The White House announced in early February that it will release its FY2015 budget proposal in two installments. The first installment will come on March 4 and include top-line agency and program requests. The second and more important installment won’t be released until March 11, and will include the budget appendix and justifications behind the top line numbers. The budget appendix is the thickest of the budget volumes, containing more detailed information on individual programs and appropriations accounts than any of the other budget documents. While customarily released in February, the release of the Administration’s budget request has varied in recent years and has been as late as April. The FY2014 budget culminated in an omnibus bill approved by Congress in January, three months after the start of the fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the Association of American Universities (AAU), the American Council on Education (ACE), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) sent a letter on February 14 to House and Senate appropriators asking them to give priority to research and higher education programs in their FY15 appropriations plans. The goal of the letter is to encourage Congress to close the innovation deficit, the gap between what is needed to sustain U.S. technological leadership in the face of increased international competition and the reduced investment by the federal government over the past five years.