In the final moments before packing up for the July 4 recess, the House of Representatives passed President Reagan's substitute budget proposal. However, a handwritten note, scribbled across one of the proposal's pages, removed the National Science Foundation's entire budget plus the research budgets for three federal agencies—including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—from the enacted legislation. The June 26 move appears to be a deliberate attempt by Republicans to shake loose the NSF budget from the omnibus budget bill so that NSF will require separate authorization.

The handwritten note called for striking a portion of the Reagan budget proposal and inserting different material, the Washington Post reported. Deletions included NSF's budget and the research budgets for NOAA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A revised budget for DOE was reinserted.