This week Congress released final language of an Omnibus Appropriations bill funding the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2016. The legislation would increase funding over fiscal 2015 for nearly all federal science and technology (S&T) agencies and major accounts and programs. While some agencies such as NIH saw significant gains (6.7%) others such as the National Science Foundation (1.6%), saw only modest increases over last year.
At this point the Appropriations Committees have not released their Committee Report so crucial details are still unknown. However media reports indicate that bill language severely restricting social science and climate change funding at agencies such as NSF and NASA have been stripped or weakened.
“NSF is very pleased with the strong Congressional endorsement contained in the Omnibus Appropriations Act of the Foundation’s policies and priorities that support the Nation’s investment in science and engineering. We are especially grateful for the removal of language that would have specified funding by scientific discipline.”
NSF Director France Cordova
The House and the Senate must still vote on the bill, with debate expected to last until at least the end of the week and potentially into the weekend.