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NSF & Congress
Senate VA, HUD Appropriators Recommend 5.2 Percent Increase for NSF

September 4, 2003

On Wednesday, September 4, the Senate Appropriations Committee marked up its FY 04 VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations bill and provided NSF with $5.585 billion, which is $275.8 million (5.2 percent) over FY 03, but $54 million under the House approved level. Within that increase the Research and Related Activities Account will grow from $4.056 billion to $4.220 billion, a $164.15 million (4 percent) increase. The Office of Polar Programs is increased by $11.8 million over the request to $341.7 million to accommodate unusual ice conditions in recent years. Major Research Instrumentation is funded at $115 million, with $30 million of that funding directed to provided instruction and enhance digital and wireless infrastructure at MSI's. The Nanotechnology Initiative receives an extra $25 million of the request, of which $5 million is from CISE, $10 million from Engineering, and $10 million from Math & Physical Sciences. Individual Directorate funding levels are provided in the table below.

In the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account the Subcommittee provided the requested level of funding for the George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, and increased funding for the South Pole Station Modernization ($1.3 million vs. $960,000 request), and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array ($51.04 million vs. $50.84 million request). Projects funded at less than the requested level include the Terascale Computing Systems ($10.06 million vs. $20 million request); EarthScope ($43.73 million vs. $45 million request); and IceCube Neutrino Detector ($35.46 million vs. $60 million request). The Committee did not fund any new starts "due to budgetary constraints."

The Education and Human Resources account is funded at $975.87 million, a $72.7 million(8%) increase over FY 03. The Math and Science Partnership program is funded at $145 million, an increase of $18.3 million over FY 03, but $55 million below the request. The bill added funding for EPSCoR (+$25 million above the request, to $100 million); the TechTalent program is increased by $23 million over the request; the Informal Science Education (+$15 million above the request, to $65 million); Advanced Technology Education (+$7.71 million above the request, to $45.87 million); the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (+$2.27 million above the request, to $35 million) and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (+5.03 million to $25 million); the AGEP program (+$5.7 million above the request to $17.5 million); NSF's Salaries and Expenses account is funded at the requested level of $225.70. The National Science Board is provided $3.9 million, up $420,000 from last year. The Office of the Inspector General is funded at $10 million, $1.28 million over the requested level.

As with the mark-up in the House, members noted the difficulty they had in meeting the needs of the various agencies given the small allocation they had to work with. Chairman Bond noted that NSF's increase was not what he had hoped for, and is far short of the funding path that they had agreed to in the NSF Authorization Act, but that under the cirumstances they simply could not do any better. The bill language states that "the Committee continues to be supportive of the efforts achieved in the NSF Authorization Act of 2002 and the pursuit of a doubling path for NSF. . . and will continue to pursue these efforts in the future."

Senate VA/HUD Mark
September 4, 2003
(all $ in millions)

 

FY 03 Plan

FY 04 Request

FY 04 Senate

Change Over
FY 03 Plan

% Change

Biological Sciences

570.68

562.22

577.22

6.54

1.1%

CISE

581.89

584.26

609.39

27.5

4.7%

Engineering

540.51

536.27

550.00

9.49

1.8%

Geosciences

692.21

687.92

692.21

0.0

0.0%

Math & Physical
Sciences

1,041.02

1,061.27

1,085.87

44.85

4.3%

Social, Behavioral &
Economic Sciences

194.34

211.74

206.74

12.4

6.4%

U.S. Polar Programs

319.07

329.93

341.73

22.66

7.1%

Integrative Activities

116.74

132.45

157.45

40.71

34.9%

Total, Research and Related Activities

4,056.46

4,106.36

4,220.61

164.15

4.0%

Education and Human Resources

903.17

938.04

975.87

72.70

8.0%

Major Research Equipment & Facilities

148.54

202.33

149.68

1.14

0.8%

Salaries and Expenses

189.11

225.70

225.70

36.59

19.3%

Inspector General

9.19

8.77

10.00

0.81

8.8%

Office of the National Science Board

3.48

N/A

3.90

0.42

12.1

TOTAL NSF

5,309.95

5,481.20

5,585.76

275.81

5.2%

 

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