Wednesday, February 16, 2011

House FY 11 CR bad news for science

The House introduced their continuing resolution (H.R. 1) last Friday to fund the government through the end of FY 2011. The bill cuts over $100 billion from the President's FY 2011 request, including many R&D programs with the Department of Energy facing particularly deep cuts. The bill will likely pass the House after an open amendment debate (there are more than 100 amendments), but faces changes in the Democrat-controlled Senate and will require a conference to work out the differences.

*Magnitude of the proposed cuts:
-Department of Energy Office of Science would be funded at $4.017 billion, which represents a cut of $886 million, or 18 percent, from the FY 2010 funding level of $4.903 billion. The Office of Biological and Environmental Research is hit very hard with funding down 55% from FY10 (-$324,000 from $588,031).
-National Science Foundation would be cut by $359.5 million, or five percent, from the FY 2010 level of $6.87 billion.
-USDA would see a reduction of the Research, Education, and Economics mission area budget of $415 million, with NIFA decreasing by $217 million (AFRI funding alone is cut by $34.7 million, reducing funding to $227.8 million) and ARS by $185 million (includes zeroing out of Buildings and Facilities). Please see: additional details on the USDA budget. In addition, the Economics Research Service would see a $3 million cut. A bright note is a proposed increase of $25 million for formula funds (Hatch Act up $6.76 million, McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry up $5.86 million, Evans-Allen Program-1890s research up $2.5 million). Extension would get clobbered to the tune of minus $42 million ($30 million from salaries, remainder from administration). Earmarks would be zeroed out (minus $89 million). The integrated research, education, and extension account would be cut by $35 million, with food safety (NIFSI), IPM Centers, R&D Centers, Organic Transition, FQPA, and international Science and education zeroed out. Water quality would lose $1.7 million.
-EPA’s budget is cut by $3 billion, which is 29% below fiscal year 2010.

*For a full list of the FY 2011 cuts over FY 2010 enacted, please view the table posted here:

-The proposed cuts would cause the layoffs of thousands of scientists, engineers, extension agents, support personnel, and contractors at universities and national laboratories.
-A sharp reduction in the operation of facilities that enable U.S. scientists in industry and universities to perform cutting-edge research.
-Elimination of current government support for hundreds of PhD researchers and graduate students in university research programs all across the country.
-Further declines in the already-low grant success rates at NSF and USDA.
-Cuts to important science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs at the K-12, undergraduate, and graduate levels.

Full details are available here:

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