An appropriations bill approved by a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday rejects the Trump administration’s proposal to cut $919 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science in the fiscal year that starts October 1.
Instead of cutting, the Senate bill would actually increase funding for the Office of Science, boosting it to $5.55 billion in fiscal year 2018. That would be again a record funding level in a regular appropriations bill, according to U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican who often advocates for the federal sites in Oak Ridge and chairs the Senate subcommittee.
Like the Senate this week, the House Appropriations Committee last week also rejected President Donald Trump’s request to cut DOE’s Office of Science.
Unlike the Senate bill, though, the House bill would keep funding flat at $5.39 billion, the same as in the current fiscal year. That level of funding was also a record in a regular appropriations bill, Alexander said in May.
The Office of Science is the nation’s largest supporter of research in the physical sciences.
The president’s budget request, submitted to Congress on May 23, would cut Office of Science funding by about 17 percent, dropping it to $4.47 billion.
Keeping Office of Science funding flat, or even increasing it, could be important to several of the federal sites in Oak Ridge. Oak Ridge National Laboratory is an Office of Science lab, and the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, or OSTI, is an Office of Science unit. [Read more…]