A spending plan being considered in the House of Representatives provides several agencies, including NASA, additional funding for the 2015 fiscal year. Credit: NASA, CC BY-NC 2.0

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are backing a 2015 budget bill that, despite a 1-percent reduction in spending for the House Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, ups funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The legislation’s $51.2 billion in discretionary spending—some $398 million below the level enacted in 2014—includes appropriations for law enforcement, national security, and public safety.

“This bill maintains investments in some of the most critical functions of government—protecting the life, liberty, and property of the American people,” says House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers in an Appropriations Committee press release. “In addition to these important public safety efforts, this bill also helps to increase our economic security by funding programs that help bolster innovation and the competitiveness of our nation in the global marketplace.”

NASA would receive $17.9 billion, $250 million more than in 2014. Those funds include:

  • $5.2 billion for NASA Science programs, which include “critical research and development programs.”
  • $666 million for aeronautics, including the improvement of airspace safety and to “increase the competitiveness of the American aviation industry in the global marketplace.”

NSF would receive $7.4 billion in funding, an increase of $237 million from the 2014 enacted level. Spending would be focused on programs that “foster innovation and U.S. economic competitiveness, including funding for research on advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, neuroscience and STEM education.”

NIST would be funded at $856 million—which is $5.8 million above the enacted level for 2014 but $44.2 million below the president’s 2015 request. “Important core research activities” to advance U.S. competitiveness, innovation, and economic growth would receive $671 million of the appropriations, with $130 million dedicated to advancing the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which provides training and technical assistance to U.S. manufacturers.

The spending plan was considered in subcommittee last week, so as with most matters concerning the budget, it’s far from final. We’ll update you as soon as more information is available.

For some related reading, click here to read about recent testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee to back funding that closes the country’s “innovation deficit.”

Feature image credit: C. Potter; CC BY 2.0