Computing Research Policy Blog

The Computing Research Association (or CRA) has been involved in shaping public policy of relevance to computing research for more than two decades. More recently the CRA Government Affairs program has enhanced its efforts to help the members of the computing research community contribute to the public debate knowledgeably and effectively.

House Approps Proposes Even More Cuts for NSF, DOE

The House Appropriations Committee released their spending cuts version 2.0 — after having their previous attempt to cut $74 billion from the President’s request for non-defense discretionary spending savaged by conservative Republicans in the House —  and NSF and DOE both face significant cuts. The appropriators went back and took another look at their first proposal, which cut about $74 billion from the President’s budget request, and found another $26 billion. The new proposed cuts mean real cuts for agency budgets (not just cuts to requested increases).

Here’s a list of the proposed cuts in the CR, which will be taken up on Monday in a vehicle that combines the CR and the FY 11 Defense Appropriation.

Notable cuts for science:

National Science Foundation’s Research and Related Activities account – cut $150 million compared to NSF’s FY10 budget.

NSF’s Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction – cut $62.5 million vs. FY 10.

NSF’s Education and Human Resources – cut $147 million vs. FY 10.

DOE’s Office of Science – cut $893 million.

DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – cut $786 million

NIST’s Scientific and Technical Research Services – cut $45.5 million

About the only positive — and that’s a very qualified positive — is that ARPA-E does manage to get an appropriation in the bill ($50 million), averting some concerns that the agency would receive $0. That’s significantly lower than their original funding of $400 million, but the agency is in an awkward spot because it has never had a “normal” appropriation (it was authorized in the America COMPETES Act and given a one-time appropriation in the 2009 stimulus bill), so a CR could very well have included no funding for it.

We’ll have more as we figure it out, but these numbers show the community has a lot of work to do in the House and Senate to prevent the country from taking a big step backwards in trying to improve our long-term innovative potential….

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House Approps Proposes Even More Cuts for NSF, DOE