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.


Tag Archive: Fiscal Year 2021


FY21 Update: Final Budget Numbers Released; Research Fares Well


UPDATE (12/28/20): After threatening a veto, and risking a government shutdown, Trump signed the budget into law Sunday night. Fiscal Year 2021 is complete. Original Post: When last we left the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget process, we were waiting for Congress to get the final bill across the finish line. It took them two […]

FY21 Update: Still Waiting for a Final Budget & Will Have to Wait Another Week (at least)


The calendar year of 2020 is quickly ending, but Congress hasn’t finished its work on the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget, which technically started back on October 1st. Our last update back in November was about the Senate publicly releasing their budget bills, with an eye to wrapping up the process on December 11th (AKA: today). Unfortunately, not much has happened since November.

FY21 Update: Senate Releases Numbers in Preparation for Budget Endgame in December


When last we left the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget process, we were worried about a potentially stalled continuing resolution at the end of September. Luckily, no one wanted to shut down the government just before the November Election; a CR was passed and signed into law. The CR created a new deadline to get a permanent budget into place, which is December 11th. Now with the election behind us, and hoping to jumpstart the process, yesterday the Senate Appropriations Committee released its slate of appropriations bills. Let’s get into the details.

FY21 Appropriations Update: A Continuing Resolution is Coming but Will it be Passed into Law?


Despite appearances, Congress has not forgotten about the Fiscal Year 2021 budget. The problem has been the ongoing disagreement on how to respond to the COVID pandemic. Since Congress hasn’t been able to get beyond that issue, it hasn’t been able to focus on other high-level topics. However, the approaching November election, and a desire to not have a government shutdown just before voters go to the polls, has necessitated a continuing resolution (or CR) to be considered.

FY21 Appropriations Update: House Numbers for the Dept of Energy are Better than the Administration’s but are Not Great


Continuing our review of the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) federal budget, we turn to the House Appropriations Committee’s Energy and Water bill. This bill contains the budgets for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE SC) and ARPA-E, as well as funding for the Exascale Computing R&D program, for which DOE is the lead federal agency. While the House’s numbers are significantly better than the 17% cut that the Administration requested in February, they represent a fairly small increase over last year’s budget. Let’s get into the details.

FY21 Appropriations Update: From a Certain Point of View, the House Numbers for the Defense Department are Good. But They’re Not Good.


Continuing our review of the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) federal budget, we turn to the House Appropriations Committee’s bill for the Department of Defense. DOD’s Science and Technology (DOD S&T) program is made up of three accounts: 6.1 (basic research), 6.2 (applied research), and 6.3 (advanced technology development). These accounts are themselves made up of individual accounts for each of the three services (Army, Navy, and Air Force), as well as a Defense Wide account. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is a section under the Defense Wide account. Unfortunately, the numbers that the House settled on for these accounts are not good, but they are better than what the Administration requested.

FY21 Appropriations Update: House Appropriators Provide Increases for NSF, NIST


After handling the multiple bills responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress is finally turning to handling the annual federal budget. As is the norm, the House Appropriations Committee has begun its work first. A bill of most importance to the CS and IT research community is the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) bill; it contains the funding for the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and NASA. The bill as a whole is good news, with a few exceptions; but it is also pretty good news for NSF.

NSF FY2021 Request: AI and Quantum Research Get Priority but it’s Paid for with Cuts to Other Research Fields


On Monday, the Trump Administration released its Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Budget Request. Despite administration signals and bipartisan calls for a budget request in line with the funding agreement made in July, the President decided to ignore that agreement and release a funding blueprint with deep reductions to domestic discretionary spending. The federal research portfolio, which is a part of domestic discretionary spending, didn’t escape cuts.