Appropriations signed into law

President Obama officially signed the fiscal 2014 appropriations into law last Friday. The bill appropriates $1.1 trillion to federal agencies for FY14. This marks a momentous occasion as Congress worked across party lines to come to an agreement that allows the government to continue operating, thus avoiding another government shutdown.

Federal funding agencies fared okay in the new bill. The National Institutes of Health received about a $1 billion increase in the budget that still fell short of the NIH budget for FY13 prior to sequestration. The budget for the National Science Foundation was slightly increased by approximately $300 billion from FY13. While not ideal, Congress is on the right track by increasing budgets and scaling back sequestration.

Obama showed further support for the sciences in his remarks at the bill signing. In regards to the time and effort taken to determine budgets for each agency, Obama emphasized that these are not just numbers. Rather, each appropriation has a larger impact on the progress of the country. Obama said, “That’s some young scientist who is maybe going to find a cure for cancer or Alzheimer’s.” The Obama administration has been an ardent supporter for science research. Hopefully, this trend and enthusiasm will continue when determining the FY15 budget.

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