The US Fiscal 2009 Budget

On March 11, the US Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 became law, funding 12 federal agencies for which Congress had not passed a budget for the fiscal year that started on October 1, 2008. Since last fall, these agencies had been funded under a continuing extension (see IBO 10/15/08). According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), fiscal 2009 marks the first increase in four years for federal research expenditures, adjusted for inflation.

The AAAS estimates that federal R&D increased 3.7% to $6,782 million for fiscal 2009. Funding for basic research rose 5.1% to $30,305 million, applied research funding increased 3.4% to $30,152 million and development funding grew 4.8% to $85,851 million. Total funding for nondefense R&D grew 6.0% to $64,955 million. Funding for R&D facilities and capital equipment rose 7.9% to $4,827 million.

The House Appropriations Committee reports that the Department of Energy (DOE) received a 10.2% increase in its fiscal 2009 budget to $26,967 million. The funding includes an 18.8% increase for the DOE’s Office of Science to $4,772 million. Among the Office of Science’s programs is Advanced Energy Research, which received a 54% increase in funding to $765 million, including $15 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (see IBO 2/28/09) and $100 million for the Energy Frontier Research Centers, which provide basic research for energy technologies. Office of Science funding also includes $2.2 billion for energy research labs. Other DOE budget items are $175 million for solar energy research, development and demonstration projects, and $217 million in grants to improve alternative-fuel production.

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) fiscal 2009 budget rose 3.2% to $30,317 million, according to the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The NIH’s Office of the Director received $1,247 million, a 12.1% increase, including $541 million for the Common Fund. Receiving the largest share of funding among the Institutes was the National Cancer Institute, which received a 2.9% increase in its budget to $4,969 million. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases received the second largest amount at $4,403 million (including $30 million from the Global HIV/AIDS fund), for a 3.1% increase. The National Center for Research Resources’ budget grew 6.1% to 1,226 million. Funding for the FDA, which like the NIH is also part of the Department of Health and Human Services, rose 20.1% to $2,622 million.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) received a 7.0% increase for fiscal 2009 to $6,490 million, according to the Association of American Universities (AAU). Research and Related Activities received a 7.5% increase to $5,183 million. However, funding for NSF Major Research Equipment declined 31.1% to $152 million. For fiscal 2009, the EPA’s budget rose 2.3% to $7.6 billion. State Revolving Loan Funds for both Clean Water and Drinking Water were flat.

The National Institute of Standards and Technologies, the only agency reviewed here to post updated budget details on its website, reported an 8.4% increase in funding to $819 million. Excluding earmarks and a construction grant program, funding for Scientific and Technical Research and Services rose 7.2% to $472 million, and funding for the Construction of Research Facilities rose 7.2% to $172 million.

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