President Obama released a $3.8 trillion budget plan for fiscal year (FY) 2013 on 13 February 2012. According to the White House, the budget proposal would cut deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade and would avoid the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act signed into law in August 2011. The deficit reduction would be achieved by increased revenues, including higher taxes on families earning more than $250,000, and spending cuts.
Science is once again a priority in the President’s budget request. Despite a freeze on discretionary spending at the 2011 level for the second year in a row, the Administration has proposed $140.8 billion for federal research and development (R&D), an increase of $2.0 billion. Non-defense R&D would increase by five percent above the FY 2012 level.
Nearly all science agencies would see increased funding in FY 2013. Notably, the National Science Foundation would receive a 4.8 percent increase. Other science programs slated for an increase include the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, Department of Agriculture research, and various Department of the Interior bureaus. Although the overall budgets for the Environmental Protection Agency and National Aeronautics and Space Administration would be cut, the agencies’ research programs would receive slight budget increases.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programs would collectively receive $3.0 billion, a 2.6 percent increase.
The multi-agency U.S. Global Change Research Program would receive $2.6 billion, an increase of 5.6 percent.
Download the full analysis of the FY 2013 budget at http://www.aibs.org/public-policy/resources/AIBSBudgetReportFY2013.pdf.
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