June 3, 2019

House Spending Bills Boost Science Funding: Part 1

Posted by cbergstrom

Before leaving for the Memorial Day recess, the House Committee on Appropriations finished consideration of the major science funding bills, including the spending bills that fund the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Department of Energy, United States Geological Survey, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the United States Forest Service.

Over the next two posts, we’ll detail the spending and programmatic highlights for federal Earth and space science agencies.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

FY19 FY20 President’s Budget Request (PBR) FY20 House Appropriations Percent Change House FY20 vs FY19 Percent Change House FY20 vs FY20PBR
Overall $853.71 $733.43 $892.57 4.69% 21.70%

Highlights from Bill and Committee Report:

  • The committee report includes language urging NIEHS to explore the potential causal link between asthma and air pollution and any interventions necessary to prevent the development of asthma.

Department of Energy

FY19 FY20 PBR FY20 House Appropriations Percent Change House FY20 vs FY19 Percent Change House FY20 vs FY20 PBR
Overall $35,685.32 $31,501.93 $37,087.43 4.06% 17.73%
Office of Science $6,585.00 $5,545.97 $6,870.00 4.55% 23.87%
ARPA-E $366.00 $0.00 $425.00 16.12% 425%

Highlights from Bill and Committee Report:

  • The Committee “strongly rejects” the “short-sighted” Administration proposal to eliminate ARPA-E.
  • The report includes language supporting research to examine and evaluate earth system models and provides $15 million for cloud-aerosol research and computing.
  • The Committee also provides $20 million to develop observational assets and associated research to study the nation’s major land-water interactions.
  • The bill provides $25 million for Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists.

United States Geological Survey (USGS)

FY19 FY20 PBR FY20 House Appropriations Percent Change House FY20 vs FY19 Percent Change House FY20 vs FY20 PBR
Overall $1,160.00 $983.50 $1,236.40 6.59% 25.71%
Ecosystems $156.88 $141.05 $168.02 7.10% 19.12%
Land Resources $158.30 $171.57 8.38%
Energy, Minerals, & Environmental Health $111.74 $86.07 $111.11 -0.56% 29.09%
Natural Hazards $166.26 $145.03 $171.82 3.34% 18.47%
Water Resources $226.31 $179.92 $239.92 6.01% 33.35%
Core Science Systems $117.90 $207.19 $143.22 21.48% -30.88%
Science Support $102.83 $102.90 $97.24 -5.44% -5.50%
Facilities $120.38 $121.30 $133.49 10.89% 10.05%

Highlights from Bill and Committee Report:

  • The Committee opposes to the Administration’s budget restructure proposal because it reduces programmatic and funding transparency. One of the Administration’s proposals was to consolidate mission areas which accounts for the 30% difference between the House recommendation and the Administration’s request.
  • The Committee rejects:
    • The proposed elimination of Cooperative Research Units
    • The Administration’s proposal to eliminate the Environmental Health program
    • Use of funding for the Administration’s proposal to move the USGS headquarters to the West due to the lack of a compelling argument.
  • The report requests funding for:
    • Landsat-9 to ensure the mission is launched in 2021.
    • All eight Regional Climate Change Adaptation Science Centers and funding to establish a Midwest Climate Adaption Science Center.
    • An additional 95 streamgages
    • National Geospatial Program in part to support the goal of achieving national 3DEP coverage by 2026.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

FY19 FY20 PBR FY20 House Appropriations Percent Change House FY20 vs FY19 Percent Change House FY20 vs FY20 PBR
Overall $8,058.49 $6,068.49 $9,520.00 18.14% 56.88%
Science & Technology  

$717.72

$463.06 $727.63 1.38% 57.14%
Environmental Programs & Management $2,643.30 $1,845.27 $2,681.70 1.45% 45.33%

Highlights from Bill and Committee Report:

  • An amendment added language to the committee report urging the EPA to continue issuing grant funding to the Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers.

Forest Service

FY19 FY20 President’s Budget Request (PBR) FY20 House Appropriations Percent Change House FY20 vs FY19 Percent Change House FY20 vs FY20PBR
Overall $6,087.13 $7,086.00 $7,640.25 25.51% 7.82%
Forest & Rangeland Research – R&D $193.98 $140.23 $203.98` 5.33% 24.17%

Highlights from Bill and Committee Report:

  • The Committee encourages new resources and funding for worker training programs.

Next Steps

In June, the House Appropriations Committee will finish considering the last four spending bills and then the full chamber will have a chance to consider all twelve bills on the House floor.

Senate leaders have stated that the Senate Appropriations Committee will not begin consideration of any spending bills until a budget agreement has been reached. However, both chambers only have until 30 September to consider and pass all twelve appropriations bills.

Strong funding for science, including most of the increases in the House spending bills, is not possible unless Congress reaches a bipartisan budget agreement. Write your legislators today and share with them the importance of a robust scientific enterprise.