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February 05, 2007

President Releases FY 2008 Budget; Stays Committed to ACI

President Bush released his FY 2008 budget request today and it appears that, as promised, the Administration remains committed to the American Competitiveness Initiative and the doubling trajectory for three key science agencies begun in last year's budget request. We've only just started digging into the budget documents -- and we'll be getting more in-depth agency briefings later this afternoon -- but here are some of the top-level numbers: [Just a note, comparing some of these numbers to FY 2007 is a bit problematic because the final FY 2007 estimates aren't in yet. So in all cases but Defense and Homeland Security, the comparison is to the President's requested funding level for FY 2007, which, in most cases, is probably actually higher than the final FY 2007 level set by the CR is likely to be. Therefore, the increases shown for these agencies' requests may actually be greater compared to the final FY 2007 numbers.]

National Science Foundation: Overall funding would rise to $6.429 billion in FY 2008, an increase of $409 million or 7 percent greater than the President's FY 2007 budget request. NSF's research accounts would grow $648 million over the FY 2007 request to $4.880 billion, an increase of 15 percent.

National Institute of Standards and Technology: (Intramural Research and Facilities) NIST's core research and facilities accounts would grow to $586 million in FY 2008, an increase of $55 million or 10 percent over the President's FY 2007 request.

Department of Energy, Office of Science: Increase to $4.398 billion, or $296 million or 7 percent greater than the President's FY 2007 request.

Defense: Defense is trickier to figure out because it and Homeland Security are the only two agencies with enacted levels for FY 2007. In the President's FY 2008 request, Defense basic and applied research would decline $1.110 billion vs. the FY 2007 enacted level to $5.785 billion, a 16 percent reduction. For Basic research (6.1), the Administration requests $1.428 billion, a reduction of $137 million from the FY 07 enacted level (9 percent) and just $7 million more than the President requested in FY 07. Applied research would fall to $4.357 billion under the President's plan, $973 million (18 percent) lower than FY 07 enacted, and $121 million less than he requested in FY 07.

National Institutes of Health: The Administration plan would set NIH's budget at $28.700 billion in FY 2008, $432 million more than the President's FY 2007 request, but about $188 million short of the amount likely to be enacted in the FY 2007 CR.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: NOAA would see its research budget rise to $358 million in FY 2008 under the President's plan, an increase of $20 million or 6 percent compared to his FY 2007 request. We have to do a bit more digging to see how this will compare with the CR level.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration: NASA's Science account would grow to $5.516 billion in FY 2008, $186 million or 3 percent greater than the President's FY 2007 request.

Networking and Information Technology R&D Program: This is the cross-agency budget line for the NITRD program, one of just three interagency R&D efforts listed in the budget (the other two are the National Nanotechnology Initiative and the Climate Change Science Program). I'm hesitant to just put up the raw numbers here, because they always require some interpretation (see last year, for example), but the bottom line number is that the NITRD program would stay essentially flat at $3.057 billion in FY 2008, a $12 million increase over the President's FY 2007 request (and the FY 2007 Defense enacted number). Slated for increases would be NSF's NITRD activities, which would grow $90 million to $994 million, a 10 percent increase, and the Department of Energy and NASA, which would both increase by 4 percent. Defense IT R&D would suffer a 2 percent cut vs. the FY 2007 enacted level, and NIH would see a 14 percent decrease vs. the President's FY 07 request. But it's going to take a bit more investigating to figure out where NITRD really stands vs. FY 2007.

Just for comparison's sake, the NNI would grow by 4 percent in FY 08 (to $1.447 billion) and the Climate Change Science Program would decline 7 percent to $1.544 billion.

We expect to have a lot more detail after the agency briefings this afternoon. We'll post whatever we learn as soon as we can.

By the way, all the budget documents are perusable here.

Posted by PeterHarsha at February 5, 2007 11:29 AM
Posted to American Competitiveness Initiative | FY08 Appropriations | Funding