Congressional committees consider funding bills

The U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees have begun the task of considering FY2013 funding bills. The House and Senate panels are using spending caps that fall below FY2012 discretionary spending levels and that are more than $19 billion apart. The Senate is using the discretionary spend¬ing total for FY2013 that was approved last August as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), which is $4 billion below the FY2012 level. The House, meanwhile, passed a budget resolution that reduces nondefense discretionary spending by $27 billion below the level outlined in the BCA.

The Senate committee approved its allocations for FY2013 discretionary spend¬ing among its twelve subcommittees on April 19. The panel based its so-called “302(b)” allocations on the BCA-approved discretionary spending total of $1.047 trillion. The committee allocation to the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee is $157.7 billion, an increase of $1.4 billion over the FY2012 enacted level; the Commerce-Justice-Science Subcom¬mittee received $51.86 billion, which is $1 billion below the FY2012 enacted level. The panel also approved a funding bill for NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) that would increase funding levels by $240 billion over FY2012 levels.
In the House, the FY2013 funding bill, passed by the subcommittee on April 19, includes $7.3 billion for NSF, which the committee statement says is $299 million above the FY2012 level and $41 million below the president’s request.

The House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee also approved a bill on April 18 that would fund the Department of Energy Office of Science at $4.8 billion, which is $64 million below the final enacted FY2012 level and $168 mil¬lion below the administration’s FY2013 request. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) would receive $200 million in the House bill, which is $75 million below FY12 and $150 below the president’s FY13 request.

The University of Oregon’s budget pri¬orities are outlined in the UO’s federal legislative priorities document.