US House House of Representatives approves Funding Boosts for Science

The U.S. House of Representatives passed its second fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending package on June 25, 2019.  The “minibus” includes the Interior-Environment, Commerce-Justice-Science, Agriculture-Rural Development-Food and Drug Administration, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development appropriations bills.

The five-bill package would provide funding increases to most federal science agencies and programs, rejecting the President’s proposed budget cuts.  The House measure would fund:

  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) at $8.6 billion, an increase of 7 percent above FY 2019.  NSF was slated for a 12 percent cut under the President’s request.
  • Research and Related Activities within NSF, which includes the Biological Sciences Directorate, would receive $7.1 billion (+9 percent).
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would be funded at $5.48 billion (+1 percent).
  • The National Institutes of Standards and Technology would receive $1.04 billion (+6 percent).
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would increase by 4 percent to $22.3 billion, with $7.2 billion (+4 percent) for NASA Science programs.
  • The U.S. Geological Survey would increase to $1.24 billion (+7 percent), with $168 million (+7 percent) for the Ecosystems Mission Area.  The President had proposed shrinking the overall budget for the agency by 15 percent. 
  • The National Parks Service would grow by 4 percent, to $3.4 billion.
  • The Bureau of Land Management would receive $1.4 billion (+5 percent).
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is slated for $1.66 billion (+5 percent).
  • The Environmental Protection Agency would receive an 8 percent boost, bringing it to $9.5 billion.  Within this budget, $728 million (+1 percent) would support Science and Technology.  The President had proposed slashing EPA’s budget by 31 percent.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is set to receive $1.4 billion (-17 percent) under the House’s plan.  ARS was slated for a 26 percent budget cut under the President’s proposal.
  • The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a USDA research agency, would grow to $1.6 billion (+8 percent), with $445 million (+7 percent) for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.
  • The Smithsonian Institution would receive $1.07 billion (+3 percent).

President Trump has previously announced that he will veto this spending package.  There are two FY 2020 spending bills now remaining before the House — the Homeland Security and Legislative Branch appropriations bills, while the Senate has yet to act on any FY 2020 appropriations bills.