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.


First Update on Science Funding in the Final FY2018 Omnibus


The House Republican leadership tonight finally released their omnibus appropriations bill containing final funding for agencies in FY 2018. You’ll recall that Congress and the Administration reached a budget agreement that would allow an increase to non-defense discretionary spending of about 13 percent for FY 18 and another 3 percent for FY 19. The bill is over 2,000 pages, and contains $1.3 trillion in appropriations, so we don’t yet have all the details. Not surprisingly, it appears that appropriators did not spread the extra funding around equally. Here’s some of what we know so far:

+ NSF would see a ~5.5 percent increase in research funding in FY18 vs. FY17. (R&RA would grow to $6.3 billion from $6.0 billion.) Overall NSF funding would be $7.8 billion in FY18, an increase of $295 million vs. FY17.

+ NIH would see an increase of $3 billion to $37 billion, an increase of nearly 9 percent.

+ NASA would see a 6 percent increase, $1.1 billion above FY17. Includes an increase of $457 million for NASA Science programs.

+ DOE Science would increase $868 million to $6.26 billion, an increase of 16 percent vs. FY17. ARPA-E lives on with $353 million in funding in FY18. No details on Advanced Scientific Computing Research or Exascale yet.

+ The omnibus would boost infrastructure spending to $21 billion, including $625 million to increase and expedite rural broadband expansion within USDA, $398 million to support “cutting-edge science at National labs and other DOE sites,” and $500 million for “critical funds for cyber infrastructure resilience and protection.”

Congress has got to pass the omnibus by midnight Friday or risk another shutdown. It appears that a sufficient number of Democrats have signed off on the bill to ensure its passage and President Trump has already indicated his support for the measure. So while there’s a risk it may take longer than March 23rd to get it done — and so we might see a short shutdown or a very short-term CR — this likely will ultimately pass.

Though not all Federal science agencies will see the double-digit increases that might have been possible under the budget agreement, it does appear that for the first time in a *long* time — like, FY2010 in the case of NSF — science agencies will see real increases as a result of this bill.

We’ll have more detail as we learn it…

Links to summaries of the various approps bills included in the omnibus (all of them) and to the bill itself, all 2,223 pages of it are here:
https://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=395158

First Update on Science Funding in the Final FY2018 Omnibus