Tag Archive: Policy and Government Affairs

Articles relevant to Government Affairs.

Congress Approves Increases for Science, Computing Research

Computing research programs at the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science are among those slated for increases in fiscal year 2010, thanks to appropriations legislation that would keep those agencies on a path to double their budgets over the next six years. Congress approved the last of twelve annual appropriations bills necessary to fund the operations of government on December 18, providing a healthy increase to the NSF budget, a more modest increase to DOE’s Office of Science, and a slight increase in real terms for the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Science Funding Faring Well in Budget Process But Appropriations Still a Long Way from Complete

As Members of Congress returned to their districts for the month-long August Congressional Recess, they left an appropriations process on pace to deliver federal science agencies significant budget increases in FY 2010. While the process is far from complete—and much could potentially happen to derail it—the milestones reached so far suggest that Congress intends to hold true to their oft-stated pledge of doubling the budgets for some key federal science agencies over the next several years.

Congress Debates Support for Science in Stimulus, Appropriations

The first significant spending bill to cross newly elected President Barack Obama’s desk for approval in mid-February likely will be a mammoth $900 billion economic stimulus package that could include nearly $10 billion in federal research funds and research infrastructure support. That bill could be followed shortly by another big spending bill—an omnibus appropriations bill that includes funding for nearly every federal agency for FY2009, including hoped-for increases to the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Filling Top S&T Posts Key Task For New Administration

The change in presidential administrations in the New Year means more than just a changing of staff within the offices of the White House. The leadership of nearly every federal agency is politically appointed, and a change of administration likely means a change of leadership in every one of those positions and programs—including dozens of leadership positions at key science agencies relevant to computing and in policy-making positions throughout the executive branch.

Science Does Poorly in Funding Stopgap

After failing to meet the end-of-fiscal-year deadline on the annual appropriations bills necessary to keep the Federal government functioning, Congress and the Administration agreed on a stopgap funding measure in late September that will ensure that Federal science agencies in 2009 will face a fourth straight year of reduced budgets.

Science Increases Abandoned in Final 08 Spending Bill

Despite a year of positive milestones for the advocates of increased funding for three key science agencies, the final FY 2008 numbers for the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Department of Energy’s Office of Science left many in the scientific community bitterly disappointed as lawmakers reneged on commitments to continue the effort to double basic research funding in favor of other programs and congressional earmarks.

Defense Research Sciences Will See Gains in FY 08

Research programs at the Department of Defense will see some increases in funding, thanks to final passage of the FY 2008 Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 434), but some programs of interest to the computing research community will lose funding, largely because the agency responsible—the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency—was too slow to spend it.

While Appropriations Languish, Congress Passes Landmark Science Authorization

Despite a lack of progress in August and September towards resolving the veto threat causing a logjam in the FY 2008 federal appropriations process, many in the science advocacy community did have reason to celebrate. In early August, the President signed into law a landmark science and education authorization bill aimed at bolstering U.S. innovation and preserving American competitiveness.

Key Appropriations, Authorizations on Track

Congress continues to stay on track to honor commitments from the House and Senate Leadership to bolster funding at three key science agencies, but a veto threat from President Bush could derail the annual appropriations process, putting gains for science in doubt. At the same time, House and Senate Leaders have also approved a mammoth omnibus innovation and competitiveness bill that would “ensure our nation’s competitive position in the world through improvements to math and science education and a strong commitment to research,” according to the bill’s sponsors.