Budget season is heating up in Congress, and the developments Tuesday were mostly good for programs important to colleges.
The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations drafted legislation that would increase overall spending on the National Science Foundation to $5.64 billion in the 2006 fiscal year, which would represent an increase of $171 million, or about 3 percent, over the agency's budget for the current year and $38 million more than President Bush requested for the NSF.
Spending on education and human resources would be set at $807 million, which is $70 million above the president's budget request but $34 million below the current level. Funds for research would rise to $4.38 billion, $159 million more than this year and$47 million above what the administration requested.
Research programs at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration would be cut slightly under the committee's budget.
Also Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior drafted a bill that would give the National Endowments for the Humanities and for the Arts the same level of funds in 2006 that they are receiving this year.
The panel voted to provide $138.1 million for the humanities endowment and $121.3 million for the arts endowment -- which is $5 million and $10 million less, respectively, than the House of Representatives voted last month to provide for the two agencies.