Research Funding Flat in 2009 as Budget Stalls

Issues in Science and Technology, Winter 2009 | Go to article overview

Research Funding Flat in 2009 as Budget Stalls


Fiscal year (FY) 2009 began on October 1 with final budget decisions for most federal agencies postponed until at least January 2009. To keep the government operating, lawmakers combined three final appropriations bills into a continuing resolution (CR) that extends funding for all programs in the remaining unsigned 2009 appropriations bills at 2008 funding levels through March 6. President Bush signed the measure into law on September 30.

The CR contains final FY 2009 appropriations for the Departments of Defense (DOD), Homeland Security (DHS), and Veterans Affairs (VA); all three will receive substantial increases in their R&D portfolios. Other federal agencies covered by the remaining appropriations bills will be operating temporarily at or below 2008 funding levels for several months. The CR excludes from its FY 2008 base most supplemental appropriations. Thus, agencies that received additional funds in the mid-year supplemental funding bill, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Science, will see a decrease under the CR. The CR, however, does allow the Food and Drug Administration to count the $150 million FY 2008 supplemental it received as part of its base.

The CR provides $2.5 billion for the Pell Grant program, which gives aid to college students, and $5. …

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