The House of Representatives passed a massive budget measure this week that would set federal funding levels and provide guidance for fiscal 2014 to all agencies and programs—including those related to R&D. The Senate was expected to pass the measure after C&EN’s press deadline. The action comes nearly four months into the fiscal year, which started on Oct. 1, 2013.
“This legislation is one of our highest priorities as members of Congress, and it is critical to our ongoing economic stability and the safety of the American people,” said House Appropriations Committee Chair Hal D. Rogers (R-Ky.). Rogers and Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) hammered out the nearly 1,600-page bipartisan agreement over the past few weeks.
The $1.012 trillion omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 3547) boosts funding for nearly all science agencies as compared with fiscal 2013 sequester levels, according to congressional summaries. NSF would be funded at $7.172 billion for 2014, up $288 million from 2013 sequester levels; NIH would get $29.926 billion, up about $1 billion; and the Department of Energy would get $26.466 billion, up $1.317 billion.
Mikulski noted when unveiling the measure on Jan. 13 that the agreement encompasses all federal appropriations, which Congress historically addresses in 12 separate bills. She added that this omnibus bill represents the first time since 2011 that lawmakers have provided guidance across all federal programs.
One of the bill’s provisions would require all federal agencies or bureaus with R&D expenditures above $100 million to set up an open-access policy and to make final peer-reviewed manuscripts resulting from federally funded work freely available online no later than 12 months after publication.
Absent from this bill are directives on many contentious policy issues such as carbon dioxide regulations by EPA.