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Most Non-Defense Science Agencies Would See Increases Under FY25 Budget

MAR 12, 2024
NSF and NIST are among the most favored science agencies in President Biden’s budget request for fiscal year 2025, while research at DOD and NOAA would see significant cuts.
Mitch Ambrose headshot
Director of FYI
The White House in Washington DC

The White House.

(lucky-photographer/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden is seeking to raise the budgets of most non-defense science agencies for fiscal year 2025, though the increases are dampened by the budget cuts Congress just made to many science agencies for fiscal year 2024.

Biden submitted his budget request to Congress on March 11, and congressional committees will hold hearings with science agency leaders over the coming weeks to review the details as they prepare their own spending proposals.

Among the most favored agencies in the request are the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation. NIST’s base budget (excluding earmarks) would increase nearly 30% to $1.50 billion and NSF’s budget would increase 12% to $10.18 billion.

Other major funders of the physical sciences would see smaller increases. The budget of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science would increase 4% to $8.58 billion and the budget for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate would increase 3% to $7.57 billion, only partially reversing the 6% cut it just received for fiscal year 2024.

A notable exception to the trend of budget increases for non-defense agencies is that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research would be cut 11% to $646 million.

As for defense agencies, the budget requests steep cuts to the Department of Defense’s portfolio of early-stage science and technology programs, seeking a total of $17.2 billion, down from the fiscal year 2023 level of $22.3 billion and similar to the amount requested for fiscal year 2024. In recent years Congress has routinely exceeded presidents’ budget requests for DOD’s science and technology portfolio, though it has yet to finalize the department’s appropriation for fiscal year 2024.

Agencies are continuing to release documents with details on their budget proposals, which will be collected in FYI’s Federal Science Budget Tracker.

This news brief originally appeared in FYI’s newsletter for the week of March 11.

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