Science Agencies See Budget Increases with New Funding Agreements that Prevent Another Shutdown

Feb 22, 2019

Lawmakers were able to reach an agreement on federal spending for FY 2019, providing all agencies at risk of another shutdown with guaranteed funding until September 30, the end of the federal government’s current fiscal year.

“The strong bipartisan support for this compromise shows Congress at its best. While this is not the legislation I would have written on my own, I am proud that it will keep our government open and fund key priorities,” House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) said in response to the bill. “This agreement supports smart, effective border security while blocking an ineffective concrete border wall, and it includes several key measures to make our immigration system more humane. This bill rejects reckless budget cuts and instead invests in priorities that will strengthen our families, communities, and economy.”

Among the provisions in the new funding bill, science agencies fared well overall. The National Science Foundation was awarded $8.1 billion, a four percent, or $307.6 million increase from last year. The U.S. Geological Service (USGS) budget also saw a slight increase, bringing the total to $1.16 billion.

NASA also saw an increase, bringing its new budget total to $21.5 billion. The budget document makes a point to call out “the lack of progress across science and exploration programs despite continued significant and sustained investments…” With the stipulation that “During fiscal year 2019, NASA is expected to show marked success in addressing the myriad deficiencies identified by oversight bodies.”

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) saw a reduction in budget with the new total coming in at $985.5 million. The bill rejected the suggested termination of the Scientific and Technical Research Services (STRS) programs. 

To view the budget document in full, click here: http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20190211/CRPT-116hrpt9_u2-.pdf

To view a Joint Explanatory Statement of the bill, click here: http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20190211/116hrpt9-JointExplanatoryStatement-u1.pdf

To view a summary of the legislation, click here: https://appropriations.house.gov/sites/democrats.appropriations.house.gov/files/documents/Summary%20of%20Conference%20Report.pdf