WASHINGTON — A House spending bill for fiscal year 2025 would cut funding from the administration’s request for science and education programs at NASA.

The commerce, justice and science (CJS) subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee favorably reported a draft of its fiscal year 2025 spending bill, which includes NASA, during a brief markup session June 26.

The bill, released by the subcommittee a day earlier, would provide nearly $25.18 billion for NASA in 2025. That is a 1.2% increase over what NASA received for fiscal year 2024, but $205 million less than what the White House requested for the agency in its budget proposal released in March.

The cuts in the House bill were focused on science and education. The bill keeps science funding at the same level as 2024, $7.334 billion, a cut of $231.5 million from NASA’s request for 2025. Education programs, formally known as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Engagement, would receive $89 million, a sharp cut from the $143.5 million requested, which was approximately the same as 2024 levels.

The bill did not outline how those cuts would be allocated among programs in those divisions. A fact sheet released by Democratic members of the committee stated that, in STEM Engagement, the bill would eliminate funding for the Minority University Research and Education Project, which received $46 million in 2024.

Many other parts of NASA, including exploration and space technology, received the same overall funding level as the agency’s request. The bill increased funding for space operations, which includes the International Space Station, by $83.8 million, but did not disclose the reason for the change.

The Aerospace Industries Association criticized the bill for the cuts to science and education. “Rather than continuing a growth trajectory that keeps pace with inflation, the committee missed important opportunities to extend America’s leadership in space exploration and scientific discovery by reducing funding for key initiatives in STEM,” Eric Fanning, president and chief executive of the organization, said in a June 25 statement.

During the brief markup sessions, members made only brief references to the NASA funding in the bill. “The moon is once again within our reach,” said Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), chair of the CJS subcommittee. “This bill makes strategic investments in order to ensure NASA is not bound by the limits of gravity.”

“The bill prioritizes our science agencies and appropriately funds the advancement of space exploration at NASA,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), chair of the full committee.

Democratic members said they opposed the bill, but discussed other portions of the bill that fund programs at the Justice and Commerce Departments. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), ranking member of the CJS subcommittee, also criticized more than $600 million in cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as “particularly troubling,” although the impact of those cuts on NOAA satellite programs was not immediately clear.

“This process does not end with the subcommittee action today,” he said. “As the process moves forward, we need to do much more in all of these important areas.”

Cartwright added that he was particularly critical of the bill at the subcommittee markup because, last year, the full committee never took up the bill as it and several others languished amid debates about spending caps and budget allocations.

Cole, who took over as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee earlier this year, said he regretted the lack of a markup by the full committee last year. “We will have those hearings and we will have a robust process,” he said. A schedule released by the committee last month includes a full committee markup of the CJS spending bill July 9.

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...