A symbolic (and that’s about all) victory for science in managing to get included in the FY 08 Emergency Supplemental Appropriation approved by the House today, though the amounts leave a lot to be desired. Even though the funding levels are pretty anemic, at least some money appeared in the bill. The great majority of other “special interests” that were clamoring to get into the bill didn’t make it.
The House and Senate Leadership agreed on a $400 million bump for science agencies that got shortchanged in the FY 08 Omnibus Approps — a far cry from the $1.2 billion included by the Senate in its version and an even further cry from the levels called for in the COMPETES Act (and ACI, and the Democratic Innovation Agenda).
Here’s how it breaks out:
- $62.5 million for Department of Energy’s Office of Science (to “eliminate all furloughs and reductions in force which are a direct result of budgetary constraints”)
- $62.5 million for DOE Environmental Cleanup
- $62.5 million for NASA
- $62.5 million for NSF (a paltry $22.5 million for research and $40 million for EHR and the Noyce Scholarships)
- $150 million for NIH (so even when NIH “loses,” it still does better than the ACI agencies…)
The argument given by the House leadership for these funding levels is that these are the only amounts that are truly “emergency” funds. The FY 09 Appropriations bill are supposed to get the agencies back on track. Of course, the likelihood of the FY 09 bills getting finished is quite slim, but that’s the story.
The Senate will pass the measure next week. The President has indicated that he’s likely to sign it, so this is probably the end game for FY 08.
On to FY 09….