Kicking off the Congressional appropriations process for federal programs relevant to higher education, the House of Representatives panel that sets spending for most federal science programs drafted legislation Thursday that would provide more than $7 billion for the National Science Foundation and $510 million for the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology, among other programs. The allocations proposed by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies generally fell short of those recommended by the Obama administration, but would represent significant increases over what the agencies are receiving in the current 2008-9 fiscal year. The NSF, for instance, would receive $5.642 billion for research and related activities under the House panel's proposal, up from $5.183 billion in 2008-9 but less than the $5.733 billion the president proposed. The agency's education programs would receive a 2 percent increase over 2008-9, to $862 million. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration would receive about $4.5 billion for its science programs, about equal to its current funding. Consistent with recent Congressional requirements, the House panel also released a table of projects earmarked by lawmakers for specific would-be recipients, which includes more than 150 projects worth tens of millions of dollars for colleges and universities. Among them: $1 million projects for Claflin University, Drew University, Sam Houston State University, Texas Tech University, and Towson University.
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