $167.5 million.

The Interior report is available here.

Next Steps

The full Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up the bills later this morning.  We’ll report on further developments of relevance.