U.S. House Set to Make Significant Cuts in Science Funding for FY 2011

Shortly after the President rolled out the FY 2012 budget, the U.S. House began consideration of H.R. 1, a continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the federal government for the current fiscal year that began on October 1, 2010 and runs through September 30, 2011. According to House Appropriations Committee Chair Hal Rogers, the CR “represents the largest reduction in non-security discretionary spending in the history of the nation,” cutting more than $100 billion from the President’s FY 2011 budget request.

Last week, Appropriations subcommittees were asked to identify cuts in their respective areas. The Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee identified $827.5 million in potential cuts to NSF, including almost $551 million from the "Research and Related Activities" line. The Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations Subcommittee identified $1.6 billion in cuts for NIH, including a “general reduction to 2008 levels.”

In a statement released on the day the CR was brought to the House floor, the Chairman said: “…this CR is only the first of many Appropriations bills this year that will significantly trim federal spending” and urged his colleagues to “move this CR, avoid a government shutdown, and get these spending cuts passed by the Congress and signed by the President.”

As Congress debated H.R. 1, the President released a “Statement of Administration Policy” which stated that “the Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 1.…” The statement went on to say: “If the President is presented with a bill that undermines critical priorities or national security through funding levels or restrictions, contains earmarks, or curtails the drivers of long-term economic growth and job creation while continuing to burden future generations with deficits, the President will veto the bill.”

See Cuts Proposed in the House CR [PDF] »