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NSF Congressional Highlight
Senate and House Action on NSF's FY 98 Appropriation

July 18, 1997

House recommends a 6.6% increase; Senate mark includes a 3.3% increase.

SENATE ACTION

On July 17, the full Senate Appropriations Committee marked up and reported out the FY98 VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations bill. This bill includes funding for the National Science Foundation, as well as HUD, VA, EPA, NASA, FEMA, and numerous other agencies. The only change to the NSF portion of the bill from the way it was reported by the subcommittee on July 15, was the addition of report language concerning the location of an atmospheric science facility, known as the Polar Cap Observatory. PCO is part of the NSF budget request in its major research equipment account.

For NSF, the Committee is recommending a total appropriation of $3.377 billion. This amount is $10 million more than the request and represents a 3.3% increase over the FY 1997 level. It is $110 million below the level recommended by the House.

For Research and Related Activities, the Committee is recommending $2.524 billion. This amount is $10 million more than the request and represents a 3.8% increase over FY 1997. At the same time, it is below the House mark for this account by $13 million. Within this account, the committee has included $40 million for a plant genome initiative to be supported consistent with NSF's competitive, merit-based procedures. The committee also included language delaying the availability of some of the funds for the Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence and the Life and Earth's Environment initiatives until a report is submitted that outlines the goals and objectives of these initiatives in more detail.

For the Major Research Equipment account, the committee is recommending the budget request of $85 million to support the requests for South Pole Station, LIGO, and the Polar Cap Observatory. The subcommittee did provide, from within the request, $4 million for the Gemini telescope and directed these funds come from the request for the Millimeter Array Radio Telescope. The committee's recommendation of $85 million is $90 million below the House level largely because the House provided upfront funding for the rehabilitation of South Pole Station.

For Education and Human Resources, the committee is recommending the request of $625 million, which is $7 million below the House level. Within the amount provided, the committee has directed that $6 million be used for an initiative to support historically black colleges and universities.

Both the Salaries and Expenses and Office of Inspector General accounts were funded at the request level which is the same as in the House bill.

Additional details will be provided once the Committee's report becomes available. Senate floor action is possible as early as Monday of next week.

HOUSE ACTION

In addition to the Senate Appropriations' Committee's action this week, the House completed debate and passed its version of this appropriation bill on July 16. For NSF, the only change made was the voice vote adoption of an amendment to reduce the research appropriation by $174,000. This amendment was related to Congressional concerns about a political science grant made by the Foundation.

STATUS OF THE FY 1998 NSF BUDGET REQUEST
$ in millions

Account

FY97

REQ

HAUTH

SAUTH

CAUTH

HAPPR

SAPPR

CAPPR

RRA

2432.0

2514.7

2563.0

 

 

2537.7

2524.7

 

EHR

619.0

625.5

625.5

 

 

632.5

625.5

 

MRE

80.0

85.0

175.0

 

 

175.0

85.0

 

S&E

134.0

137.0

137.0

 

 

137.0

137.0

 

OIG

5.0

4.8

4.8

 

 

4.8

4.8

 

Total

3270

3367

3505

 

 

3487

3377

 

RRA - Research and Related Activities
EHR - Education and Human Resources
MRE - Major Research Equipment
S&E - Salaries and Expenses
OIG - Office of Inspector General

REQ - FY 1998 NSF Budget Request
HAUTH - House passed FY98-99 NSF Authorization Bill (H.R. 1273)
SAUTH - Senate FY98 NSF Authorization Bill (S. 1046)
CAUTH - Conference Agreement on NSF Authorization Bill
HAPPR - FY98 House VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2158)
SAPPR - FY98 Senate VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill
CAPPR - FY98 Appropriations Conference Agreement

See also:

 

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