On May 13, a draft of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 House Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Bill was publicly released in anticipation of the CJS Subcommittee markup scheduled for Thursday, May 14. This is the bill that provides annual appropriations to the National Science Foundation (NSF), Census Bureau and other statistical agencies, and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). [It should not be confused with the NSF reauthorization (COMPETES) bill that we have also been reporting on in recent weeks.]
Outlined below are preliminary details on the contents of the draft bill as it pertains to federal agencies important to the social and behavioral science research community. We will know more, such as whether there are any provisions specifically targeting social science, once the Committee Report is released, likely next week.
DRAFT HOUSE FY 2016 CJS APPROPRIATIONS BILL
National Science Foundation
- Total NSF funding = $7.39 billion, 0.68% or $50 million over FY 2015 funding, 4.3% below the President’s request
- The $50 million increase would go to the Research & Related Activities account, which is where NSF’s science directorates are funded.
- The Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorate would be flat funded at $866 million.
- Most importantly, the House bill would not appropriate specific funding levels for each research directorate, which is a proposal within the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806) that COSSA and the broad scientific community strongly opposes.
- Total Census Bureau Funding = $1.113 billion, 2.3% or $25 million above FY 2015 but 25.8% below the President’s request.
- Current Surveys and Programs = $265 million, 1.4% below FY 2015 and 4.6% below the President’s request
- Periodic Censuses and Programs = $848 million, 3.5% above FY 2015 but 30.6% below the President’s request.
- The bill language does not specify the funding level for the American Community Survey (ACS); Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson (R-TX) has been a vocal critic of the ACS in recent months. We could see ACS-specific language in the Committee Report when it is released.
Department of Justice
Funding levels are not yet known for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) or the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).