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Washington Highlights

House and Senate Appropriators Make Progress on FY 2015 Spending Bills

May 30, 2014—The House May 30 approved, 321-87, the FY 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) spending bill (H.R. 4660, H. Rept. 113-448), providing record-high funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), after considering an array of amendments under a two-day open rule.

Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas) proposed an amendment to transfer $15 million from NSF’s social, behavioral, and economic (SBE) research line and transfer it to the physical sciences and engineering line, noting the overall funding for NSF research and related activities would remain the same.

Rep. Smith said that while SBE grants have “merit,” NSF has also funded “questionable” grants and the reduction should “encourage NSF to apply higher standards when awarding its grants.” CJS Appropriations Committee Chairman Frank Wolf (R-Va.) agreed “NSF should exercise caution and ensure that every grant is “both scientifically meritorious and responsive to the national interests.” The amendment was approved, 208-201.

An amendment by Representative Paul Broun (R-Ga.) to reduce NSF non-research funding failed by voice vote.

The Senate Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to mark up its FY 2015 spending bill June 3, followed by the full Senate Appropriations Committee mark up on June 5.

Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee May 29 approved, 31-18, the FY 2015 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Spending bill, providing $4.442 billion for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a $95.4 million (2.2 percent) increase over FY 2014.

Within this total, the bill provides $2.574 billion in budget authority for FDA, a $22.2 million (0.9 percent) increase over FY 2014. The FDA budget is supplemented by user fees, which are estimated to add $1.868 billion in FY 2015, bringing the FDA total to $4.442 billion.

The Senate Appropriations Committee May 22 approved its version of the agriculture bill (S. 2389, S. Rept. 113-164), providing $2.589 billion in budget authority for FDA, a $36.6 million (1.4 percent) increase over FY 2014. The Senate bill estimates $1.902 billion in user fees, bringing the total for FDA to $4.491 billion, a $113 million (2.6 percent) increase over the FY 2014 total for the agency.

Both versions now await floor consideration.

Contact:

Alexandra Khalife
Legislative Analyst
Telephone: 202-828-0418
Email: akhalife@aamc.org

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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.


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For More Information

Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806
Email: jkleinman@aamc.org