This week Congress finally passed the funding bills for remainder of the current fiscal year, which runs through September 2020. The President is expected to sign the bills shortly. This is a surprising holiday gift given the partisanship on Capitol Hill these days.
Overall, the funding deal is very good for Northeastern.
We saw increases for several Department of Defense (DOD) programs that support our research in cybersecurity, drones, additive manufacturing, and cold spray technology, as well as funding for a variety of other programs that support our key research priorities of health, security, and sustainability, including the NIEHS Superfund program, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Centers of Excellence, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) coastal research programs. These are just a few examples of the positive outcomes we were able to secure in this year’s budget.
More broadly, the funding deal is also good for higher education and research in general. The National Science Foundation (NSF) received a 2.5 percent increase to $8.28 billion, the National Institutes of Health received a 7 percent increase to $41.7 billion, DOD science and technology accounts received a 0.7 percent increase to $16.1 billion, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science received a $415 million increase to $7 billion, and NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research received an increase of $23 million to $548 million total, just to name a few examples. A few research-funding agencies received level funding or decreases, including the DHS Science And Technology Directorate, which received a decrease of roughly ten percent to $737 million.
In addition to increases to federal research, federal student financial aid programs also did well, receiving a $75 million increase to $24.5 billion, including:
- An increase to the maximum Pell Grant award by $150 to $6,345;
- $865 million for SEOG, an increase of $25 million;
- $1.2 million for Federal Work Study, an increase of $50 million;
- $1.1 billion for Federal TRIO, an increase of $30 million; and
- $365 million for GEAR UP, an increase of $5 million.
Believe it or not, we are hearing that Congress will quickly turn to the fiscal year 2021 budget process early in the new year. Accordingly, we will continue to work with our contacts on Capitol Hill to advocate for Northeastern priorities in next year’s budget in the coming weeks.
As always, we are happy to discuss specific provisions of the budget as needed or answer any other questions you have. Please do not hesitate to reach out.