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….

House Approps Proposes Even More Cuts for NSF, DOE