Senate FY18 Appropriations Preserve Investment in Key Science Programs

Senate appropriators moved this week to rise above some of the steep spending reductions included in President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal that threaten to weaken the nation’s science and technology enterprise and blunt the economic benefits that science programs deliver.

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s approval July 20 of its fiscal 2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, for instance, would restore spending for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy and reverse the proposal to eliminate the program as outlined in the president’s fiscal 2018 budget plan.

The Senate panel’s action also runs counter to the House Appropriations Committee, which decided to stick with the White House proposal to eliminate funding for the ARPA-E, a program designed to promote “revolutionary advances in fundamental and applied sciences” and further the nation’s standing as a global leader in innovation.