Congress has largely blocked Trump’s science funding cuts

In 2017, online magazine Live Science published a graphic showing that funding for federal science programs has declined since President Trump took office.Here, we examine how money for science-related agencies was appropriated by Congress after considering Trump’s proposals.

The table below shows changes in federal physical science funding since January 2017.

Trump proposed a seven percent decrease in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for fiscal year (FY) 2019, while the House and Senate countered with three percent and five percent increases, respectively.

The Senate got its way in the final budget with a $39 billion budget.

Science appropriations, selected agencies
($ in millions, source American Institute of Physics)
Agency FY ’18
Enacted
FY ’19
Request
Change
’18–’19
House Change
’18–’19
Senate Change
’18–’19
Final Change
’18–’19
NIH

37,084

34,588

-7%

38,334

3%

39,084

5%

39,084

5%

Energy Dept. Science Office

6,260

5,391

-14%

6,600

5%

6,650

6%

6,585

5%

NASA

20,736

19,892

-4%

21,546

4%

21,323

3%

NOAA

5,909

4,563

-23%

5,159

-13%

5,483

-7%

The proposed changes in science funding for the Department of Energy, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under Trump for these other agencies have largely been erased by Congress, except for NOAA.

As of this writing, NASA and NOAA budgets have not been finalized.

Obviously, there is a greater hostility for funding government-led science research in the White House than in Congress.  This discrepancy is likely to grow larger when Democrats gain majority control the House of Representatives in January 2019.

It remains to be seen whether an increased Republican majority in the Senate will lead to them becoming more or less in agreement with Trump administration budget requests.

 

[Photo courtesy The Podunk Punks]

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