The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News

Number 103: September 1, 2000

One Month to Go: Status of FY 2001 Appropriations Bills

The new fiscal year starts one month from today, and most of the
appropriations bills of interest to the physics community are far
from complete. With the exception of the FY 2001 appropriations
bill for the Department of Defense which has been signed into
law, there is considerable work ahead.

Both the House and Senate return from their recess next week, and
for the vast majority of Members, the overriding concern is the
general election, just 68 days away. With all of the House, one-
third of all senators, and the offices of the president and vice
president on the ballot, and tight races for the control of both
chambers and the White House, Members want to complete the must-
past appropriations bills and return home. Standing in the way
are tight spending caps and a White House strategy that will use
this remaining time to press for its objectives.

Here is where things stand:

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: The President signed the FY 2001 DOD
appropriations bill into law. It provides a total increase of
7.9% for 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 spending for next year, to $9,063
million. The Clinton Administration requested $7,543 million.
See FYI #91 for the details.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY: The House has passed its version of this
bill, while the Senate bill has not yet gone to the floor. The
House bill provides the administration’s request for High Energy
Physics, while the Senate bill makes significant reductions from
both the current level and the request. Nuclear Physics would be
funded at the requested level by the House bill, while the Senate
bill would essentially flat fund this program, providing less
than the request. Both bills make significant reductions in the
administration’s request for Basic Energy Sciences, with a major
difference in the bills being their treatment of the Spallation
Neutron Source. Fusion Energy Sciences is also mixed: the House
bill providing more than the request, the Senate bill less than
the current level and the request. The Senate bill has not even
gone to the floor for passage, and in its current committee form,
the White House has threatened a veto. After floor action, a
conference will be held to resolve differences. The key to
getting this bill onto the president’s desk is more money for the
entire Energy and Water Development appropriations bill. See FYI
#86 for the details.

subcommittee completed its bill in May. The Senate subcommittee
has not drafted a bill yet because it does not have the money to
do so. The administration requested a 17.3% increase for FY 2001
for NSF; the House bill provides 4.3%. The House bill has a 5.7%
increase for Research and Related Activities, almost no increase
for Education and Human Resources over the current year, and
about 55% of the amount requested for Major Research Equipment.
Senate appropriators Christopher “Kit” Bond (R-MO) and Barbara
Mikulski (D-MD) are pushing for a doubling of the NSF budget over
the next five years. As of a few days ago, 20 of their
colleagues had signed a “Dear Colleague” letter in support of
their efforts. Also supporting a doubling of the NSF budget is
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS). The bottom line: more
money is needed for the entire Senate bill before it will move
out of the committee and onto the floor. See FYI #66 for
information on the House bill.

NASA: NASA is funded in the same bill as the National Science
Foundation. The House bill would provide an increase of 3.2%;
the administration had requested an increase of less than 1%.
The House bill has an increase of 8.5% for Space Science,
compared to the 9.4% requested increase. The Space Station was
funded at the requested level by the House, which is down $215
from the current year. See FYI #67 for information on the NASA
portion of the House bill.

the NIST appropriations in June as part of the Commerce, Justice,
State appropriations bill. The Senate committee bill is ready to
go to the floor, although funding levels have not been published.
The House bill would zero out the Advanced Technology Program.
The NIST labs would receive a 3.2% increase, significantly less
than what was requested. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership
program would be flat funded. The budget for construction of new
facilities was also reduced from the request in the House bill.
See FYI #71 for further information. This bill has both money
and political problems: appropriators do not have enough money,
and there is disagreement over the value of the Advanced
Technology Program.

K-12 MATH AND SCIENCE EDUCATION: Both the House and Senate have
passed their versions of the Labor-Health and Human Services
appropriations bill. Within these bills is funding for the
Eisenhower Program. Funding levels for the Eisenhower Program
are unclear in both bills; it appears the teacher professional
development programs in math and science would receive at least
their current funding level. See FYI #61.

Richard M. Jones
Public Information Division
American Institute of Physics
(301) 209-3095