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Some Budget Details Available

As was reported on Friday, the Biden Administration released its detailed budget request late that afternoon.  The government-wide budget documents are now available here.  As agency-specific documents and details become available, we will provide updates.

Initial details about the budget requests for various agencies are provided below.


NSF as a whole would see a total of $10.12 billion under the Biden Administration proposal, an increase of 19.8 percent.  The funding breaks down in the following manner:

  • Research and Related Activities (R&RA): $8.14 billion ($1.23-billion increase, or 17.8%)
  • Education and Human Resources: $1.29 billion ($319.3-million increase, or 33.0%)
  • Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction: $249.0 million ($8.0-million increase, or 3.3%)

Within R&RA, given the Administration’s emphasis on climate science, it is not surprising that the NSF budget proposal calls for an estimated increase of 19.0% for Geosciences over the FY2021 estimates.

Under the budget proposal, NSF would play a key role in a number of Administration-wide research priority areas.  For example, the budget request calls for significant increases for the agency in the following areas:

  • US Global Change Research Program—46.3%
  • Artificial Intelligence—31.4%
  • Biotechnology and Clean Energy—both would see increases of 31.7%
  • Quantum—23.8%
  • Microelectronics/ semiconductors—56.7%

The entire set of NSF budget documents is available here:



NASA also released its detailed budget documents on Friday, which are available here.

Overall, NASA is slated for $24.8 billion, an increase of $1.53 billion, or 6.57 percent, over the current funding level.

The President budget request calls for funding the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at $7.93 billion, $630.6 million (8.6%) above the FY2021 level.  Within SMD, the Administration proposal breaks down in the following manner:

  • Planetary Science: $3.20 billion
  • Earth Science: $2.25 billion
  • Astrophysics: $1.40 billion
  • Heliophysics: $796.7 million
  • Webb Space Telescope: $175.4 million
  • Biological and physical sciences: $109.1 million

The Aeronautics Directorate would be funded at $914.8 million while Space Technology would see $1.43 billion under the budget proposal.

The Office of STEM Engagement, which supports the Space Grant program, would see an increase of $20 million to $147.0 million.  The requested amount allow Space Grant to increase by $6 million in FY2022.

A set of facts sheets about the different missions areas is available here.



While the detailed budget documents are not yet available, a press release that highlights some of the key themes of the agency budget notes that NOAA would see an increase of $1.5 billion in its discretionary budget, an increase of 27.3 percent, taking the total to $7.0 billion.

A key driver of the increase is the renewed focus on climate change and the budget proposal calls for an additional investment of $855 million in activities related to the issue.

Detailed documents are expected in the coming days.


Department of Education

Unveiled in previous proposals, the Education Department (ED) budget request details a number of the Biden Administration’s key higher education priorities.  ED proposes to boost a number of programs aimed at Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), including those funded through Title III of the Higher Education Act.  The Administration is asking $4.6 billion to eliminate tuition at MSIs for families with incomes below $125,000 per year.  The budget also seeks $14.3 billion for a federal-state partnership to make community colleges tuition free.

The maximum Pell Grant award would be increased by $1,875 to $8,370.  The SEOG and Federal Work Study programs would be level-funded at $880 million and $1.19 billion, respectively.  At the same time, TRIO and GEAR UP would see increases of $200.8 million and $40 million, respectively; as a result, TRIO would be funded at $1.3 billion and GEAR UP would be funded at $408 million.

Title VI international education programs and GAANN would be level funded at $78 million and $23.5 million, respectively, while the Institute for Education Sciences would receive an increase of $95 million, or 14.8 percent, to $737.5 million.

ED’s budget documents are available here.



The budget request seeks $51.93 billion for NIH.  This includes a proposal to increase the base budget by $2.5 billion while seeking $6.5 billion to create a new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health (ARPA-H).

Topline information about the Department of Health and Human Services, of which NIH is a part, is available here.

We will provide further details about the NIH budget after additional analysis.



Under the Biden Administration’s budget proposal, USGS is expected to play a significant role in the government’s efforts to address climate change.  While the agency would seen an increase of $326.9 million over the FY2021 funding level to a total of $1.6 billion, $205.0 million of the increase would be directed to investments in climate science research.

Among the new investments would be $42.5 million for Climate Science Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) as well as tribal climate science activities.  In fact, the budget for the CASC program would more than double under the budget request, going from $41.3 million to $84.4 million.  The USGS would also contribute $60.0 million to the newly proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency-Climate (ARPA-C).

The Cooperative Research Unit program would see a modest increase of $0.5 million.

The ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system—which is now capable of sending our public alerts along the entire West Coast—would be level-funded at $25.7 million under the Biden Budget.

Initial information about the UGSS budget proposal is available  here.


Other agencies/ Additional details

Again, the Office of Federal Relations will continue to provide updates as more details become available and after further analysis.



UW Publishes 2021 Federal Agenda

The University of Washington has published our 2021 Federal Agenda outlining our top priorities for the coming year. Our agenda reflects a commitment to service, excellence, and innovation, taking into account the unique challenges of the past year.

We are proud of our longstanding partnership with the federal government and look forward to further collaboration in 2021.

Split Screen: COVID Package in House, Trump Trial in Senate

As noted yesterday, House committees that received instructions to craft specific parts of the larger COVID relief package will begin to act today, with the Education and Labor Committee marking up its bill at 3 PM today (the session will be webcast here).  The Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I), Financial Services, and Agriculture Committees are scheduled to follow suit by marking up their bills on Wednesday.  Copies of the T & I and Financial Services bills were released late yesterday.

The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to take up its piece of the COVID package next week during a markup that is expected to take multiple days.  The entirety of the Ways and Means package and summaries of each section are available here.  Provisions of interest in the bill include, for example:

  • $1,400 credit for both children and non-child dependents;
  • Tax credits for state and local governments to provide paid family and medical leave created by Families First Corona Response Act, which would become effective March 31, 2021; and,
  • Extension of the employee retention tax credit.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Capitol complex, the full Senate today is scheduled to start the trial to convict former president Donald Trump.  Once the trial officially starts, both sides can use up to 16 hours to make their case.