As of the deadline for APS News, there have been no new official developments with regard to the federal budgets for the key science research accounts (Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and NASA Science). However, the $1.4 billion in approved increases for these agencies are in danger of being lost as Congress rushes to finish the FY08 spending bills. Congress will have considered an omnibus bill that cuts $11 billion from the original bills passed in Congress, a bill the President has vowed to veto. For the latest updates on the FY08 bills please go to: APS Research Funding website and AAAS Website.
You may recall, in August, the America COMPETES Act was passed by a wide, bipartisan margin, and it was seen as a positive step for science. As we stated then, the COMPETES Act only authorizes increases for basic research and education, budgets will increase only if appropriators fund the authorizations. It now looks like they will not fund the authorizations.
If Congress does not fund the increases, it will be near crippling for these research accounts. As many APS members know, the science budget has been operating on a continuing resolution for all of FY07, being funded at FY06 levels. The Washington Office is mustering all its resources to meet this serious challenge, but it will need the assistance of APS members. If you have not already done so, visit the APS Write Congress site, where you can voice your views on the matter to your Congressional delegation.
More information on APS Policy & Advocacy.
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Contributing Editor: Jennifer Ouellette
Staff Writer: Ernie Tretkoff