Status Report

AIP FYI #4 Highlights of Science Policy and Budget Developments in 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
January 11, 2002
Filed under ,

A month-by-month review of some of the events reported on in FYI
in 2001:

JANUARY: Confirmation hearing for former Senator Spencer
Abraham (R-MI) to be new Energy Secretary goes well, one senator
saying “there’s no question, you are stepping into a quagmire of
problems.” Defense Secretary-Designate Donald Rumsfeld
questioned about National Missile Defense System and defense S&T
spending at his confirmation hearing.

FEBRUARY: Kansas State Board of Education accepts standards
requiring twelfth grade students to “understand the major
concepts of the theory of biological evolution” and “develop an
understanding of the origin and evolution of the dynamic earth
system.” Education reform takes center stage on both ends of
Pennsylvania Avenue. Hart-Rudman commission recommends that “The
President should propose, and the Congress should support,
doubling the U.S. government’s investment in science and
technology research and development by 2010.” Bush
Administration releases FY 2002 budget “blueprint” that appears
to provide a total $300 million increase for NSF, NASA, and DOE

MARCH: President Bush, responding to a letter from four senators
about the Kyoto Protocol, states his opposition to mandatory
power plant carbon dioxide emission reductions. House Science
Committee releases bipartisan report expressing concern about
the “minuscule” budget increase proposed for NSF, and is
“particularly concerned” about the future of the DOE Office of
Science. President Bush nominates Floyd Kvamme, a venture
capitalist, to be co-chair of PCAST.

APRIL: Energy Secretary Abraham decides not to make any changes
in the National Ignition Facility’s design, construction, or
operation. Administration releases detailed FY 2002 budget
request: NSF, up 1.3%; DOE science, up 0.1%; NASA, up 1.8%; DOD
S&T, up 2.1%; NIST, down 18.4%; USGS, down 9.4%. Blue Ribbon
panel established to study effectiveness of transferring NSF
astronomical responsibilities to NASA. Proposed USGS budget cut
receives much criticism at congressional hearings.

MAY: Twenty-two representatives introduce Fusion Energy Science
Act to authorize increase in spending. VA/HUD chairman James
Walsh (R-NY) describes FY 2002 NSF budget request as “wholly
inadequate” at appropriations hearing.

JUNE: House Science subcommittee chairman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
at hearing on DOE Office of Science points to many empty Member
chairs, and remarks about “the problem we face in attracting
attention” to Office of Science. National Science Board releases
draft report on the allocation of scientific funding. Rep. Rush
Holt (D-NJ) introduces bill to reestablish congressional Office
of Technology Assessment. Advanced Technology Program gets high
marks at House Science subcommittee hearing. Brookhaven
Laboratory Director John Marburger nominated as OSTP director.

JULY: Administration provides details of long-awaited FY 2002 DOD
request, asking for 2.4% cut in defense S&T spending. House
appropriators recommend increases of 9.4% for NSF and 4.5% for
NASA (both higher than later Senate FY 2002 figures.)
Appropriators vote more money for DOE science programs than
Administration request. NRC report identifies priority areas for
physics research. House appropriators recommend elimination of
funding for new ATP grants in 2002, in direct opposition to later
Senate bill.

AUGUST: House and Senate start crafting final education
reauthorization bill. Independent panel begins review of
troubled international space station program.

SEPTEMBER: NRC committee recommends maintaining separate NSF and
NASA astronomy programs. Report released by NRC committee
showing almost 25% decline in federal funding for physics from FY
1993 to 1999. Administration announces effort to develop
evaluation criteria for federal applied and basic research

OCTOBER: John Marburger receives enthusiastic reception at Senate
confirmation hearing. Quadrennial Defense Review Report calls
for 3% of total DOD budget to be spent on defense S&T. USGS
receives 3.5% increase in FY 2002 budget.

NOVEMBER: FY 2002 DOE physics funding remains relatively constant
in new appropriations bill. Task Force finds space station
program plan for executing FY 2002-2006 budget “is not credible.”
Final FY 2002 appropriations bill provides 8.4% increase for NSF
and 3.8% increase for NASA. Appropriations report language
issued that is skeptical about scaled-down space station
configuration. Bill passed giving ATP program an increase of
almost 27% in FY 2002. Sean O’Keefe nominated as new NASA
administrator. Study released showing little change in student
achievement in science from 1996 in grades four and eight.

DECEMBER: O’Keefe declares, at Senate confirmation hearing, that
performance and outcomes “are [what we are] going to be about at
NASA.” Senators express skepticism about proposal to scale-down
space station. Appropriations bill passed raising defense S&T by
11.0%, to a total which is 3.1% of the overall DOD bill.
Congress passes education reauthorization bill, but later
appropriates only $12.5 million for new math and science
partnership program.


Richard M .Jones

Media and Government Relations

The American Institute of Physics

(301) 209-3095


SpaceRef staff editor.