Over the last few weeks, the House Appropriations Committee began considering its annual appropriations bills for fiscal year (FY) 2022, including the bills that fund federal science, research, and data activities. At least on the House side, the FY 2022 bills are in many ways a stark contrast to the spending measures we have seen over the last several years. This is for a few reasons. First, the spending caps that have placed limits on discretionary spending over the last decade expired in FY 2021 and new ones have not yet been set. Second, it is common to see major new investments in the first year of a new Presidential Administration, especially when the House and Senate are of the same party. It is a time for the new Administration and Congress to make their priorities known and set a marker for future directions. It is likely that spending caps will come back into play in the coming year or so, leaving many to believe that FY 2022 is the best opportunity to seek long-desired increases and make down payments for future budget goals.
While in many cases the House bills fall short of the amounts requested by the Biden Administration, federal science agencies would still see major budget increases nearly across the board, with the exception of DOD research.
House leaders have announced plans to bring a minibus package containing the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Agriculture bills, among others, to the House floor the week of July 26. While plans for the Commerce, Justice, Science and Defense bills have not yet been announced, House leaders have not ruled out considering other appropriations bills at the same time. Of course, this is just half the story. Timing for consideration of the FY 2022 spending bills in the Senate remains unclear as that chamber is currently focused on infrastructure legislation and emergency funding to support Capitol security. Senate appropriators hope to begin consideration of their bills before the August recess; however, subcommittee and committee markups have not yet been scheduled.
Read on for COSSA’s analysis of the House FY 2022 funding bills for federal agencies and programs important to the social and behavioral science research community. COSSA will continue to report on the status of FY 2022 funding legislation as the process unfolds.