Founded in 1947, in 2022 AIBS celebrates its 75th anniversary

"What news from the sea?"

The fish replied: "I have a lot to say, but my mouth is full of water." - Armenian proverb

The San Diego, California shoreline. Credit: Frank McKenna

A small semi-transparent triangle for visual interest
Science Marches On

News & Events

Explore the most recent news about AIBS's initiatives, programs, resources, and events.

Bullet policy · Mar 11, 2024

Congress Passes Spending Package with Cuts to Science

Last week, legislators passed a six-bill spending package with bipartisan support providing significant funding cuts or nearly flat budgets for most science agencies in fiscal year (FY) 2024.

The “minibus,” which was passed more than 5 months into FY 2024, included the Interior-Environment, Energy-Water, Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development spending bills. Science related highlights from the $459 billion package include:

  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) received a notable funding cut of 8.2 percent relative to its total budget of $9.9 billion in FY 2023. In total, lawmakers provided $9.06 billion for the science agency, of which $7.2 billion (-8.3 percent) was allocated for its Research and Related Activities account. The NSF allocation falls $2.3 billion short of President Biden’s request and $6.6 billion below the CHIPS and Science Act authorization for FY 2024.
  • The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science was among the few agencies that received a slightly increased budget in FY 2024, although the boost does not allow DOE to keep up with inflation. The office will receive $8.24 billion in total, a small increase of 1.7 percent over FY 2023. Much of that increase will go to Basic Energy Sciences, which received a 3.6 percent bump. The Biological and Environmental Research account will receive $900 million, resulting in a 1 percent cut. Budget for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which supports high risk high reward research, will shrink by 2 percent.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was allocated $6.3 billion, a small increase of nearly 2 percent over FY 2023. However, the agency’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research saw its funding drop from $687 million in FY 2023 to $656 million.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration received a 2 percent budget cut overall, with its Science account shrinking by 6 percent to $7.3 billion.
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology will see its overall budget slashed by 10 percent to $1.46 billion, while funding for its Science and Technical Research and Services account will increase from $953 million in FY 2023 to $1.080 billion in FY 2024.
  • The Environment Protection Agency’s budget will shrink by roughly $1 billion dollars (or 10 percent) to $9.2 billion, with its Science and Technology account receiving a 5.5 percent cut to $758 million.
  • The U.S. Geological Survey received a nearly 3 percent reduction in its budget. Overall, the agency will receive $1.45 billion, of which $300 million (-2.5 percent) will be directed to its Ecosystems Mission Area.
  • Other Interior agencies will also see their budgets shrink. The National Park Service received $3.3 billion (-4.3 percent), the Bureau of Land Management was funded at $1.4 billion (-5.4 percent), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received $1.7 billion (-3 percent).
  • Overall research funding at the U.S. Department of Agriculture will remain flat at $3.5 billion. The Agriculture Research Service will receive a small increase of 1.4 percent to $1.84 billion, while the National Institute of Food and Agriculture will get a 1.3 percent cut to $1.7 billion. The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative will be funded at $445 million, roughly $10 million below the FY 2023 enacted level.
  • The Smithsonian Institution will receive $1.1 billion, nearly 5 percent below FY 2023. The salaries account for the National Museum of Natural History will receive level funding of $55.2 million.

The Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) – an alliance of over 140 professional organizations, scientific societies, universities, and businesses that advocate for NSF – expressed disappointment over the FY 2024 funding for NSF and called on Congress to allocate more resources to the Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill in future appropriations cycles to allow the agency’s budget to grow. CNSF, of which AIBS is a member, also urged lawmakers to include NSF funding in any supplemental packages focused on defense and national security.

Lawmakers are now racing to finish and pass the remaining six appropriations bills that fund the rest of the government, including the National Institutes of Health, by the March 22 deadline. The White House plans to release the President’s budget request for FY 2025 today.

Stay current on the latest science policy news. Subscribe to our bi-weekly AIBS Public Policy Report.