The Senate Appropriations Committee has passed the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which would fund the Departments of Commerce and Justice and several independent agencies (e.g., NSF) in fiscal year (FY) 2010. Collectively, these agencies would receive $64.9 billion. Overall, the bill would spend $500 million more than the House-passed version of the bill. The Senate bill includes $6.917 billion for NSF, $20 million below the House mark, but an increase of $426 million above the FY 2009 enacted appropriation. Research and Related Activities at NSF would receive $5.55 billion, $92 million below the House’s proposed funding level.

The committee report accompanying the Senate bill included tough language about NSF’s workforce management. “The Committee is deeply concerned with systemic workforce management problems propagated from senior management creating a hostile work environment between Federal employees, rotational directors and the [Senior Executive Service] SES-level directorate.” The Committee is concerned with NSF’s lack of action to address “poor management oversight” and with the agency’s “enforcement of policies prohibiting gender discrimination, offensive work environments, and retaliation.” The committee report also addressed NSF grant management, and calling for more performance evaluation of awarded grants. Even if this language is not included in the final appropriations report, it suggests that the Senate has real concerns with NSF management and will expect some level of response from the agency.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would receive $4.77 billion, a $170 million bump from the House’s mark.


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