With the budget process all but complete for next fiscal year, the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration observers were saying that science had not done that badly in Congress, for an election year. NSF got half the budget increase it requested, NASA two-thirds. The Space Station did well, at the expense of environmental and social programs, which are funded by Congress from the same pot of money as NASA and NSF.
A House-Senate conference finished work on a $59 billion appropriations bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and independent agencies, including EPA, NASA, and NSF, in early August. The House and Senate then quickly passed the measure before their recess; the President is expected to sign it soon. Included in the Fiscal Year 1989 spending bill are $1,885 billion for NSF, a 9.8% increase over FY 1988, and $10.7 billion for NASA, 18.5% more than the year before.