First Senate NSF Appropriations Numbers

On September 22, 2004, in Funding, by Peter Harsha

Early word out of yesterday’s Senate Appropriations Committee markup is that NSF ended up with a 3 percent increase over FY 2004, matching the President’s budget request. That’s $5.75 billion for FY 05, $169 million over FY 2004, and significantly better than the House’s 2 percent cut to NSF’s overall budget.

Still, we’re a long way from the 15 percent increases authorized by Congress and signed by the President in December 2002 in the NSF Authorization. Given inflation, that 3 percent increase won’t mean many new opportunities for the agency.

More details about specific programs as I get them.

Update: Here’s the breakout:

FY 2005 NSF Appropriations
(in millions)
Account
FY 2004
Level
FY 05
Budget Request
FY 2005
House Mark
FY 2005
Senate Mark
$ Change
FY 05 Senate vs. FY 04
% Change
FY 05 Senate vs. FY 04
Research and Related Activities
$4,251
$4,452
$4,152
$4,402
$151
3.6%
Major Research Equip
$155
$213
$208
$130
-$25
-16.2%
Education and Human Resources
$939
$771
$843
$929
-$10
-1.1%
Salaries and Expenses
$219
$294
$250
$269
$50
18.3%
National Science Board
$4
$4
$4
$4
$0
0%
Inspector General
$10
$10
$10
$10
$0
0%
Total
$5,578
$5,745
$5,467
$5,745
$167
2.99%

Another Update: Here’s the directorate by directorate breakout:

NSF Directorate by Directorate Appropriations
(in millions)
Directorate
FY 2004
(est)
FY 2005
Request
FY 2005
Senate Mark
$ Change
FY 05 Senate vs. FY 04
% Change
FY 05 Senate vs. FY 04
Biological Sciences
$587
$600
$605
$18
3.1%
Computer and Information Science
$605
$618
$630
$25
4.1%
Engineering
$565
$576
$576
$11
1.9%
Geosciences
$713
$729
$729
$15
2.2%
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
$1,092
$1,116
$1,123
$31
2.8%
Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences
$204
$225
$225
$21
10.3%
Polar Programs
$342
$350
$350
$8
2.3%
Integrative Activities
$144
$240
$165
$21
14.6%

Final Update: So, it appears computing did a little better than average in the Senate mark. Only SBE and “Integrative Activities” had higher levels of increase vs. FY 2004 than CISE, and they have considerably smaller baselines. CISE benefited in part from an increase to the Information Technology Research (ITR) line vs. the President’s budget request. The program had been slated to decrease to $178 million for FY 05, but was bumped up to $190 million in the Senate mark. The remainder of the increase is apparently spread throughout the core research programs in CISE.

Here are some snippets relevant to computing research from the Committee Report:

NSF has completed the planned 5-year priority for Information Technology Research [ITR] within Computer and Information Science and Engineering [CISE], yet the ITR program has also increased our understanding of computing, communications, and information systems as well as the areas of large-scale networking, new high-end architectures, high-data-volume instruments, and information management. To continue this fundamental research, the Committee has provided $190,000,000 to ITR within CISE.

I think a part of the credit for IT R&D remaining a priority within this appropriation has to go to all those who participated in CRA’s CRAN activity to urge members of the Senate to recognize the critical role NSF plays in leading the federal IT R&D effort, and how critical that effort, in turn, is to the future of innovation in this country.

But there’s still more to be done. Neither the House nor the Senate bills have yet come before their respective bodies — and it’s likely neither will before the election. What is likely is that the bills will get bundled together as part of an omnibus appropriations bill that contains all of the unfinished FY 2005 appropriations bills (currently numbering 12) and passed en masse. How the discrepancies between the cuts in the House bill and the more generous Senate bill get resolved is still an open question. If you haven’t yet contacted your Senators and House Member, there’s still time!