DC DIGEST: FY17 BUDGET UPDATE EDITION

The Administration released its nearly $4 trillion budget for FY 2017 this morning.  The plan abides by the discretionary budget caps set by the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act, but provides funding increases for new programs and initiatives through mandatory spending. Although mandatory spending does not need annual approval through the congressional appropriations process, it does require Congress to approve specific revenue streams for specific programs. This increase in spending is offset by various budget cuts and new tax revenue.  The overall plan has been declared “dead on arrival” by the Republican-controlled Congress.

In terms of overall research and development, the budget provides $152 billion for R&D, a 4 percent increase over FY 16, and investment in federal basic research would increase about 3 percent to $35.5 billion. Nearly $4 billion of the proposed R&D budget has been designated as mandatory spending, which will be met with a good deal of resistance on Capitol Hill. The budget prioritizes investments in clean energy, biomedical research, space exploration, manufacturing technology, and agricultural research.

Below are highlights of the top line budget levels for Duke-specific funding priorities. The Office of Government Relations can provide information about specific programs once additional budget details have been released.

National Institutes of Health:  The FY 17 budget proposes $33.1 billion for NIH, including $1.8 billion in mandatory funding.

National Science Foundation:  The FY 16 budget proposes a $7.96 billion for NSF, a $500.5 million (6.7%) increase over FY 16.   $100 million of that increase (1.6%) is in the discretionary budget.

Department of Defense Basic Research:  The Administration proposes $2.1 billion for basic research programs at the DOD.  This is an 9% decrease below the FY 16 omnibus.

Department of Energy Office of Science:  The Administration proposes $5.57 billion in discretionary spending for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, a 4.1% increase over the FY 16 omnibus. The request also includes an additional $100 million in mandatory funding for university grants.

NASA:  The FY 17 budget request for NASA is $19 billion, $763 million of which is mandatory funding. Within the request, the Science Directorate would receive $5.6 billion ($298 million in mandatory spending), same as FY 16, and Earth Science would receive $2 billion ($60 million mandatory spending), an $111 million increase over FY 16.

Department of Homeland Security:  The Administration proposes $758.7 million for the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, an $18 million or 2.3% cut from the FY 16.

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (USDA): The Administration proposes $700 million, $375 million discretionary and $325 million mandatory spending, for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)

National Endowment for the Humanities:  The budget recommends $149.8 million for NEH, a 1.28% increase over FY 16.

Pell Grants:  The Administration proposes an inflationary increase in FY 17 for the Pell Grant Maximum Award to $5,935 and $6,235 for students taking at least 15 credits.

International Education:  The budget proposes $67 million for International Education programs in FY 17.  This is a 6.78% cut  below FY 16.