Current Federal Funding Landscape

Get updates about the current federal funding landscape, including the state of budget and appropriations and the implications on geoscience.

Need a little background on the budget and appropriations process? Watch our webinar to learn about the budget and appropriations process. Read our blog about our nation’s budgetary framework.

16 March 2017: President Releases Skinny Budget

The numbers included below are in comparison to current funding levels, which are those that were passed in the most recent omnibus spending bill.

The White House recently released its budget proposing the following cuts:

  • DOE: The Administration indicates that it would invest in “high” priority basic research and development, while also “saving” $900 million in the Office of Science. “High priority” basic research is not defined, and the process for saving $900 million (i.e., elimination of programs) is unclear.
  • NASA: The Administration indicates that NASA should eliminate the Pre-Aerosol, Clouds, and Ocean Ecosystem (PACE) Earth science mission, a mission recommended in the last Earth Science decadal survey by the National Research Council. Through its instrumentation suite, PACE will help monitor oil spills and the detection of harmful algal blooms. These blooms have a significant negative impact on ocean ecology, human health, and fisheries that support the economies of the Gulf and lower Atlantic states.
  • NSF: 93% of funding for NSF goes to directly funding investigator-led research, institutions, and STEM initiatives. An almost 10% cut to NSF will result in fewer research opportunities for our next generation of STEM professionals; the decline of scientific endeavors in the unique Antarctic environment; and less likelihood that the next transformational scientific discovery, such as the potential of shale oil and gas or GPS, will be an American discovery.
  • NOAA: The proposed budget would cut the Department of Commerce, which contains NOAA, by $1.5 billion. While there has not yet been an official topline budget number requested for the agency, the budget does call for concerning cuts to NOAA programs. Specifically, a $250 million cut to grants and programs supporting coastal and marine management, research, and education, including Sea Grant. The Administration states that these programs are a “lower priority than core functions maintained in the budget such as surveys, charting, and fisheries management.” The budget also seeks to maintain development of the GOES-R and JPSS satellite programs, while potentially cutting funding for the Polar Follow On program with the intention of “reflecting the actual risk of a gap in polar satellite coverage,” and expanding the utilization of commercially provided data. Finally, the budget includes an investment of “more than $1 billion” for the National Weather Service. Currently, the NWS has a budget of $1.12 billion, so this language could imply as much as a 10% cut, flat funding, or a budget increase.
  • USGS: The budget provides “more than $900 million” for USGS “to focus investments in essential science programs,” including the Landsat 9 ground system, and research and data collection that informs sustainable energy development, responsible resource management, and natural hazard risk reduction. This would be the lowest funding level for USGS since 2002.

The Administration’s proposed budget is not only detrimental to decades of scientific research and progress but will also negatively impact the safety, security, health, and economic well-being of citizens around the globe, including millions within the United States.  Read AGU’s response to the President’s Budget Blueprint here.


Actions You Can Take:

  • Visit AGU’s Policy Action Center to write your members of Congress about the critical importance of science agencies to progress, innovation, and serving the basic needs of the American public.
  • Schedule  setting up meetings with your members of Congress
  • Share the value of your science on our everyday lives with your community or share your story with us.

Past fiscal years: