On May 10, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the commerce, science and justice appropriations bill for fiscal 2013 by a vote of 247-163. The CJS bill sets funding for several government agencies, including the National Science Foundation.
The House set NSF funding at $7.33 billion for FY13, an increase of $299 million (4.3 percent) over the FY12 level. While the NSF ultimately fared well, U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., did propose an amendment to reduce the funding for research and related activities at the NSF by $1.2 billion. Fortunately, the amendment failed by a vote of 121-291.
However, several other amendments were approved that affect NSF funding in FY13. The amendment proposed by U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn., to cut funding for the climate change education program at NSF, passed by a vote of 238-188. An additional amendment by Flake to cut funding for the political science program in the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate of NSF, also passed by a vote of 218-208. View all the adopted amendments here.
The U.S. Senate will now have to approve its CJS appropriations bill before the two chambers will conference to determine the final allocations for NSF and the other agencies included in the CJS bill. The Senate is believed to begin their deliberations after Memorial Day. The ASBMB science policy blotter will keep you up-to-date with all the breaking appropriations news!