In this issue:
PRESIDENT OBAMA RELEASES FY2012 BUDGET PROPOSAL
President Obama's Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget request, released last week calls for strategic increases in the nation's science, engineering and technology enterprises, even as it holds overall non-security discretionary spending flat for the second year in a row. Releasing the White House's 2012 budget is only the first step in an approval process that involves 40 congressional committees, 24 subcommittees, a variety of hearings and a number of floor votes in the House and Senate.
Year-to-year comparisons are more difficult for this budget request because Congress has not enacted a full-year FY 2011 appropriations bill. To be consistent with the Obama Administration's budget documents, Capitol Update will use as its comparator the FY 2010 enacted level, which is equivalent to an annualized level of the FY 2011 continuing resolution.
The President's FY 2012 Budget proposes $147.9 billion for federal research and development (R&D), an increase of $772 million or 0.5 percent. Within that total, the proposed budget increases non-defense R&D to $66.8 billion, up $4.1 billion or 6.5 percent. It also calls for a federal research portfolio (basic and applied) totaling $66.1 billion, up $6.9 billion or 11.6 percent.
The President's science and technology budget, as proposed:
- Maintains the doubling path authorized by law in the America COMPETES Act for the three key science and engineering agencies crucial to the nation's future competitiveness: the National Science Foundation (NSF); the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science; and, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) laboratories. This continued commitment to research and innovation totals $13.9 billion, up $1.5 billion or 12.2 percent.
- Provides $550 million for DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy
(ARPA-E) program, which received $400 million in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and proposes doubling the number of Energy Innovation Hubs from three to six to further catalyze synergies between industry and academia, which received $66 million in FY 2010 and is slated to receive $146 million in the FY 2012 request.
- Educates U.S. children in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), providing $3.4 billion for STEM education including $100 million for a new initiative to prepare 100,000 new and highly effective STEM teachers over the next decade. This is slightly down from the $3.68 billion provided for STEM education in FY 2010.
- Encourages private sector investment by calling for a significantly expanded, simplified, and permanent extension of the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit.
Links to fact sheets prepared by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on various aspects of the FY 2012 budget request may be found at:
A presentation providing an overview of the FY 2012 science and technology budget request may be viewed at:
Detailed summaries of key science and engineering agency budgets are provided below.
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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
At a press conference following the President's announcement of his FY 2012 budget request, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu provided details of the $29.5 billion FY 2012 budget request for DOE. Some highlights in the proposed FY 2012 budget include:
- $5.41 billion for the Office of Science, a 9.1 percent increase over the FY 2010 enacted amount;
- $2.35 billion for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), a 5 percent increase over the FY 2010 enacted amount;
- $1.8 billion to support the DOE Basic Energy Sciences, a 12.1 percent increase over the FY 2010 enacted amount;
- $550 million for the Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), a program that did not receive funding through the regular FY 2010 appropriation, but did receive $400 million in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA);
- $36 billion in additional lending authority for the DOE Loan Guarantee Program.
Although the DOE Office of Science would receive a robust overall increase, Fusion Energy Sciences, which houses the ITER fusion experiment, would receive reduced funding, $399 million in FY 2012 versus the $417 million it is currently receiving as part of the FY 2010 enacted amount.
Some additional program cuts in the FY 2012 budget include:
- $417 million for the Office of Fossil Energy, a 44.5 percent decrease from the FY 2010 appropriated amount and
- $754 million for the Office of Nuclear Energy, a 2.7 percent decrease over the FY 2010 appropriated amount.
For more detailed information on the FY 2012 DOE budget request, please visit:
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced an $18.7 billion budget request for FY 2012 that supports all elements of NASA's 2010 Authorization Act, which was passed by a strong bipartisan majority of Congress. The NASA budget request includes $4.3 billion for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs, a priority for Congressional authorizers, and $3.9 billion for future exploration systems. The $18.7 billion total request for NASA is approximately the same amount that was approved for FY 2010.
Specific highlights of NASA's FY 2012 budget request include:
- $5.02 billion for the Science Mission Directorate, a 11.6 percent increase over the FY 2010 enacted amount;
- $569.4 million for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, a 12 percent increase over the FY 2010 enacted amount;
- $1.02 billion for Space Technology, a 79 percent increase from the President's FY 2011 request;
- $4.35 billion for the Space Operations Mission Directorate, a 29 percent decrease over the FY 2010 enacted amount;
- $3.95 billion for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, a 4.5 percent increase over the FY 2010 enacted amount;
- Almost $3 billion for the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and the Space Launch System (SLS) Program, which revamps and replaces the Constellation Systems Program;
- $138.4 million for Education, a 25 percent decrease over the FY 2010 enacted amount; and,
- $3.192 billion for Cross-Agency Support, a 3 percent increase over the FY 2010 enacted amount.
Detailed information on NASA's FY 2012 budget request may be found at http://www.nasa.gov/news/budget/index.html
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF BIOMEDICAL IMAGING AND BIOENGINEERING
The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) budget request for FY 2012 is $5.708 million more (a $1.8 percent increase) than the FY 2010 level, for a total of $322.106 million. The major changes by budget mechanism are briefly described below.
- Research Project Grants (RPGs): Reduced by $1.096 million for a total of $231.454 million. NIBIB will continue to fund 545 awards in FY 2012, a decrease of 44 from FY 2010.
- Training: Increased by $0.442 million for a total $11.510 million. NIH will provide an across-the-board increase in FY 2012 of four percent for stipends levels under the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award training program to continue efforts to attain the stipend levels recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.
- Research & Development Contracts: Increased by $4.669 million for a total of $17.706 million. NIBIB's R&D contracts total includes NIBIB's share of several trans-NIH initiatives, such as the Therapies for Rare and Neglected Diseases program, the Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences Opportunity Network (OppNet), and support for a new synchrotron at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Detailed information on the NIBIB FY 2012 budget request may be found at:
NIBIB is one of 27 institutes which comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The overall NIH FY 2012 budget request is $31.987 billion, an increase of 2.3 percent over FY10 enacted totals. For information on the total NIH budget request for FY 2012, go to:
NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY
President Obama's FY 2012 budget for the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) proposes a funding level of $1.001 billion, a 16.9 percent increase above NIST's FY 2010 appropriations. The NIST budget request would double funding for NIST laboratories, one of several strategies for maintaining U.S. technological leadership laid out in the President's Plan for Science and Innovation and reaffirmed in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.
The total request of $1 billion for NIST is divided into three separate appropriations:
- Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS), would receive
$678.9 million, a 31.8 percent increase over the FY 2010 appropriated amount;
- Industrial Technology Services (ITS), which would receive $237.6 million, a 22.1 percent increase over the FY 2010 enacted amount: this category consists of $142.6 million for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and $75 million for the Technology Innovation Program (TIP); and
- Construction of Research Facilities (CRF), would receive $84.6 million, a 42.4 percent decrease from the FY 2010 enacted amount: this category includes $24.5 million for renovations to the Boulder Laboratories. It should be noted that NIST completed a reorganization of its facilities in 2010.
Additional information on the FY 2012 NIST budget request may be obtained at: http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/budget/index.cfm
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is requesting $7.767 billion for fiscal year 2012. The request represents an increase of $894.5 million, or 13 percent, over NSF's current operating level. The budget request meets the three major goals of NSF's strategic plan: to transform the frontiers of research and education; to innovate for society by linking fundamental research to national challenges; and, to perform as a model organization within the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of modern science and engineering.
To meet these goals, specific initiatives and programs in the fiscal 2012 budget request include:
- $6.253 billion for Research and Related Activities, a 12.4 percent increase over the FY 2010 enacted amount;
- $911 million for Education and Human Resources, a 4.4 percent increase over the FY 2010 enacted amount;
- $224 million for Major Research Equipment & Facilities Construction, a
91 percent increase over the FY 2010 enacted amount;
- $908 million for NSF Engineering Directorate, a 22 percent increase over the FY 2010 enacted amount. When SBIR funds are excluded, the ENG Directorate's budget request totals $761 million, a 23 percent increase over the FY 2010 enacted amount. NSF's SBIR total would be $146 million, a 16 percent increase over the FY 2010 enacted amount;
- $60 million for new approaches to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education;
- $76 million for BioMaPS, or Research at the Interface of the Biological, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, a new program that integrates research from biological sciences, mathematics and physical sciences, and engineering to lead to new theoretical and experimental techniques for clean energy and advanced manufacturing;
- $998 million for Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability, or SEES, a portfolio of programs launched in fiscal 2011 that will have a special focus on clean energy;
- $30 million for the National Robotics Initiative, or NRI, a new cross-agency program with NASA, NIH and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide U.S. leadership in science and engineering research and education aimed at the development of next-generation robots that that work alongside, or even cooperatively, with people; and,
- $174 million for NSF's contribution to the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), which will focus on clean energy, sustainable nanomanufacturing, and nanoelectronics.
For detailed information on the FY 2012 NSF budget request, refer to:
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be reduced by nearly 13 percent under the President's FY 2012 budget request. The requested funding level of $8.973 billion is a substantial decrease from the FY 2010 budget of $10.3 billion.
Among the key FY 2012 budget initiatives are the following:
- $825 million for the Science and Technology account, a $22 million or
2.6 percent decrease from the FY 2010 enacted amount;
- $171 million for sustainable communities, a $17 million or 9 percent decrease over the FY 2010 appropriated amount; and
- $138 million for chemical safety and sustainability research, a $17 million or 14.3 percent increase over the FY 2010 appropriated amount.
For more information on EPA's proposed FY2012 budget, please visit:
STEM-RELATED PROGRAMS IN FY 2012 BUDGET REQUEST
The Obama Administration's FY 2012 Budget proposes $3.4 billion in programs across the federal government related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This level is a $281 million decrease, or 0.08 percent, from the FY 2010 enacted level. Currently, there are over 100 federal STEM education programs administered by a dozen different federal agencies. However, the Department of Education (ED) and National Science Foundation (NSF) provide primary support for STEM education programs.
The FY 2012 budget proposes a new investment of $100 million through ED and NSF to prepare effective STEM teachers for classrooms across America, which responds to a key recommendation by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) to prepare and inspire America's students in STEM. Additionally, the 2012 budget proposes another new investment of $90 million for the creation of an Advanced Research Projects Agency - Education (ARPA-ED) within the Department of Education with the mission of driving transformational improvement in education technology.
Other FY 2012 budget highlights related to STEM education include:
- $206 million to improve the teaching and learning of STEM subjects through the Department of Education's proposed Effective Teaching and Learning in STEM program, an increase of 14 percent or $25.5 million over the 2010 enacted level for the existing Mathematics and Science Partnerships program;
- $60 million, a 28 percent increase compared to FY 2010 enacted, for NASA's K-12 Education programs, including $20 million for new multi-week summer enrichment programs with middle school students;
- $300 million for the Investing in Innovation (I3) program, which places a priority on promising models and scaling effective practices to improve STEM education; I3 did not receive funding through the regular FY 2010 appropriation, but did receive $650 million in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA);
- $185 million for a new Presidential Teaching Fellowship program to fund formula grants to States to support scholarships for talented students to enter teaching, including STEM;
- $20 million for NSF's new Transforming Broadening Participation through STEM (TBPS) program, a comprehensive S&T workforce program to bring undergraduates from groups historically under-represented in STEM fields, complementing an additional $91 million, approximately the same level as FY 2010 enacted, for other Broadening Participation programs;
- $64 million, approximately the same level as FY 2010 enacted, for NSF's Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program, which focuses on educating technicians who have the knowledge and abilities to creatively support science and engineering; and,
- $20 million for the new Widening Implementation and Demonstration of Evidence-based Reforms (WIDER) program at NSF, with a goal of scaling up improved undergraduate STEM education practices.
Also of note, the proposed FY 2012 budget allows the Department of Education's Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grants to expire and eliminates the National Science Foundation's Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education program and the National Science Digital Library.
For more information on how STEM education programs fare in the FY 2012 proposed budget, refer to the OSTP fact sheet on STEM education programs, which can be found at:
Additional information about the ED and NSF FY 2012 STEM education budgets can be found at:
http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/education-budget-makes-tough-choices-allow-new-investments-early-learning-reform and http://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2012/pdf/27_fy2012.pdf respectively.
DESPITE THE FY 2012 BUDGET'S RELEASE - THE CR IS FRONT AND CENTER FOR NOW
Despite last week's focus on the President's proposed FY 2012 budget request, it was the House debate on a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for the rest of FY 2011 that occupied the time of the House, and will be occupying the time and energy of Congress in the immediate future. FY 2011 began on October 1, 2010, and since that date, the federal government has been operating under a CR, which is set to expire on March 4. On February 11th, the House Appropriations Committee introduced H.R. 1, a CR to fund the federal government for the last seven months of the fiscal year while cutting spending by over $60 billion from current discretionary levels and over $100 billion from the President's fiscal year 2011 request. The House passed H.R. 1 by a vote of 235-189 early Saturday morning. This vote sets up a budget showdown with President Obama and Senate Democrats early next month.
This CR legislation represents the largest single discretionary spending reduction in the history of Congress. H.R. 1 was being debated in the House this week and the 359-page bill may be reviewed at:
Among the provisions of H.R. 1 are the following:
- Provides $52.7 billion for Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations, a reduction of $11.6 billion, or 18 percent, below the FY 2010 enacted level, and $7.8 billion, or 13 percent, below the President's request for fiscal year 2011;
- Includes $516.2 billion in base funding for the Department of Defense, an $8.1 billion, or 1.6 percent, increase over last year's level; and a
2.8 percent reduction from the President's fiscal year 2011 request;
- Provides $29.9 billion for Energy and Water programs, which is $3.6 billion, or 11 percent, below the FY 2010 enacted level and a $5.4 billion, or 15 percent, cut below the President's fiscal year 2011 request;
- Includes language to stop the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from terminating the Yucca Mountain license review without due cause; and,
- Provides a total of $41.5 billion for Homeland Security programs, which is $1.1 billion below the 2010 level and $2.2 billion - or 4.9 percent - below the President's fiscal year 2011 request.
For a more comprehensive summary of H.R. 1, please visit:
For a listing of those programs proposed to be cut under H.R. 1, refer to:
THE ARTICLES CONTAINED IN CAPITOL UPDATE ARE NOT POSITIONS OF ASME OR ANY OF ITS SUB-ENTITIES, UNLESS SPECIFICALLY NOTED AS SUCH. THIS PUBLICATION IS DESIGNED TO INFORM ASME MEMBERS ABOUT ISSUES OF CONCERN BEING DEBATED AND DISCUSSED IN THE HALLS OF CONGRESS, IN THE STATES, AND IN THE FEDERAL AGENCIES.
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