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Geoscience Policy Monthly Review: July 2013

The Monthly Review is part of a continuing effort to improve communications about the role of geoscience in policy. Current and archived monthly reviews are available online.

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Budget

  • House and Senate Appropriations Committees pass respective Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations bills

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees passed their fiscal year (FY) 2014 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations bills this July.

The Senate appropriations bill approves $52.272 billion in discretionary spending for CJS agencies, 0.5 percent above the President’s FY 2014 request. The House appropriations bill approves $47.4 billion in discretionary spending for the subcommittee, 9.9 percent below the President’s request. The CJS appropriations subcommittees have jurisdiction over National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) within the Department of Commerce. You can view the full jurisdiction lists for the House and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies here and here, respectively.

Within NSF, the proposed budgets for geoscience research and development (R&D) programs vary by $76 million between the House and Senate. The FY 2014 House appropriations bill provides $1.274 billion for Geosciences (GEO) R&D – 3.6 percent below FY 2012 actual levels – while the Senate bill allows for $1.35 billion for GEO R&D – an increase of 2.2 percent from FY 2012.

Similarly, funding for NASA’s geoscience programs varies widely between the House and Senate appropriations bills.  Earth Science programs are targeted for key cuts within the House appropriations bill while the Senate figures remain consistent with the President’s $1.846 billion request for Earth Science programs. The House bill provides $1.659 billion for NASA Earth Science programs; 6 percent below FY 2012 actual levels and more than 10 percent below the President’s request. 

Links to the House and Senate committee reports are available at http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app14.html. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) provides summary reports on the current status of R&D appropriations here.

  • House Appropriations Committee releases Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bill

    The House Committee on Appropriations published their fiscal year (FY) 2014 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bill this July. The bill met with strong opposition from House Democrats, who lambasted cuts that zero out approximately 20 programs and slash 34% from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget. The bill proposes $24.3 billion in total funding; $5.5 billion below FY 2013 levels, or 18 percent decrease. The Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee has jurisdiction over many agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the National Park Service (NPS),  and the President’s National Ocean Policy. The House bill includes $967 million for USGS,  $101 million, or 9.5%, below FY 2013 levels; $989.3 million for the BLM, $76 million (7%) below FY 2013 levels; $2.3 billion for NPS, 9% below FY 2013 levels; and forbids funding the National Ocean Policy. After a contentious, 5-hour markup of the House bill the Committee adjourned further discussion until after the August recess.

    The Senate has yet to consider an appropriations bill for Interior, Environment and Related Agencies.



 



 

 

 

 

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Monthly Review prepared by: Maeve Boland, Geoscience Policy Director; Abby Seadler, Geoscience Policy Associate; and Brittany Huhmann, Clinton Koch, and John Kemper 2013 AGI/AIPG Summer Interns.

Sources: The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, Bureau of Land Management, the Congressional Research Service, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, Environment and Energy Daily, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Register, Fire Adapted Communities, Government Accountability Office, the House of Representatives, National Academies Press, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Atlas, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, Politico, Science Magazine, Stanford University, Thomas, University of Hawaii at Hilo Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Government Printing Office, U.S. Senate, the White House

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This monthly review goes out to members of the AGI Geoscience Policy Committee, the leadership of AGI's member societies, and others as part of a continuing effort to improve communications about the role of geoscience in policy. More information on these topics can be found on the Geoscience Policy Current Issues pages. For additional information on specific policy issues, please visit the web site or contact us at govt@agiweb.org or (703) 379-2480, ext. 228.

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Compiled August 6, 2013