Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  6 / 16 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 6 / 16 Next Page
Page Background





Public Affairs

President Presents Vision

in Budget

President Obama sent his final budget request to

Congress on February 9. The budget includes

funding increases for research and science educa-

tion, including new initiatives to find cures for

cancer, increase investment in clean energy re-

search and development, and expand the nation’s

investment in computer science. However, the

funding the White House would need for these

programs is greater than the amount Congress

allotted in its budget deal last fall. To get around

this, the White House has categorized some of

its requests as coming from mandatory funding,

rather than discretionary, which in fact it is not.

Congress immediately rejected the distinction.

With that said, the overall budget does provide

insight into the President’s commitment to sci-

ence and research if the budget decisions were

solely up to him.

The chart below outlines the President’s budget

request in comparison to FY 2016.

House Approves NSF

National Interest Bill

On February 10, the United States House of

Representatives passed legislation that would

require the National Science Foundation (NSF)

to affirm that each research grant it approves is

in the national interest and, therefore, worthy of

taxpayer support.

The Scientific Research in the National Interest

Act (H.R. 3293), written by House Science Com-

mittee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), was ap-

proved on a mostly party line vote of 236 (R) to

178 (D). The original language of the bill was the

same as a provision in the America COMPETES

Reauthorization Act, which the House approved

last May. The Society opposed the language at

that time and communicated that to Congress.

If the bill were to become law, it would require

NSF to affirm in writing that each of its grant

awards is worthy of federal funding and in the

national interest. An award would be deemed in

the national interest if it met one of seven criteria,

including increasing US economic competi-

tiveness, advancing health, increasing scien-

tific literacy, or promoting the progress of

science in the United States.

The likelihood of the bill becoming law in the

next year is slim. The Senate does not cur-

rently have plans to consider the bill, and the

White House issued a statement saying that

the President’s senior advisors would recom-

mend that he veto the bill if it were to come

to his desk for his signature.

The Society will continue to track this issue

and ask members to take action when and if


President's Budget Requests for FY 2017


FY 2016



FY 2017





National Institutes

of Health

$32,100 $33,136 2.5%

National Science





Department of

Energy Office of


$5,350 $5,672


NASA Science

$5,589 $5.303 -5.1%

NIST Science and

Tech Labs




Department of

Defence Basic


$2,320 $2,115


Veteran's Affairs

Medical and Pro-

thetic Research