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House R&D Appropriations Estimates

An overview and breakdown of annual spending legislation.

With all twelve spending bills through the House Appropriations Committee and nine of these receiving House floor approval, here’s a brief review of R&D estimates with functional highlights and international comparisons. Download the report.

Our current updated estimate[i] for aggregate R&D in House appropriations, including floor amendments, is $169.4 billion, an increase of $11.2 billion or 7.1% above FY 2021 estimated levels. This is somewhat less than the overall discretionary rise allowed under the House deeming resolution.

Should this be adopted into law as-is, it would represent one of the larger increases of the past decade in both dollars and percent, though not unprecedented. Historical R&D budget authority data indicates similar or larger increases in FY 2016 and FY 2018. Federal R&D also saw larger growth in FY 2020, though much of that increase was likely driven by emergency COVID-19 R&D.

The House figure is also approximately $3 billion below the White House FY 2022 request, with the shortfall mostly split between basic and applied research. The development and R&D facilities spending levels are similar.

In spite of this growth, we estimate federal R&D would decline slightly as a share of the U.S. economy to 0.70% (graph below), due to the strong GDP growth predicted by CBO next year.[ii] 

For more, download the report.

Graph showing historical R&D plus proposals for FY22.


[i] AAAS estimates are based on OMB, agency, and appropriations data and language. We’ll update these based on amendments or additional data reporting from the agencies.

[ii] Based on the July update to the economic outlook,