DC Digest – Special FY16 Budget Edition


**February 2, 2015**

The Administration released its nearly $4 trillion budget for FY 2016 this morning.  The plan would end sequestration and raise discretionary budget caps put in place in 2011, resulting in $1.091 trillion in proposed discretionary spending and a slew of new programs and initiatives.  The $74 billion increase in discretionary spending is offset by various budget cuts and new tax revenues.  The overall plan has been declared “dead on arrival” by the Republican-controlled Congress, but there are smaller pieces within that could garner bipartisan support.

In terms of overall research and development, the budget provides a 6 percent increase for R&D, including increases in basic research.  The budget prioritizes investments in biomedical research—like the BRAIN and the new Precision Medicine initiatives — and advanced manufacturing technology.  Agricultural research, clean energy, and climate resilience and sustainability research are also emphasized.

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

National Institutes of Health:  The FY 16 budget proposes $31.3 billion for NIH, a 4% increase over FY 15.  This increase will help provide additional resources for Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and the BRAIN initiative. The budget also includes  $215 million for the new Precision Medicine Initiative.

National Science Foundation:  The FY 16 budget proposes a $7.72 billion for NSF, a 5.1% increase over FY 15.

Department of Defense Basic Research:  The Administration proposes $2.088 billion for basic research programs at the DOD.  This is an 8.3% decrease below the FY 15 omnibus.

Department of Energy Office of Science:  The Administration proposes $5.34 billion for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, a 5.3% increase over the FY 15 omnibus.

NASA:  The FY 16 budget request for NASA is $18.5 billion, a 2.9% increase over FY 15.  Within the request, the Science Directorate would receive $5.29 billion, and Earth Science would receive $1.9 billion.

Department of Homeland Security:  The Administration proposes $778.9 million for the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, a 27% cut from the FY 15 request (NOTE:  DHS does not have a final FY 15 budget and is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution.)

National Endowment for the Humanities:  The budget recommends $147.9 million for NEH, a $1.9 million increase over FY 15.

Pell Grants:  The Administration proposes an inflationary increase in FY 16 for the Pell Grant Maximum Award to $5,915.

International Education/Title VI programs:  The budget proposes $76.2 million for International Education programs in FY 16.  This is a $4 million increase over the FY 15 omnibus.