Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2009 Page: 2 of 52
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Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2009
President Bush proposed total research and development (R&D) funding of
$147.0 billion in his FY2009 budget request to Congress, a $3.9 billion (2.7%)
increase over the estimated FY2008 level of $143.1 billion. The President's request
included $29.3 billion for basic research, up $847 million (3.0%) from FY2008;
$27.1 billion for applied research, down $1.0 billion (-3.6%); $84.0 billion for
development, up 1.6 billion (1.9%); and $6.5 billion for R&D facilities and
equipment, up $2.5 billion (61.7%). Congress is to play a central role in defining the
nation's R&D priorities, especially with respect to two overarching issues: the extent
to which the Federal R&D investment can grow in the context of increased pressure
on discretionary spending and how available funding will be prioritized and
allocated. A low or negative growth rate in the overall R&D investment may require
movement of resources across disciplines, programs, or agencies to address priorities.
The Administration requested significantly larger percentage increases in the
R&D budgets of the three agencies that are part of its American Competitiveness
Initiative: the Department of Energy's Office of Science, the National Science
Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In 2007,
Congress authorized substantial R&D increases for these agencies under the America
COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69). The President's budget would reduce R&D funding
for the Department of Agriculture, down $357 million; Department of Veterans
Affairs, down $76 million; Department of the Interior, down $59 million; and
Environmental Protection Agency, down $7 million. The FY2009 request included
increases for three multiagency R&D initiatives: the National Nanotechnology
Initiative, up $35 million; Networking and Information Technology R&D program,
up $194 million; and Climate Change Science Program, up $177 million.
On September 30, 2008, President Bush signed into law H.R. 2638, the
Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act,
2009 (P.L. 110-329). This act provides FY2009 appropriations for the Department
of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and Military Construction and
Veterans Affairs; continued funding for all other agencies not covered under these
provisions at their FY2008 funding levels through March 6, 2009; and supplemental
funding for disaster relief. Under this act, FY2009 R&D funding is approximately
$147.2 billion. None of the FY2008 regular appropriations bills has been passed by
both the House and Senate.
For the past two years, federal R&D funding and execution has been affected
by mechanisms used to complete the annual appropriations process - the year-long
continuing resolution for FY2007 (P.L. 110-5) and the combining of 11
appropriations bills into the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 for FY2008 (P.L.
110-161). For example, FY2008 R&D funding for some agencies and programs is
below the level requested by the President and passed by the House of
Representatives and the Senate. Completion of appropriations after the beginning of
each fiscal year has also resulted in delays or cancellation of planned R&D and
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Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2009, report, October 23, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc806248/m1/2/: accessed January 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.