House science budget not as bad as Trump's

From our “it could be worse” department: The American Institute of Physics’s FYI reports that the House spending bill is not as bad as the Trump budget request. Still, science will be down by a measurable amount, with FY2018 cuts along the lines of previous 2017 cuts. Specifically, the relevant committee received a discretionary funding allocation of $54 billion, or $2.6 billion below the 2017 value. That allocation is nevertheless $4.8 billion higher than the Trump request, according to FYI.

It looks like NASA will receive an increase of 1-2 %, though earth science and education are each scheduled to be cut by around 10 %. NSF’s Research and Related Activities are held flat, but (if I read the graph correctly) NSF as a whole will be cut by 2 %. Their facility construction will suffer a 63 % cut on top of last year’s 57 % cut.

NIST will be cut 9 %, with manufacturing down 32 %. Finally, NOAA will be cut 13 %, but its vitally important climate research will be cut by 19 %, precisely as in the Trump budget request. Mitch Ambrose, the author of the FYI article, quotes a press release to the effect that “[f]unding is targeted to important priorities such as the National Weather Service, fisheries management, weather research, and ocean exploration while reducing funds for lower priority activities.” The ranking member of the subcommittee, José Serrano, stipulated his opposition to the cuts to NOAA’s Climate Research and NASA’s Earth Science divisions. Mr. Ambrose notes that these programs were held flat in 2017, despite cuts that had been recommended by the subcommittee.