Science Receives Broad Support in Obama Administration's Proposed Budget



[1] With the U.S. federal deficit on target to hit $1.5 trillion this year, President Barack Obama's proposed federal budget of $3.73 trillion for fiscal year (FY) 2012, which begins on 1 October, has been greeted with mixed reviews since its release on 14 February. The proposal, which calls for a 5-year overall freeze on discretionary spending outside of security, generally is favorable for science and science agencies—particularly the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) laboratories. However, some other agencies and bureaus, including the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), do not fare as well. A number of Republicans in Congress have panned the budget. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chair of the House of Representatives Committee on the Budget, said the president “has failed to tackle the urgent fiscal and economic threats before us.” Also, with the FY 2011 budget never having been enacted, House Committee on Appropriations chair Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) introduced a continuing resolution (H.R. 1) on 11 February that would fund the federal government for the remainder of the current fiscal year at a level $100 billion below the administration's request for this year.