Computing Research Policy Blog

The Computing Research Association (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.

Omnibus Approps Still Stalled


Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist warned today that failure to pass the long-delayed $328 billion omnibus FY 2004 appropriations bill will cut off millions in funding for new projects. Here’s coverage in the Washington Post. Failure to pass the legislation would force Congress to pass a “continuing resolution,” Frist says, which would freeze funding for government activities at last year’s spending level.
The bill, already passed in the House, faces opposition from Democrats in the Senate over controversial provisions including overtime pay, country-of-origin labeling for beef, and media consolidation rules.
Tied up in the bill is a $268 million funding increase for the National Science Foundation (5 percent over FY 2003), including a $24 million increase to NSF’s CISE division.
The Senate will return from recess next week.
CRA has more detail on the omnibus in the January 2004 edition of Computing Research News, which can now be found online!

President Announces Missions to Moon and Mars


President Bush wants Americans back to the moon “no later than 2020” and to Mars a decade later, and he’s going to request an increase of $1 billion (or 5 percent) to the NASA budget to make it so. Here’s the official release from the White House.
The total in funding will be $12 billion over five years, with only $1 billion in new funding. In addition, the Space Shuttle fleet will be retired by 2010 and US participation in the International Space Station will be “scaled back.”
No other details on how this change in federal R&D priorities will impact computing research at NASA or any other agency. The Administration has already indicated that NIH, which has received large increases in recent years (doubling its budget over the last five years), will likely receive a 3 percent increase or less in the FY 2005 budget, so perhaps that shift in priority will allow for an increase at NASA while remaining within the Administration’s spending goals.
We should know all after the Feb 1st FY 2005 budget rollout.

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