Well after a lot of rumors, innuendo, and veto threats, the House supplemental appropriations bill — the last hope for rectifying the shortfall for science in FY 2008 — does not contain additional funding for science and technology but the Senate version does. The House version, which is scheduled to be debated and voted on today, only includes additional domestic funding for veterans education, unemployment benefits, and Medicaid and some additional international aid that the President requested. The Senate version, which is scheduled to have floor time next week, also includes $1.2 billion for science at NASA, NSF, NIH, and DOE. It is unlikely that the Senate will pass the supplemental with a veto proof majority so the question going forward is how to reconcile the two bills — and how they will handle the science funding — and avoid a Presidential veto. It is likely that much of the Senate funding will get stripped out in order to satisfy House Republicans and “Blue Dog” Democrats who would vote against the additional spending and to avoid a veto by the President. We’ll keep you posted as the debate and votes happen and let you know how it all shakes out in the end…
Update: Here is a breakdown of the funding for science the Senate is including in their version of the supplemental.
$150 million for NSF basic research activities and $50 million for four science/math education programs.
$400 million for DOE – $300 million for environmental management and $100 million for ACI, of which $50 million is fusion (ITER).
$200 million for NASA for a new account to reimburse NASA programs that helped to cover costs associated with Space Shuttle return to flight after 2003 Columbia accident.
$400 million for NIH.
This additional funding, while welcome, does not cover the short fall for the ACI-related agencies who lost out in the FY08 omnibus. But at least the Senate included science funding which is more than can be said for the House version. Sigh.

 

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