Federal Research Agencies Avoid Cuts in Congressional Budget Deal
Late last week, President Trump signed into law a budget deal that will fund the federal government through September 30. The bipartisan deal has generally been viewed favorably by science advocates, as it maintains or increases funding levels for most agencies that provide research support.
Under the deal, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will remain level funded at $7.472 billion. The National Institutes of Health, meanwhile, receives a $2 billion increase to $34.1 billion, $352 million of which is targeted for the 21st Century Cures act that was enacted late during the Obama Administration.
In March, the AAG sent a letter to Congressional Appropriators urging them to reject cuts proposed by the Trump Administration to numerous agencies. We have also joined our friends in the wider science community in sending several sign-on letters to Capitol Hill in support of robust federal investment in science. While the AAG letter related to Fiscal Year 2018 and this enacted compromise is for the remainder of FY 2017, it is likely that consistent communication from research advocates helped stave off cuts in this latest deal.
The agreement paves the way for Congress to spend the next several months focused on health care, tax reform, and appropriations for FY 2018, which commences October 1. As always, we encourage AAG members to contact your elected officials about issues that are important to you. We will keep you informed on any key developments related to policies affecting geographers and we also encourage members to visit our Policy Action web page.