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March 2014 Public Policy News

 

26 March: OSTP Director Holdren Appears Before House Science Committee: There was little that Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren and the Republican members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee agreed about at a recent two-hour hearing on the Administration's FY 2015 S&T budget request.  Predictability, there was disagreement about climate change, the National Science Foundation's grant-making process, and NASA's programs. Read more

21 March: Overview of H.R. 4186, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act: The House Subcommittee on Research and Technology considered and voted to send H.R. 4186, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act of 2014 to the full House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.   Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) predicted that the full committee will consider the bill within the next few weeks.  

The 130-page bill has attracted considerable attention in the science policy community, with much of the focus on Title I of the legislation pertaining to the National Science Foundation.  The bill authorizes NSF funding in the current year and in FY 2015, and would make changes in the foundation’s operations.  H.R. 4186 also authorizes federal STEM education programs; the Office of Science and Technology Policy; the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and Networking and Information Technology Research and Development.   A review of selected provisions of this bill follows.  Note that this is not a complete summary of all of the wide-ranging provisions in this lengthy bill. Read more


19 March: FY 2015 S&T Administration Budget Requests: The Ups and Downs:
The FY 2015 appropriations cycle is underway.  Next week House appropriations subcommittees will consider the budget requests for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Science Foundation.  The appropriations committees will have little additional money to work with.  An agreement between Congress and the Obama Administration that was codified into law limits the increase in total discretionary funding in FY 2015 to just 0.2 percent. See more information on the budget requests with links to documents

 

13 March: NSF and NIST Reauthorization Bill Approved by Subcommittee: The House Subcommittee on Research and Technology met to consider and then approve sending a bill to the full House Science, Space, and Technology Committee that would reauthorize the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and STEM education programs. Read more

 

5-12 March: FY 2015 Budget Requests:

  • S&T Programs: The Obama Administration proposes to increase total federal research and development spending by 1.2 percent in FY 2015. Although not a dramatic increase as compared to previous years, the total increase in discretionary spending is limited to just 0.2 percent under the law. Total discretionary spending (e.g., non-entitlement programs) is $1.012 trillion this year, increasing to $1.014 trillion in the fiscal year starting on October 1. Read more
  • DOE Office of Science: The Department of Energy has released partial information about its FY 2015 budget request; overall funding for the department would increase 2.6 percent under the Administration's request. The budget for the Office of Science would increase 0.9 percent. Read more
  • National Nuclear Security Administration: The Department of Energy has released partial information about its FY 2015 budget request; overall funding for the department would increase 2.6 percent under the Administration's request. The budget for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) would increase 4.0 percent. Read more
  • DoD Science and Technology Programs: The Department of Defense has requested $11,514.5 million for its three science and technology programs for FY 2015. Total S&T funding would decline 4.1 percent from the current budget under this request. The total Department of Defense budget would decline in FY 2015, from the current level of $496.0 billion to the requested $495.6 billion, a decline of $400 million or 0.1 percent. Total defense S&T program funding would be 2.3 percent of the entire budget. Read more
  • U.S. Geological Survey: The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has requested $1,073.3 million for FY 2015. Under this request, total funding would increase $41.3 million or 4.0 percent from its current budget of $1,032.0 million. USGS is within the Department of the Interior for which the Obama Administration has requested a total increase of 2.4 percent. The Department of Interior's Budget in Brief explains that for its programs funded through its annual appropriations act the requested increase is 1 percent. Read more
  • NASA: The Obama Administration has requested $17,460.6 million for NASA for FY 2015. Under this request the agency's budget would decline 1.1 percent. Funding for Science would decline 3.5 percent. Read more
  • National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering: The National Institutes of Health has requested $30.362 billion for FY 2015, an increase of $210.8 million or 0.7 percent for FY 2015. Within this budget, funding for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) would increase 0.6%. Read more
  • National Science Foundation: The National Science Foundation (NSF) has requested $7.255 billion for FY 2015, an increase of $83.1 million or 1.2 percent. The NSF budget supports core research activities within and across all science disciplines. The NSF has released its FY 2015 budget request documents as well as a Strategic Plan for 2014-2018. Read more