Congress trims NSF budget



The last-minute spending bill adopted by Congress just before its 1987 holiday recess provides $1,717 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF) for fiscal year (FY) 1988. The approved figure is more than 9% lower than the request in President Reagan's budget plan. In addition, wording in the House version of the bill that mandated protection of ocean science and women and minorities programs did not appear in the final product that was approved by Congress and signed into law.

In absolute terms, NSF's budget will be 6% more than in 1987, far less than expected by the agency and the White House, which had proposed a doubling of NSF's budget over the next several years. The Research and Related Activities section of the budget, out of which comes the bulk of NSF's support of basic research, was funded at $1,453 billion, $200 million less than its $1,653 billion request, and the Antarctic Research section received $124.8 million of $143 million in the President's budget. Science Education, on the other hand, was budgeted for $139.2 million, $25 million more than requested.