A busy week for federal spending for scientific research ?>

A busy week for federal spending for scientific research

The dust is finally settling over the fiscal 2013 appropriations process just as the FY14 process begins. Yesterday, the National Science Foundation released the final fiscal 2013 budgets for each directorate. The agency’s overall appropriation is $6.8 billion after accounting for sequestration. Of interest to ASBMB members, the Directorate of Biological Sciences will have a $679 million budget for FY13. This is a $33 million, or 4.6 percent, reduction relative to FY12 levels, and will undoubtedly cause a reduction in the number of grants funded by the agency through the end of the fiscal year.

Today, the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations subcommittee in the U.S. Senate released a document with the projected spending levels of several federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health. The senate would fund the NIH at $30.9 billion for FY14, a 5 percent increase over the NIH appropriation post sequestration. While this increase seems substantial, the senate is appropriating assuming sequestration will be eliminated in a bargain they hope is reached before the beginning of FY14. The U.S. House Labor-HHS-Education appropriations subcommittee has not released its figures for agency funding, although the figures are expected to be significantly lower than those of the senate.

Finally, the House Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations subcommittee, which sets appropriations for the NSF, will debate its FY14 appropriations bill tomorrow. The bill calls for $7 billion in NSF funding for FY14, a 2.5 percent increase over the NSF FY13 appropriation after sequestration. While this is moderately good news, given the current congressional gridlock over financial issues, it is not clear if this or any other appropriations bill will pass either house of Congress.

For more on appropriations for science-funding agencies, stay tuned to the Policy Blotter!

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