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May 31, 2007

House Appropriations Allocations Are Out

The so-called "302(b) allocations" for the House Appropriations committee have been released and they look very positive for those of us anxious to see whether Congress will continue its commitment to double the budgets of some key federal science agencies. The 302(b)'s are the allocations each of the subcommittees responsible for producing the 12 appropriations bills necessary to keep the federal government operating each year gets to spend on their particular bill. If the Budget Resolution determined the overall size of the federal discretionary spending "pie," the 302(b) allocations determine the size of each slice.

For FY 2008, the subcommittees that have jurisdiction over some of the science agencies we care about -- NSF, NIST, DOE Sci, NIH, NASA, and DOD -- have each gotten pretty reasonable-sized slices. The House Commerce, Science, Justice subcommittee, which determines funding for NSF, NIST, NASA and NOAA, received from the Congressional leadership a bump of $3 billion to their allocation compared with last year -- $53.35 billion for FY 08 vs. $50.34 for FY 07 -- a level $2.11 billion higher than the President requested for FY 08.

The Energy and Water Committee received a $1.30 billion bump -- enough to support a healthy increase to the Department of Energy's Office of Science in the first FY 08 appropriations bill to get marked up, as we reported previously. The Labor/HHS/Education committee, which funds NIH, received a $5.53 billion bump -- more than $9 billion higher than the Administration requested for FY 08.

While these increases don't guarantee the appropriators will continue Congress' commitment to doubling the budgets of NSF, NIST and DOE Sci, as called for in both the President's American Competitiveness Initiative and the Democratic Innovation Agenda, it certainly does make the job of finding money to fund the increases a whole lot easier. We'll keep an eye on the process and let you know how it goes. So far, so good.

Posted by PeterHarsha at May 31, 2007 12:10 PM
Posted to American Competitiveness Initiative | FY08 Appropriations | Funding