Today, the U.S. House Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations subcommittee held a hearing on their funding bill for fiscal 2015. The CJS appropriations subcommittee allocates money for many government agencies, including the National Science Foundation. And if CJS committee members have their way, the NSF will receive a significant bump in its budget for FY15.
The FY15 CJS bill appropriates $7.4 billion for the NSF. This is a $238 million increase over FY14 appropriations (3.3 percent) and $154 million over President Obama’s request for the agency (2.1 percent) but lower than the $7.6 billion the ASBMB has advocated for. The CJS number for NSF is also higher than the $7.28 billion FY15 authorization being contemplated by the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology committee in the FIRST Act. The FY15 CJS bill was unanimously agreed to by the subcommittee and now proceeds to a markup by the full U.S. House Committee on Appropriations.
The action of the House CJS subcommittee today might seem like reason to celebrate, but, as always, there are multiple moving parts to consider:
- The U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittees will begin marking up bills in the next few weeks. We don’t know yet what the Senate CJS subcommittee will appropriate for the NSF, but it is possible that this number will be much closer to Obama’s request.
- Once appropriations bills pass both houses, any differences will need to be ironed out in a joint committee. Thus, if the NSF appropriations differ between the House and Senate, a compromise bill will need to be negotiated before being sent for Obama’s signature.
This is one of the first steps in the long appropriations process. Follow the ASBMB Policy Blotter to keep up with the rest of the process!