Federal Relations

February 10, 2020

Budget Day!

The Administration has released the annual President’s Budget Request (PBR) for FY 2021 today. The proposed budget includes $4.8 trillion in spending over the next year and would increase defense spending and include substantial cuts to domestic and social safety net programs.

The measure includes $740.5 billion for the military and a 5% cut in non-defense spending, to $590 billion.

The budget would balance the budget by 2035 and calculates $4.6 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, including $135 billion gained through proposed drug pricing reform and $292 billion gained from cuts to programs like SNAP and Medicaid.

Of note, the FY 2021 PBR assumes the 2017 tax cuts will be extended after they expire in 2025, and that the economy will grow by 3% in 2021.

The FY 2021 PBR includes a number of the president’s political priorities, including $2 billion in funding for the construction of his signature border wall, a lower level than was requested a year ago, and funding to continue to build Space Force.

A high level overview of proposed R&D spending is here. 

The PBR does have significant investments in both artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum information science (QIS) . The “Industries of the Future” commits to double R&D spending in nondefense AI and QIS by 2022.

The FY 2021 Budget includes a significant increase in nondefense AI R&D across the federal government including:

  • This increase brings spending for AI R&D and interdisciplinary research institutes at the National Science Foundation to more than $850 million, which represents a more than 70 percent increase over the FY 2020 budget.
  • Energy’s Office of Science will invest $125 million in AI research, a $54 million increase over FY 2020.
  • USDA will provide $100 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative competitive grants program to enhance application of advanced technology, including AI, in agricultural systems.
  • NIH will invest $50 million for new research on chronic diseases using AI and related approaches.
  • DARPA is investing $459 million in AI R&D, an increase of $50 million from FY 2020, and the Department of Defense’s Joint AI Center is increasing its budget from $242 million in FY 2020 to $290 million in FY 2021.

Similarly, federal aggregate investment across key agencies for QIS R&D would increase by more than 50 percent relative to the FY 2020 Budget, putting QIS R&D on the path to double by 2022 including investment in:

  • NSF investment in QIS research will double to $210 million, an additional $105 million over FY 2020.
  • Energy’s Office of Science spending on QIS research will increase to $237 million, which will boost QIS efforts at the national laboratories and in academia and industry. This represents a nearly $70 million increase over FY 2020.
  • Additionally, $25 million for Energy’s Office of Science to support early stage research for a quantum internet.

However, with all PBRs there are cuts. Major savings from the PBR can be found here. 

Programs proposed to be eliminated include:

  • Commerce: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grant and education programs including:
    • Sea Grant
    • the National Estuarine Research Reserve System
    • Coastal Zone Management Grants
    • the Office of Education
    • the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund
  • ED: Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • ED: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)
  • ED: Title VI International Education
  • Energy: Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy program
  • HHS: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • EPA: ENERGY STAR program
  • EPA:  Extramural Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants
  • NASA:  Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
  • USGS:  Cooperative Research Units

Programs proposed to be significantly  cut include:

  • ED: TRIO Programs that would transition from a set of competitive grant programs into a single student supports block grant to $950 million (-$145 million)
  • ED:  Federal Work-Study (FWS) to $500 million (-$680 million)
  • Energy:  applied energy research and development (R&D) programs focused on nuclear, fossil, renewables, efficiency, and electricity to $2.8 billion (-$2.48 billion)
  • HHS;  Center for Disease Control (CDC) cut to refocus on “core mission” of only investigating infectious disease to $813 million (-$427 million)
  • HHS: HRSA, Health Workforce Programs, cut by half by eliminating 14 health professions training programs  but keeping NURSE Corp and National Health Service Corp
  • HHS:  National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to $190 million ($153 million)
  • Interior:  U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) ecosystems research to $127 million (-$125 million), including significant cuts to the Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC)
  • EPA: Geographic Programs to $331 million to fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and South Florida program and maintain limited funding for the Chesapeake Bay program (-$179 million)
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting to $30 million (-$435 million)
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services to $23 million (-$229 million)
  • National Endowment for the Arts to $30 million (-$132 million)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities to $33 million (-$129 million)

Federal Relations will continue to work through the OMB and agency materials on the Administration’s FY2021 proposal.