Policy Update: April 12, 2011

Early this morning, House Republicans unveiled the details of the FY 11 spending compromise they struck with Senate Democrats and the White House to avert the government shutdown. The deal includes a cut of $39 billion in spending, which includes the $12 billion in reductions approved by Congress and signed into law under the previous three Continuing Resolutions (CR). While there are cuts to programs Northeastern relies on, it could have been worse.

According to the House Appropriations Committee, agriculture, transportation, EPA and homeland security were cut the most. Below find information about many relevant funding agencies and specific programs that Northeastern benefits from:

Department of Defense:

  • Funding by CR: $513 billion
  • 2010 level:$508 billion ($5 billion increase) which includes $75 billion for research and development

Department of Homeland Security:

  • Funding by CR: $41.8 billion
  • 2010 level: $784 million, or 2% below FY '10 levels, and also $1.9 billion or 4% below President's FY '11 request
  • Note about DHS Science and Technology: Cut by $175 million, but includes language that prevents more than a 20% cut to University Centers of Excellence

Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies:

  • Funding by CR: $157.7 billion
  • National Institutes of Health: The bill provides $30.7 billion for NIH, a $260 million or 0.8 percent reduction below the FY10 level. This is include a $210,000,000 pro rata reduction in all of the Institutes, Centers, and Office of the Director accounts as well as $50 million cut to NIH facilities. The bill also called on Comptroller General to submit a report to Congress thatincludes the results of an audit of expenditures made for comparative effectiveness research through AHRQ and the NIH under title VIII of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
  • Pell Grants: The bill continues the Pell program at the current maximum award level of $5,550. The ability of students to draw two Pell Grant awards at the same time was eliminated. Republicans estimate this change to the program will save $35B over the next ten years.
  • AmeriCorps: Fortunately not eliminated as some predicted, but AmeriCorps funding was cut by $23 million. According to the Senate Budget Committee, the FY ’11 agreement cut funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service, which includes AmeriCorps. An earlier version of the bill would have eliminated funding for AmeriCorps.
  • LEAP: Cut by $64 million

Commerce, Justice and Science

  • Funding by CR: $53.4 billion
  • 2010 levels: $10.9 billion, or 17% below FY '10 levels, and also $7.1B or 12% below President's FY '11 request
  • NIST: NIST was cut by $7 million from FY '10 levels
  • NSF: NSF Research is funded at $6.9 billion, which is $307 million above H.R. 1, but $43 million below FY '10 levels

What's Next

It is expected that Congress will pass the FY ’11 budget this week. We will continue to review the details of FY'11 CR bill and the impact for Northeastern, but if you have any questions please let me know. If you would like to see the Congressional summary of the bill it can be found here.

We will now begin to monitoring negotiations of the FY'12 budget, which will likely include further cuts. The debate over raising the debt ceiling will also be important to watch because Republicans are insisting on further budget cuts before enabling that bill to pass.