On Friday, Nov. 18, President Obama signed into law the first appropriations bill for fiscal 2012. The “minibus” bill provided $128 billion for several government agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.
While some science-funding agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, fared well with a budget increase of $173 million for FY12, other entities faced drastic budget reductions. The Office of Science and Technology Policy received a budget cut of 32 percent, down to $4.5 million from $6.6 million. Included in the spending bill was language that prohibits the OSTP from engaging in actives with the Chinese government that carry the risk of transferring “sensitive” science and technology data. See the full conference report here, and go to Page 84 for the section dealing with the OSTP.
Also included in the spending bill was a second continuing resolution to keep the government funded until Dec. 16. The nine remaining appropriations bills could be passed either in several additional “minibus” bills or through one large omnibus bill.