Proposed FY 2015 House Budget Would Likely Result in Steep Cuts to Nondefense Research

The House Budget Committee's proposed budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2015 emphasizes defense spending and would likely result in deep cuts to nondefense research, according to a AAAS analysis.

The proposal, announced yesterday by committee chair Paul Ryan (R-WI), is generally seen as a campaign document showcasing one policy vision for the country, with its focus on deficit reduction and cuts to mandatory spending, according to Matt Hourihan, director of the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program. This is because Congress has already agreed on appropriations targets for FY 2015 as a part of the December budget deal.

However, federal funding for nondefense R&D would take a substantial hit starting in FY 2016, under this proposal. As Hourihan explains in his analysis, the House budget would reduce discretionary spending by over $300 billion below the current sequestration baseline through 2024, which is approximately $679 billion below the President's current budget request.

Within that lower spending baseline, the proposal would repeal the post-sequestration cuts scheduled for the Department of Defense and the National Nuclear Security Administration. It would shift $43 billion from nondefense to defense spending in 2016, with nondefense spending dropping to roughly $790 billion below the current baseline by 2024. This shift would likely mean acute funding cuts for many civilian science and engineering agencies, to rival the cuts under sequestration. Hourihan's analysis provides a more detailed breakdown.