The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) has “marked-up” a fiscal year (FY) 2009 appropriations bill. The legislation includes funding for the National Science Foundation. “In brief summary, the bill totals $56.8 billion, an increase of about $5 billion from the fiscal year 2008 enacted level and over $3.1 billion over the budget request. While these figures may suggest that this Subcommittee was swimming in cash, I can assure you that it wasn’t. Difficult decisions had to be made; trade-offs weighed. Holes had to be filled: the President’s request was woefully inadequate in a number of critical areas. For example, the President proposed reductions of over $1.6 billion in state and local law enforcement grants. The mismanagement of the decennial Census -- the costs of which rise seemingly by the day and now require over $3.1 billion this fiscal year alone -- placed further stresses on our Subcommittee,” according to Subcommittee Chairman Alan Mollohan (D-WV). Within the bill, the subcommittee recommended that the National Science Foundation receive $6.9 billion, an amount slightly above the President’s request of $6.854 billion for FY2009.
The Senate Appropriations Committee passed its own measure a week after the House action. The National Science Foundation received $6.854 billion, an increase of $789 million, or 13 percent over the fiscal year 2008 Consolidated Appropriations, and equal to the President’s request.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies has also released its plan for FY 2009. The FY2009 Chairman’s mark for all agencies and programs funded through this appropriation is 4.9 percent above the FY2008 enacted amount. The FY2009 request is $25.76 billion while the Chairman’s mark is $27.86 billion. The U.S. Geological Survey would receive $1.054 billion, $85 million more than the FY 2009 request, and a 4.8 percent change from the FY 2008 enacted amount. The Environmental Protection Agency would receive a boost of 5 percent, increasing the overall funding from $7.143 billion to $7.832 billion. Other programs funded through the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies include the Smithsonian Institution, which would receive a 15.8 percent increase over the FY 2008 enacted amount
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