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April 16, 2008

Rumors Swirl Around Supplemental

We're starting to hear from folks on the Hill that it's looking more like science funding might be included in the initial supplemental when it comes out of the Senate. What's less clear is how much, though the consensus seems to be "likely less than the science and technology community hopes it will be." It's also not clear what the House might do with its version of the supplemental or what would happen if, as the President has repeatedly said, it gets vetoed for including domestic spending.

Another rumor buzzing around DC that the supplemental might actually get split into two bills: an Iraq-only funding bill and an Afghanistan and domestic spending bill. This is politically expedient for the Democrats as the issue of Iraq funding splits the party. By having a separate bill to fund the war in Afghanistan and some domestic programs, it allows the Democrats to vote against funding Iraq without withdrawal timetables but for Afghanistan and domestic program spending that they do support.

We'll know a lot more in the next week or two as the House and Senate appropriations committees begin their hearings and markups on the supplemental bills. Meanwhile, the science advocacy community continues to be very active in trying to make the case for science funding in the supplemental. Last week's grassroots effort (which included CRA's Computing Research Advocacy Network's involvement) appears to have generated a lot of phone calls to Members of Congress about the issue, and the various coalitions continue to weigh in with their corporate membership to make the case.

It's expected that the various supplemental bills will hit the House and Senate floors in late April or early May, so keep it tuned here for details.

Posted by MelissaNorr at April 16, 2008 10:52 AM
Posted to American Competitiveness Initiative | FY08 Appropriations | FY09 Appropriations | Funding