Status Report

AIP FYI #99: House Appropriations Bill Recommends Cut in FY 2005 NSF Funding

By SpaceRef Editor
July 25, 2004
Filed under , ,

The House Appropriations Committee has passed and sent to the House
floor the FY 2005 VA, HUD and Independent Agencies Appropriations
Bill. Under this bill, the National Science Foundation’s budget
would be cut by 2.0% or $111 million.

Here are the numbers:

The current NSF budget is $5,577.9 million.

The Bush Administration request is $5,744.7 million. This is an
increase of 3.0% or $167 million over the current budget.

The House appropriations bill recommends $5,467.0 million for FY

Neither the draft version of the committee’s report or the press
release issued yesterday explains why this reduction was made.

The committee’s report provides further detail on various budget


The current budget is $4,251.4 million. The administration
requested $4,452.0 million. The House bill would provide $4,151.8
million, which is a reduction of $99.6 million or 2.3% from this

The committee report shows two different figures for the R&RA
reduction, explaining that after various accounting revisions are
made, funding would be reduced $73.7 million from this year.
Notably, the Math and Science Partnership Program would continue to
be funded in the Education and Human Resources budget instead of in
R&RA as proposed by the administration in its budget submission.
Administrative costs now funded in R&RA were shifted to the
foundation’s salary account.

The committee report explains that “Given the overall funding
constraints, no funds are provided for the proposed [$20 million]
Workforce for the 21st Century program, the proposed new class of
Science and Technology Centers, or the proposed Innovation Fund.”

The full request of $350 million was provided for the Office of
Polar Programs, the report stating, “The Committee expects NSF to
provide the necessary resources for operations, research support and
logistics, and science and research grant support to fully fund the
Antarctic operations.”

Regarding nanotechnology, the report states, “the Committee remains
concerned that researchers are reaching the physical limits of
current complementary metal oxide semiconductor process technology
and that this will have significant implications for continued
productivity growth in the information economy.” After commending
NSF’s activities, the report “encourages NSF to consider increasing
research support, where feasible, through this program.”


Several facilities would be funded at approximately the requested
level: ALMA (at $49.7 million), EarthScope (at $47.3 million), and
Rare Symmetry Violating Process (at $30.0 million).

The report states: “The Committee recommends $51,200,000 for the
IceCube Neutrino Detector Observatory, an increase of $9,450,000
above fiscal year 2004 level and $17,800,000 above the request. The
Committee has accelerated the funding profile to enable certain
economies to be achieved that will reduce the overall total project

The Integrated Ocean Drilling program would be funded at $30.0
million; the request was $40.9 million.

The administration requested $12.0 million for the National
Ecological Observatory Network in this account. The committee did
not provide this funding, but did include $6.0 million in the R&RA
account above for “continued planning and design activities.”


EHR funding would be cut under the House bill. As is true for the
R&RA component, the draft committee report shows two different
reductions because of the accounting changes described above.

The current EHR budget is $939.0 million. The administration
requested $771.4 million. The House bill would provide $843.0
million. This is a reduction of 10.2% or $96.0 million from the
current year.

The committee report draft language provides detail about various
EHR programs, and should be available shortly at the following site
under VA/HUD:

Under this bill, program funding would be changed from the current
year as follows:

Math and Science Partnerships: $82.5 million recommended; $139.2
million current year EPSCoR: $94.4 million recommended; $94.4
million current year

Elementary, Secondary and Informal Education: $175.5 million
recommended; $212.3 million current year

Undergraduate Education: $160.3 million recommended; $155.5 million
current year

Graduate Education: $156.0 million recommended; $156.0 million
current year

Human Resource Development: $115.3 million recommended; $115.9
million current year

Research, Evaluation and Communication: $53.2 million recommended;
$65.8 million current year.

SpaceRef staff editor.