The majority of the appropriations bills for the U.S. federal budget for fiscal year 2002 have been signed by President George W. Bush, and the overall outlook for science looks good. A number of science agencies received healthy increases that are above the figures proposed by the Bush administration earlier this year.
The appropriations bill for Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies (H.R. 2620) is one of the most important, as it funds both NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Signed into law by the president on November 26, the “VA-HUD” bill provides NASA with a budget of $14.8 billion. This is an increase of $540 million, or 3.8%, above FY01 levels, and 1.9% above the administration's request of $14.51 billion. The increment for NSF's $4.79-billion budget for FY02 is $372.5 million, an increase of 8.4% above the previous year's funding. This amount is $319 million more than the agency requested. The Bush administration requested an increase of only 1.3%.