House Dems up funding for science agencies, ignoring proposed Trump cuts

House Dems up funding for science agencies, ignoring proposed Trump cuts
© Getty Images

House Democrats on Thursday released a spending bill that would give an additional $561 million to the National Science Foundation (NSF), an office President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press MORE proposed cutting by $1 billion, or approximately 12 percent.

The NSF is the country’s top funder of nonmedical research.

At a hearing last month, Democrats and Republicans alike slammed the proposed cuts for basic research, long seen by economists as a key to promoting long-term growth.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Why would anyone in the world want to cut NSF funding given that its funding drives our economy, enhances our national security and advances this nation’s leadership globally?” Rep. Matt CartwrightMatthew (Matt) Alton CartwrightDemocratic senators tweet photos of pile of House-passed bills 'dead on Mitch McConnell's desk' How the 31 Democrats in Trump districts voted on impeachment The Hill's Morning Report - Vulnerable Dems are backing Trump impeachment MORE (D-Pa.) asked at the hearing.

The $8.64 billion funding for NSF was part of a larger $73.9 billion spending bill covering Commerce, Justice and science (CJS). The bill increased funding by $9.8 billion over current levels, and included boosts for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a key agency working on weather forecast and climate science, as well as funding the 2020 census.

“This year’s CJS funding bill rejects the inadequate and damaging proposals in the Trump Administration’s budget requests, and instead provides needed increases to the key programs in this bill,” said Rep. José E. Serrano (D-N.Y.), who chairs the Appropriations subcommittee governing the bill.

It also includes $582.5 million for the Violence Against Women Act, despite the fact that authority for the act expired this year and has yet to be renewed.

The bill is likely to be marked up in subcommittee next week, and the full Appropriations Committee soon after. Democrats hope to bring all 12 spending bills to the floor in June.

The Senate has yet to begin releasing or marking up spending bills, waiting instead for leaders from the House, Senate and White House to strike a new agreement raising legal spending caps.