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Congress Works Toward Agreement as Appropriations Deadline Looms

Congress Works Toward Agreement as Appropriations Deadline Looms

House and Senate negotiators are working to reach agreement on top-line spending figures for each of the 12 annual appropriations bills by a December 11th deadline on current government funding. Appropriations Committee leaders have signaled progress on a number of routine annual appropriations issues (highlights below), but a range of pandemic relief measures set to expire at the end of the calendar year continue to complicate the end of year business for the lame-duck session. 
Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) signaled last week that talks on an omnibus appropriations package are proceeding well, with negotiators signaling bipartisan consensus that a full-year spending measure is preferable to additional stopgap funding. Finalizing fiscal year (FY) 2021 appropriations now could allow Congress to focus on other urgent pandemic relief and economic recovery legislation.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees are very close to agreement on a number of key science and engineering research funding issues, but overall spending in FY 2021 is still strictly limited by budget sequestration limits, which are set to expire this year. Key science and engineering funding highlights include:
  • Department of Energy (DOE) total - $40.8 billion (House) vs. $42.03 billion (Senate)
    • Office of Science - $7.05 billion vs. $7.02 billion
    • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) – $2.84 vs. $2.84
    • Nuclear Energy R&D – $1.43 billion vs. $1.50 billion
    • Fossil Energy R&D – $727 million vs $750 million
    • Electricity – $195 million vs. $223 million
    • Cyber, Energy Security – $160 million vs $156 million
    • Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) - $435 million vs. $430 million 
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Total - $1.04 billion (House) vs. $1.05 billion (Senate)
    • NIST Manufacturing USA Program - $17 million vs. $16 million
    • NIST Scientific and Technical Research Services - $789 million vs. $787 million 
  • National Science Foundation - $8.54 billion (House) vs. $8.47 billion (Senate)
    • NSF Research and Related Activities - $6.96 billion vs. $6.90 billion
    • Education and Human Resources - $970 million vs. $964 million 
For additional information on FY 2021 appropriations legislation, visit:

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