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NSF Congressional Highlight

Summary of FY99 Appropriations Conference Agreement for NSF

October 2, 1998

On October 1 House and Senate conferees met and resolved their differences on the FY99 VA HUD and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill. This bill contains funding for NSF as well as HUD, the VA, EPA, NASA, FEMA, and assorted other independent agencies.

For NSF, the conferees have agreed to provide the National Science Foundation with a total appropriation of $3.672 billion for fiscal year. This is $243M or 7.1% more than the FY98 level.

For Research and related activities, the conferees have agreed to provide $2.770 billion -- an increase of $224M or almost 9% above the FY98 level. Within the amounts recommended for the research account, the conferees have provided a total of $22M for arctic logistics activities and an additional $10M above the budget request for plant genome research. In lieu of the other setasides and earmarks that were in the Senate and House reports, the conferees are expected to provide report language calling on the Foundation to find ways to improve the participation of institutions who do not normally fall in the top 100 universities in terms of research activity. The conferees have also agreed to provide up to $2M in funding for NSF's participation in the GLOBE program and $1.5M for the radius data base project.

For Education and Human Resources, the conferees have agreed to provide $663 million -- an increase of about $30 million or about 5% over the fiscal year 1998 appropriation. Within this appropriation, the conferees have made the following changes to the budget request: +$7.5M for minority graduate activities; +$6M for undergraduate minority activities -- an additional $2M is to also be provided from the research account for this activity resulting in a total FY99 program level of $8M; +$10M for informal science education; and +$10M for EPSCOR. The conferees have also decided to name the Foundation's Alliances for Minority Participation program after retiring Congressman Louis Stokes.

For the Major Research Equipment account, the conferees have agreed to provide $90 million. Similar to last year, no funds have been provided for the Polar Cap Observatory. Within the total available to this account, an additional $17M is provided to the request for South Pole station to accelerate the ongoing modernization activity.

Both the Salaries and Expenses and Inspector General accounts are funded at the request levels of $144 million and $5.2 million, respectively.

Additional details will be provided once the conference report becomes available. Floor action on this conference report is expected to take place next week.

Account

FY98

Request

Authorization

House

Senate

Final

RRA

2546

2847

2847

2815

2725

2770

EHR

633

683

683

643

683

663

MRE

109

94

94

90

94

90

S&E

137

144

144

144

137

144

OIG

5

5

5

5

5

5

Total

3429

3773

3773

3697

3644

3672

RRA -- Research and related activities
EHR -- Education and human resources
MRE -- Major research equipment
S&E -- Salaries and expenses
OIG -- Office of Inspector General

See also: