It appears that Congress is making every effort to return to normal working order for the fiscal 2013 appropriations process, by already voting on several appropriations bills in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. Despite the tight fiscal environment for FY13, the National Science Foundation received an increase over the FY12 budget from both chambers.
The appropriations subcommittee on commerce, science and justice establishes the funding levels for several government agencies, including the NSF. On April 19, the Senate appropriations committee approved the CJS appropriations bill by a vote of 28-1, setting NSF funding for FY13 at $7.27 billion, $240 million (3.4 percent) above the FY12 level. A summary of the Senate CJS bill can be found here.
The House appropriations committee followed suit the next week by passing itsversion of the CJS appropriations bill, funding NSF at $7.33 billion for FY13, an increase of $299 million (4.3 percent) over the FY12 level. Also of note, the committee approved an amendment to the CJS bill put forth by U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., that encouraged science and engineering graduate students be retained in the U.S. after their training was completed. A summary of the House CJS bill can be found here.
While both chambers gave the NSF’s budget an increase for FY13, the allocations were both still below the president’s requested level of $7.37 billion.
Next, the full House and Senate must approve their respective CJS bills before a joint conference will be set to determine the final funding level for NSF and the other agencies included in the CJS bill. Stay tuned to the ASBMB science policy blotter for all the latest new on the FY13 appropriations process.