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Congress Falls Short on FY24 R&D Budget Goals

Congress Falls Short on FY24 R&D Budget Goals

Investments in U.S. science and engineering are essential for driving economic growth, creating high-quality jobs, and addressing pressing societal challenges. But as Congress closes out final action on Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations, research and development (R&D) advocates are concerned that Congress has failed to fully fund key agencies at the levels authorized by the CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives for the Production of Semiconductors) and Science Act of 2022.

The National Science Foundation received just over $9 billion, an 8.2% cut from last year; the National Institute of Standards and Technology received $1.15 billion, an 8.1% cut; the Department of Energy Office of Science saw a 1.7% increase to $8.2 billion, but many of the DOE’s Applied Energy programs, such as the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program office, received only flat funding – an effective budget cut following a year of high inflation. 

While the CHIPS Act passed with bipartisan support and there remains a strong consensus that leadership in semiconductor manufacturing is critical to U.S. economic and national security, the R&D funding shortfall threatens to impede progress on the critical innovation and workforce development initiatives that high-tech industries need to operate in the United States.
Overall, R&D accounts fared about the same as last year – about the best that could be expected under the terms of the Fiscal Responsibility Act’s budget limits. But Congress’ failure to allocate adequate resources for key physical science and engineering agencies comes just as other nations are investing more in science and engineering research – with the hopes of capturing leadership in key emerging technologies.

For detailed information on the FY 2024 R&D budget, visit the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy program page at: https://www.aaas.org/news/final-fy-2024-budget
 

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