After a strong start to the annual appropriations process, congressional progress on the appropriations process seems to be slowing. Both chambers are still working toward the final formulation of the 12 pieces of legislation that will collectively fund the federal government in fiscal year 2013, which begins on 1 October 2012.
Seven bills have been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee and six have been passed by the House Appropriations Committee, but only two bills have been passed by either legislative body. The House of Representatives passed the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act in early May. That spending plan would provide $7.3 billion for the National Science Foundation and $5 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Last week, the House advanced a measure that would fund military construction and veteran affairs. A final vote by the House on legislation to fund the Department of Energy is expected this week. H.R. 5325 would slightly reduce funding for the department’s Office of Science. Most of the reduction would be targeted at the Biological and Environmental Research program, which would be cut by 11 percent relative to the current funding level.
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