NSF, NASA, NIST would get funding boosts under House spending bill | Science

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NSF, NASA, NIST would get funding boosts under House spending bill | Science

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) would get a 7% budget increase, and NASA a 3.8% bump, under a 2020 spending bill approved today by an appropriations panel of the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill rejects cuts to those and other federal research agencies proposed by President Donald Trump’s administration.

The bill includes $73.9 billion in funding for the departments of commerce and justice, as well as independent agencies such as NSF, for the 2020 fiscal year that begins 1 October. It includes “robust funding to address climate change and support scientific research,” said Representative José Serrano (D–NY), chair of the House appropriations subcommittee handling the bill.

Some highlights:

  • NSF would receive $8.64 billion, $561 million above its current budget. The Trump administration had requested a cut of 12.5%, or $1 billion, to $7.1 billion.
  • NSF’s research and related activities get an increase of 8.9%, or $586 million, to $7.1 billion. The White House had proposed a 13% cut to $5.6 billion.
  • NASA receives an $815 million increase to $22.3 billion. The Trump administration requested a cut of 2%, or $480 million, to $21 billion.
  • NASA’s science programs receive a $256 million boost to $7.2 billion, a 3.7% increase. The administration requested a cut of 8.7%, or $600 million, to $6.3 billion.
  • Research programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology get an increase of 3.7%, or $27 million, to $751 million. The administration asked for a cut of 15.5%, or $112 million, to $612 million.
  • The budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would stay roughly flat at about $5.4 billion, nearly $1 billion above the president’s request of $4.5 billion.

The bill now goes to the full House appropriations panel for a vote. The Senate has yet to release its version of the funding bill, and it is not clear whether Congress and the White House will be able to reach agreement on 2020 spending before the fiscal year begins this fall. If no agreement is reached, 2019 spending levels could be extended into the new fiscal year, or the government could shut down.

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