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NSF Congressional Highlight

Senate Appropriations Committee Reduces NSF Funding Levels

September 23, 2011

On Thursday, September 15, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations marked up the FY 2012 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill (CJS) and provided $6.7 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Committee reduced NSF's budget by $162 million relative to the FY 2011 enacted level. Total funding for NSF represents a decrease of slightly over $1 billion from the President's requested level of $7.767 billion.

The Research and Related Activities (R&RA) account received $5.44 billion. This change is roughly a 2 percent ($121 million) decrease from the FY 2011 enacted level and a 13 percent ($811 million) decrease below the President's budget request. The Education and Human Resources (EHR) account is funded at $829 million, a decrease of nearly 4 percent ($32 million) compared to the FY 2011 enacted level, and 9 percent ($82.2 million) below the President's request. The Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account is funded at $117 million; nearly level funded with the FY 2011 enacted level and 48 percent ($108 million) below the President's request.

Earlier, on Sept. 14, the CSJ subcommittee approved the bill, which also calls on all agencies funded under it to "be better stewards of taxpayers' dollars" by reducing meeting costs, cutting overhead, and requiring Inspectors General to conduct random audits of grant funding to find and stop waste and fraud.