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NSF Congressional Highlight

House Approppriations Subcommittee Mark Up

July 27, 1999

Late on the afternoon of July 26th, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent agencies marked up the FY 2000 appropriatons bill for the various agencies under the subcommittee's jurisdiction. This includes NSF, NASA, VA, HUD, EPA and numerous other independent agencies. As a result of the caps on spending brought on by the Balanced Budget Act, the subcommittee was forced to deal with a severe reduction in domestic discretionary spending from the level it had to work with last year. The subcommittee's recommendation includes major reductions from the FY 1999 level for NASA, EPA, and other popular housing and VA programs under the subcommittee's jurisdiction.

In the face of the significant reduction in its discretionary allocation, the subcommittee has recommended for NSF a FY 2000 budget of $3.647 billion which is about $24 million below the FY 1999 appropriation and $274.6 million below the level requested by the President for FY 2000.

Within the amount recommended for NSF's research and related activities account, $2778.5 million - which is $8.5 million above the FY99 level -- the subcommittee has provided $35M for information technology research In the computer and information science and engineering directorate and $35M for biocomplexity. Because of the budget constraints, the subcommittee deferred support for NSF's opportunity fund for FY 2000. In addition, the subcommittee's report includes recommended funding levels for each of the research directorates: $391 million for BIO; $312.67 million for CISE; $369 milion for ENG; $473 million for GEO; $735 million for MPS; $138 million for SBE; $183 million for U.S. Polar Research Programs; $62.6 million for U.S. Antarctic Logistical Support Activities; and $114.23 million for Integrative Activities.

The education and human resources account is recommended to be funded at the level of $660 million - a reduction of $2M below the FY 99 level. The subcommittee's recommendations include: $114.2 million for Educational System Reform; $48.41 million for EPSCOR; $193.52 million for Elementary and Secondary and Informal Education; $103.54 million for Undergraduate Education; $69.65 million for Graduate Education; $73.68 million for Human Resource Development; and $57 million for Research, Evaluation, and Communication.

The major research equipment account is recommended to be funded at $56.5M with the reduction from the request driven largely by deferring funding for the terascale computing system. The subcommittee did provide $7.5 million to begin the acquisition of a high altitude research aircraft, plus the requested funds for the start up of the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), the modernization of the South Pole research station, the Large Hadron Collider, the millimeter array, and the upgrade of polar support aircraft.

The salaries and expenses appropriation was increased by $2.5 million to a level of $146.5 million and the Office of Inspector General was increased by $125,000 to a level of $5.325 million.

Full committee action could come later this week with House floor action expected next week prior to the start of the August recess.

Senate subcommittee action on the FY 2000 VA HUD appropriations bill has not yet been scheduled.

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