House Subcommitte Votes to Reduce NSF Funding for Social and Climate Science Research

The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the US House of Representatives will soon vote on legislation dealing with NSF funding that was passed by one of its subcommittees earlier this week. Once again, Republican members of the Committee have focused their energies on efforts to micromanage NSF awards by proposing significant cuts to social science and climate science research programs while, in the end, supporting a 1.5% overall increase in the NSF budget authorization to $7.28 Billion. While initially proposing a 44% reduction in the social science research spending from 2014’s $256 million to about $150 million, the panel ultimately agreed to $200 million, which represents a 22% reduction from the FY 2014 authorization level. You may recall that establishing FY 2014 funding was rather contentious, with the original authorizing language effectively halting funding of social science research at NSF; that was reversed in the whirlwind passage of the omnibus appropriations bill earlier this year. It remains to be seen what happens when the full science committee and full House consider this legislation and as it proceeds through the Senate.

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