Earlier this week, we published a breakdown of the research agencies in the Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus spending bill that had been agreed to by both political parties in Congress. There was one significant research agency that was left out of that breakdown: the Department of Defense (DOD). As one would expect, given President Trump’s campaign pledge to increase defense spending, DOD did relatively well in the agreement, with Defense Science and Technology (DOD S&T) accounts being no exception.
CRA Government Affairs
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.
Posts categorized under: Funding
This budget is short on details — the President will release a more traditional, detailed budget in early to mid-May — but what is included will not breed much faith that the new Administration sees much value in federal investments in research.
Last Friday, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) sent the committee’s Views and Estimates (V&Es) for the coming fiscal year to the House Budget Committee. This is required by law and is meant to give the Congressional authorizing committees, the ones who set policy, rather than direct funding, a chance to state their goals for the Federal departments and agencies that are under their jurisdiction. This year, once again, the Science Committee is prioritizing computing at the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), while de-prioritizing research at the Social, Behavioral, & Economic (SBE) sciences and Geosciences (GEO) directorates within NSF and biological and environmental research at DOE.
In an op-ed published in the Hill newspaper, the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the chair of the National Science Board announced the release of a new report on the impacts of inadequate funding for scientific research in the United States. The report, titled “The Future Postponed 2.0: Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a U.S. Innovation Deficit,” is the follow-on of a report released in April of 2015 on the same topic.
First, the good news: the government won’t have to shut down on Saturday, as Congressional leaders have agreed to a continuing resolution (CR) through December 9. Bad news: we have no idea with a final Fiscal year 2017 will look like or when it will be settled.
“Though there are increasing demands to curtail spending and to balance the federal budget, we must make the commitment to invest in science….” -Trump
To round out the President’s 2017 (FY17) Budget Requests for key science research accounts, which were released in February, we wanted to cover the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST). Combined these three accounts cover the vast majority of the Federal government’s investment in IT and computing research.
On Tuesday, February 9th, President Obama released the last budget request of his administration. As we have done in years past, the CRA Policy Blog will be doing a series of posts on the assorted agency budgets that are important to the computing research community. In this post we highlight the Department of Energy (DOE).
President Obama on Tuesday released his final Budget Request to Congress, a $4.1 trillion request for FY 2017 that some in the science community have called “aspirational,” which might be a nice way of saying disappointingly unrealistic.
Thirteen different coalitions, representing over 500 individual organizations, who are concerned with the federal investment in research and development, have signed a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, urging them, “to make strong investments in America’s innovation ecosystem one of your highest priorities by increasing federal research funding by at least 5.2 percent above FY 2015 levels—the same level of increase to discretionary spending.”