Created by on 05/01/2012

Funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE SC) was included in the fiscal year (FY) 2013 Energy and Water (E&W) spending bills passed by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees last week. The House Committee passed its version of the bill by voice vote on April 25th, providing DOE SC with $4.825 billion, $49 million (1.0 percent) below the final FY 2012 enacted level of $4.874 billion and $167 million below the President’s FY 2013 request of $4.992 billion. A $23.5 million rescission of unobligated balances also in the House bill lowers the DOE SC top-line budget to $4.801 billion. On April 26th, the full Senate Appropriations Committee passed its FY 2013 E&W funding bill by a vote of 28-1. The Senate legislation provides DOE SC with $4.909 billion, which is $35 million (0.7 percent) above the FY 2012 enacted level and $83 million below the President’s FY 2013 request. 
Although the House bill’s accompanying report makes statements supportive of DOE SC, it also expresses the committee’s ongoing concern that the department does not fully-fund multi-year awards, making them subject to future appropriations. DOE SC’s failure to submit a previously requested planning report based on specific future-year funding level assumptions is also mentioned. During the House E&W Subcommittee mark-up on April 18th, E&W Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Peter Visclosky (D-IN) noted that DOE SC research programs that advance American innovation and competitiveness are a high priority in the bill. Opening statements by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Ranking Member Norm Dicks (D-WA) and a press release summarizing the full committee proceedings and adopted amendments are available on the Appropriations Committee website.
During the Senate subcommittee and full committee mark-ups, E&W Subcommittee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) praised the benefits of fundamental research and listed materials science, advanced computing, and biological research as the highest priorities within DOE SC. Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) spoke extensively about his strong support for government-sponsored research and urged members of the committee to increase investment in science, even as they work to cut overall government spending. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) was the only member to vote against the bill. The opening remarks of Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI), a summary of the bill, and audio-only webcasts of the subcommittee and full committee mark-ups are available on the committee website.