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Marcos Huerta
John Bahcall Public Policy Fellow
huerta at aas.org


The House Appropriations committee released a draft of the spending portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on January 15, and the Senate released a summary of their version of the bill on Friday. The two bills differ on the amount of science funding, and the Senate press release lacks much detail in exactly where the money is going. Some Top Line Numbers:

NSF: House - $3 Billion; Senate- $1.4 Billion
NASA: House - $600 million; Senate - $1.5 billion (Both include $400-$500 million for earth science, the rest of the Senate allocation is unclear)
Department of Energy Office of Science: House - $1.9 Billion, Senate - Unclear. Total Dept. of Energy spending is listed at $40 billion

More details are available at the House and Senate web sites:

http://appropriations.house.gov/
http://appropriations.senate.gov/

Recent posts on this topic at the AAS Public Policy Blog include:

http://blog.aas.org/2009/01/26/senate-stimulus-bill/
http://blog.aas.org/2009/01/15/science-in-the-stimulus-bill/

The congress and the White House will have to further refine and negotiate the final elements of the package - not just the spending but the balance between spending and tax cuts. The White House and the congressional leadership have said they want a bill by Feb 16. We will continue to monitor the development of the stimulus bill and urge the inclusion of science as an excellent investment in fueling the economic growth of the country.

Below are excerpts from the House and Senate Press Releases:

House Bill Summary

National Science Foundation: $3 billion, including $2 billion for expanding employment opportunities in fundamental science and engineering to meet environmental challenges and to improve global economic competitiveness, $400 million to build major research facilities that perform cutting edge science, $300 million for major research equipment shared by institutions of higher education and other scientists, $200 million to repair and modernize science and engineering research facilities at the nation's institutions of higher education and other science labs, and $100 million is also included to improve instruction in science, math and engineering.

NASA: $600 million, including $400 million to put more scientists to work doing climate change research, including Earth science research recommended by the National Academies, satellite sensors that measure solar radiation critical to understanding climate change, and a thermal infrared sensor to the Landsat Continuing Mapper necessary for water management, particularly in the western states; $150 million for research, development, and demonstration to improve aviation safety and Next Generation air traffic control (NextGen); and $50 million to repair NASA centers damaged by hurricanes and floods last year.

Department of Energy: $1.9 billion for basic research into the physical sciences including high-energy physics, nuclear physics, and fusion energy sciences and improvements to DOE laboratories and scientific facilities. $400 million is for the Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy to support high-risk, high-payoff research into energy sources and energy efficiency.

Senate Bill Summary

National Science Foundation (NSF) Research: $1.4 billion in funding for scientific research, infrastructure and competitive grants.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): $1.5 Billion for NASA, including $500 million for Earth science missions to provide critical data about the Earth's resources and climate.

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