Senate Appropriations Process Stalls
On June 19, the Senate Appropriations bill that would fund the National Science Foundation (NSF) and several other federal agencies for Fiscal Year 2015 was pulled off the Senate floor because of a disagreement between Democrats and Republicans over how many amendments could be offered during the debate. The impasse could ultimately result in the bill being stalled until after the fall elections.
Many in the science and higher education communities fear that amendments may ultimately be offered that would cut funding for programs of importance to social scientists. In 2013, a provision in the appropriations bill known as the Coburn Amendment (named after Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma) blocked NSF from funding political science grants other than research “certified as promoting national security or the economic interests of the United States.” This language was not included in the FY 2014 funding legislation that was enacted in January, but could be offered again when the FY 2015 bill ultimately returns to the Senate floor.
We will continue to keep you apprised of key developments related to federal funding for research programs. We encourage AAG members to contact your members of Congress to express your views on issues of importance.