On Wednesday, the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee released its initial list of spending cuts for FY11. According to Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., the move will result in savings of $74 billion, relative to President Obama’s FY11 budget request. The list details 70 agencies and departments that will see reduced budgets; the National Institutes of Health would see its budget held at the FY10 level of $31 billion, $1 billion less than the President’s request, while the National Science Foundation budget would be set at $7.285 billion, a surprising increase of $359 million.
Unfortunately, these proposals did not sit well with several House Republicans, who demanded that the Appropriations Committee remain committed to the party campaign promise of $100 billion in spending cuts. In response, Chairman Rogers, announced that he would instruct his subcommittee chairs to make deeper cuts in order to reach this goal. However, his lieutenants have indicated that science agencies may be spared: Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations subcommittee Chairman Frank Wolf, R-Va., signaled his subcommittee’s intent to do “everything we can to protect NSF.”
It is expected that the full budget proposal for FY11 will be unveiled by the House sometime next week. Also next week, President Obama will release his FY12 budget request, leaving the Congressional Appropriations committees the unenviable task of trying to tackle both budgets simultaneously.
The ASBMB Public Affairs staff is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to report on developments as they occur. Stay tuned for alerts on how you can get involved with the process!