Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Signed Into Law

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations were signed into law on Friday, November 18th as part of the first appropriations "minibus", the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012 (H.R.2112). The House version of the bill is the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012 (H.R.2596) and the Senate version is the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012 (S.1572). The conference report funded two of science agencies at levels greater than either the of the original House or Senate levels, implying some support for investment in science and technology despite the current tough budget climate. The National Science Foundation was one of those agencies, receiving $7.0 billion in the bill, $173 million (2.5 percent) more than in FY 2011. But this funding level is still well short of the President's request of $7.8 billion which would have been consistent with his budget doubling plan for the agency. The other agency receiving a higher funding level than in the original House or Senate bills was the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST is funded at $751 million for FY 2012, a $1 million (0.1 percent) increase from last year. However, the conference report fails to fund all but one of the Industrial Technology Services (ITS) programs. Funding was eliminated for the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortium, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the Technology Innovation Program. The sole surviving program in ITS is the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) received $17.8 billion in the bill, a $648 million (3.5 percent) decrease from last year. The House bill had eliminated funding for the James Web Space Telescope, but the conference sided with the Senate and funded the project at $530 million. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fared the least well in the bill with an estimated R&D investment of $620 million for FY 2012, $28 million (4.3 percent) less than in FY 2011 and $116 million (15.8 percent) less than the President's request. The administration had proposed the establishment of a National Climate Service, and while the proposal was supported by the Senate, the conference sided with the House and did not fund the new line office.

Department of Commerce Funding Table
National Aeronautics and Space Administration Funding Table
National Science Foundation Funding Table
Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012 (H.R.2112)
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012 (H.R.2596)
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012 (S.1572)