May 23, 2018
On May 17, the House Appropriations committee marked up the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Bill, which includes funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), among other federal agencies and programs.
The House CJS Appropriations bill includes $8.2 billion for NSF for FY19, a 5.3 percent increase over FY18, and a 9.4 percent increase over the administration’s request for NSF for FY19. Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), chair of the CJS Appropriations Subcommittee, noted that the increase will allow NSF “to increase research grants and invest in scientific infrastructure.”
The House bill specifically includes $6.7 billion for the Research and Related Activities (R&RA) line, which funds six research directorates, excluding the Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorate. The R&RA increase represents a 5 percent increase over the FY18 amount. Notably, the bill and report language does not target any areas of science for reductions, and continues to give NSF the discretion to fund the most worthy proposals across all the sciences. Of concern, however, is the bill’s mark that flat-funds the Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorate at $902 million. This research is critical for understanding how learning occurs, improving education, and advancing the teaching of STEM throughout the pipeline.
FABBS has joined other organizations in a Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) letter thanking the House Appropriations Committee for providing a much needed increase in NSF funding. The letter also urges members to support CNSF’s request for $8.45 billion, including robust funding for the EHR directorate, when the bill comes to the House floor for full consideration. While a CJS appropriations bill has not yet been released on the Senate side, a schedule released by the Appropriations Committee indicates that markup will occur during the week of June 10th.