Funding for Oak Ridge National Laboratory could be cut by $185 million under the budget request released by President Donald Trump on Tuesday.
If Trump’s budget request is enacted, the lab’s funding would drop from about $1.247 billion in Fiscal Year 2017, which ends September 30, to roughly $1.062 billion in Fiscal Year 2018. That would be a decrease of roughly 15 percent.
The reduction would be even greater when compared to the $1.27 billion allocated to ORNL in Fiscal Year 2016, according to preliminary laboratory tables posted by the U.S. Department of Energy. In that case, it would be about a $206 million decrease over two years.
But it’s not clear that the president’s budget request will pass or even be considered in Congress. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, including Senator John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the GOP-controlled Senate, have declared the Fiscal Year 2018 presidential budget request that was released Tuesday “dead on arrival,” according to NBC News. Lawmakers have said that the cuts are too steep and the accounting is too unrealistic, the network reported.
Under the president’s budget request, overall spending for DOE would drop by $1.6 billion from $29.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2016 to $28 billion in Fiscal Year 2018.
Funding for DOE’s Office of Science would decrease to $4.5 billion, or $874 million below the Fiscal Year 2016 level. ORNL is an Office of Science lab. [Read more…]