Overview of Fiscal Year 2014 Appropriations
Choose an agency on the bar below to view AGI's analysis of the President's request for key geoscience-related agencies as well as detailed program and account information. Each of the appropriations pages provides a summary table, an overview of the budget request, and congressional action on the agency or department.
As in years past, AGI will provide testimony to several subcommittees on programs of importance to the geoscience community.
You can also keep up-to-date with the Library of Congress Table on Current Status of FY 2014 Appropriations Bills and FY 2013 Appropriations Bills and the AAAS Analysis of R&D in the FY 2014 Budget. As in years past, the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Project website has information on trends in federal research and development funding, including information on the president's request, congressional budget resolution, 302(b) allocations, and each science-related appropriations bill.
Appropriations Update for July 2013
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 billapproves $47.4 billion in discretionary spending for the subcommittee, 9.9 percent belowthe 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 hereand 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 athttp://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.
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.
Appropriations Update for June 2013
The House and Senate Appropriations committees released their non-emergency discretionary spending allocations for fiscal year (FY) 2014 this June. The Senate Appropriations Committee requested $1.058 trillion in non-emergency discretionary funds, while the House Appropriations Committee requested $967 billion. These bills authorize funding levels for all of the subcommittees, including the subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, Science; Energy and Water Development; and Interior and the Environment.
So far, the Appropriation Committees in each chamber have approved their own on Energy and Water Development appropriations bills, which vary by approximately $4.3 billion. TheSenate allocated $34.7 billion to the subcommittee by a vote of 24-6, which will be reported to the full Senate for consideration. The House allocated $30.4 billion by a vote of 28-21, and will be reported to the full House for consideration. The Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development has jurisdiction over the Department of Energy (DOE), including the Energy Information Administration, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the DOE Office of Science. It also has jurisdiction over the Bureau of Reclamation in the Department of the Interior, and other related agencies. The FY 2013 pre-sequester enacted levels for the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development totaled $36.7 billion.
Appropriations Update for May 2013
The Senate Committee on Appropriations held subcommittee hearings on the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget requests for the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Department of Energy (DOE).
Department of the Interior:
Appropriations Update for April 2013
President Obama released his fiscal year 2014 budget request this April. AGI monitors proposed funding for 4 major agencies: The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, the Department of Interior (DOI) U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the National Science Foundation (NSF) Geosciences Directorate, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth sciences programs.
The proposed budget would increase funding for the DOE Office of Science and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, while continuing to decrease support for Fossil Energy R&D.
The President has requested a 9 percent increase for the USGS over FY 2012.
The Geosciences Directorate of NSF would receive a 5 percent increase over FY 2012 in the new budget.
NASA’s Earth Science program would see a 5 percent increase over FY 2012 levels in the FY 2014 budget, while Planetary Science programs would see major mission cuts to cover other facilities such as commercial spaceflight.
Appropriations Update for March 2013
Appropriations Update for February 2013
Because the sequestration occurred relatively late in the fiscal year, it will have the effect of an approximate 9 percent reduction on each non-defense discretionary account. OMB released a report to Congress providing calculations of the amounts and percentages by which certain accounts are required to be reduced. How exactly each agency or department will be affected by the sequester is still very unclear. The report to Congress includes the statement, “There is no requirement that sequestration be applied equally to each type of budgetary resource within a budget account. Section 256(k)(2) of [the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act (PL 99-177)] requires that sequestration be applied equally at the program, project, and activity level within each budget account.” More details about how each department and agency enacts the required reductions will emerge in the coming months.
H.R. 933 would provide $982 billion across the government. This is the amount appropriated last year minus the $85 billion in across-the-board sequestration spending cuts that took place on March 1. It makes certain changes in domestic spending programs including about $600 million more for the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture’s wildfire programs. H.R. 933 would direct that $802 million of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) budget be spent on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-system. Congress is scheduled to be on recess when the current CR expires. If they do not change their schedule, they will have to vote on H.R. 933 or another spending bill by March 22 to avoid a government shutdown.
Appropriations Update for January 2013
Even though Congress delayed the vote to raise the debt ceiling until mid-May, they still have two big budget deadlines approaching in March. The first is the sequestration due to take effect on March 1 and the second is the expiration of the current continuing resolution (CR, H.J. Res 117) for FY 2013 on March 27. The upcoming deadlines will likely be tied to deficit reduction efforts meaning further cuts to discretionary spending, including geoscience research and development (R&D), are possible.
AGI encourages all geoscientists to contact their members of Congress and ask them to avoid the sequestration and find a balanced approach to deficit reduction. Geoscience R&D and non-defense discretionary spending account for less than 20 percent of the federal budget and have already absorbed significant reductions over the next decade under the BCA spending caps and other measures. Increasing cuts to these vital R&D programs would mean fewer research grants, fewer student research opportunities, and fewer jobs. On AGI’s sequestration advocacy web site, you will find a sample letter to members of congress urging for a balanced approach to deficit reduction and protection of geoscience R&D that you are encouraged to use or adapt.
Sources: Congressional Budget Office, House Budget Committee, THOMAS (Library of Congress)
The Budget Process
Below is a diagram of the congressional budget process that first appeared in Following the Budget Process that was published in the March 1996 issue of Geotimes. It is adapted from a diagram developed by the House Budget Committee. Click on the image to open a PDF version.
Sources: American Association for the Advancement of Science, E&ENews Publications, House Committee on Appropriations, Library of Congress, Senate Committee on Appropriations, and the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Geoscience Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributed by Wilson Bonner, AGI Geoscience Policy staff.
Last updated August 9, 2013