Bills in Brief

Just as President Obama gave his address on the importance of science and research at the 150th anniversary of the US National Academy of Sciences, the effects of sequestration are being felt among scientific and research communities around the country.

bridges vol. 37, May 2013 / Bills in Brief: US S&T Policy News


In case you missed it...
  • In February, Steven Chu announced that he will return to academia at the end of February. In March, Ernest J. Moniz was nominated by Pres. Obama and approved by the Senate energy committee in April to become the new Energy Secretary. Moniz is the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, Director of the Energy Initiative, and Director of the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • This May, President Obama stresses the Importance of Science and Technology to the Nation's Future at the 150th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Sciences. Watch the address, below:


Sequester in Review

In spite of substantial debate and controversy over the impacts of indiscriminate, across-the-board cuts in the days leading up to the deadline, sequestration went into effect on March 1 as required by law. Cuts to defense and nondefense R&D will total an estimated $9.0 billion to the FY 2013 federal R&D budget. These cuts will place a particularly acute burden on government agencies, as they must be implemented nearly five months into the fiscal year.

Read the full story by Sara Spizzirri and Matt Hourihan in AAAS' Science and Technology in Congress Newsletter.


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President Releases Budget

The White House released its FY 2014 budget request on April 10. The President proposes a $3.8 trillion budget in FY 2014, projecting a $744 billion deficit. In R&D funding, the budget calls for $144.1 billion, including $69.7 billion for basic and applied research. In general terms, the budget shows a marked shift from defense to nondefense R&D, and from development to research. Perhaps most notable for R&D funding, however, is the President's proposal to roll back sequestration. Provisions in the Budget Control Act currently cap discretionary spending at $966 billion in FY 2014, a level House Republicans have embraced. However, the President's budget – and Senate Democrats – proposes returning the discretionary spending limit to pre-sequester level of $1.057 trillion. Resolving this $91 billion difference is key for R&D funding, as the President's budget is predicated on the higher spending level.

Read the full story by Matt Hourihan in AAAS' Science and Technology in Congress Newsletter.



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