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FABBS Advocacy Update: Federal Funding for FY 2016
December 16, 2015
Negotiators reached an agreement last night on an omnibus bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year...
FABBS Member Scientific Societies:
Negotiators reached an agreement last night on an omnibus bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Today, the House and Senate will need to pass another short-term Continuing Resolution (the third in recent months) to keep the government open until the omnibus is passed. The House is scheduled to vote on the omnibus spending bill tomorrow (Thursday), and the Senate will follow.
As you know, FABBS has been working to remove or alter report language that would cut two of NSF’s research directorates by over $255 million – the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) and Geosciences (GEO) Directorates. The new language (see below) does not cut GEO, but flat-funds the SBE Directorate for the fiscal year.
Given the potential cuts that we faced this year, I would consider this a partial win. Having said that, it is not a true win when areas of science are singled out for cuts or even flat funding. At any rate, we can celebrate a small victory for now. Next year, FABBS will be working just as hard (or harder, if that’s possible) to prevent language that targets areas of science from getting into any bills or reports accompanying bills.
On a positive note, NSF’s research account line received a $100 million increase over FY 2015 funding. The recent budget deal provided more room for an increase in science funding at NSF. This is a big win for the other five directorates in NSF’s research account.
Finally, I am still reviewing the relevant section of the omnibus bill to determine the funding level for NIH, but I am optimistic that it will be a reasonable increase given the agency’s popularity this year on Capitol Hill. I will update you later regarding this.
Paula Skedsvold, JD PhD
Government Relations Consultant