Senate and House Committees Approve NSF Spending Bills; Senate Expected to Consider NSF Reauthorization
Senate and House Committees Approve NSF Spending Bills; Senate Expected to Consider NSF Reauthorization

May 2016

The House of Representatives and Senate Appropriations Committees have now passed Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bills, which include funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The Senate committee approved the appropriations bill on April 21, giving NSF $7.51 billion, including $880 million to the Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorate. This represents, essentially, flat funding compared to Fiscal Year 2016, and is $19 million below the Obama administration’s request. On May 24, the full House Appropriations Committee approved $7.41 billion for NSF and $880 million for EHR.

The broad scientific community was pleased that the House Appropriations Committee did not include report language limiting the amount NSF should spend on specific directorates. Last year, language to this effect targeted the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences and Geosciences Directorates.

AERA has been working closely with colleagues in the scientific community to meet with committee staff and signing letters in support of $8 billion for NSF in FY 2017. 

  President's Request  House Appropriations
Committee FY 2017 
Senate Appropriations
Committee FY 17 
FY 2016

National Science Foundation
$7.56 billion  $7.41 billion  $7.51 billion  $7.46 billion 

Directorate for Education &
Human Resources

$899 million  $880 million  $880 million  $880 million 

Research and Related

$6.08 billion  $6.08 billion  $6.03 billion  $6.03 billion 


NSF Reauthorization

Previous AERA Highlights pieces have covered the reauthorization of the National Science Foundation in the House—and the community’s broad opposition to the bill. The scientific community now awaits the release of the Senate’s version. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has been working on this bill in a bipartisan manner, actively engaging the scientific community.

In addition to holding several working groups last fall (for which AERA submitted comments), the committee held a hearing on May 11 titled “Leveraging the U.S. Science and Technology Enterprise.” One of the witnesses, Kelvin Droegemeier, Vice Chair of the National Science Board, spoke extensively about the importance of fundamental and basic research—an issue of great importance to AERA and its members.

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