An appropriations bill that would provide $1.7 trillion for the federal government through the fiscal year 2023 was put forward Tuesday morning, proposing funding for a number of WSU priorities. The Senate hopes to consider the bill by Thursday with time for the House to consider it before the end of the week.
WSU was successful in securing two earmarks this year. The first is to support improvements at our BSL 3 Lab in Pullman and the second is to support a mental health assessment in 13 rural counties in eastern Washington so we can create a program that will train providers for these underserved communities. It was a lengthy and arduous process where we learned a lot and are ready to expand this program to our five campuses for FY 2024.
The document here details the WSU priorities funded in the bill. The following is a brief overview of what else was funded in the proposed bill:
- Agricultural Research: The bill provides more than $3.7 billion for agricultural research programs. This includes $1.74 billion for the Agricultural Research Service and $1.7 billion for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, including a $10 million increase for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). This funding will support investments in the research and development of new technologies and varieties to improve the productivity, sustainability, and quality of American agriculture. The bill also fully funds the continued establishment of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.
- Rural Development (RD): The bill provides $4 billion to support RD’s mission areas, including $348 million for the ReConnect Broadband Pilot, $64.9 million for Distance learning and Telemedicine grants, and $1.48 billion for rental assistance for affordable rental housing for low-income families and the elderly in rural communities. The bill also provides $430 million in grants and $1.47 billion in loan authority for rural water and waste programs, including up to $20 million in loans for distressed communities. In addition, the bill provides $30 billion in loan authority for the Single-Family Housing guaranteed loan program, and $1.84 billion in grants and loans for rural business and industry programs that promote small business growth in rural areas.
Science: The omnibus bill provides $1.8 billion in new funding to implement the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, including funding for the Economic Development Administration’s Innovation HUBS and RECOMPETE program, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership program and the Manufacturing USA program, and funding for the National Science Foundation.
NSF: NSF received about a billion more over FY22 levels, almost a 12% increase. A portion ($335m) of funding is dedicated to CHIPS and Science implementation. All of the funding increase (over FY22 enacted) is through emergency supplemental spending. The total appropriated to NSF is $9.87B which is baseline funding for NSF at $8.84 B and an additional $1.04B in the supplemental (funding Ukraine activities) which Senator Cantwell likely put in.
NASA: $25.016 billion, an increase of $975 million over the FY22 enacted level. The bill provides:
- $7.5 billion, an increase of $677 million, for human exploration activities related to returning U.S. astronauts to the Moon.
- $2.6 billion for the Space Launch System (SLS), $1.34 billion for Orion, and $799 million for associated ground systems to maintain progress for the Artemis program. The bill also enables the development of the more capable Block 1B version of SLS; and provides $1.486 billion for lunar landing systems to enable the selection of the landers that will take astronauts to the surface of the Moon.
- $144 million for NASA’s STEM education programs.
- $935 million for Aeronautics programs, research, and X-plane development.
- $7.8 billion for ongoing science missions, including the Roman telescope and robotic missions to explore the Moon and Mars.
- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – $3.46 billion, an increase of $260 million above FY22 enacted and $558.8 billion below the President’s budget request.
- Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response – $200 million, an increase of $14.19 million above FY22 enacted and $2.1 million below the request.
- Electricity – $350 million, an increase of $73 million above FY22 enacted and $52 million above the request.
- Nuclear Energy – $1.473 billion, including $85 million for the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program.
- Office of Science – $8.1 billion, an increase of $625 million above FY22 enacted and $300 million above the request.
- Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy [ARPA-E] – $470 million, $20 million above FY22 enacted levels for ARPA-E to continue to support innovative, advanced research and development projects.
NEH/NEA: National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) – Each Endowment receives $207 million, a $27 million increase above the FY22 enacted level.
Health Related Programs:
National Institutes of Health – $47.5 billion, an increase of $2.5 billion.
- Alzheimer’s: The bill includes an increase of $226 million for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia research, bringing total funding to $3.74 billion.
- Cancer: The bill includes $7.32 billion for the National Cancer Institute, including full funding for the STAR Act, Childhood Cancer Data Registry, and an increase of $150 million for competitive cancer grants.
- ALS: The bill includes $75 million, an increase of $50 million, for Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies for ALS (ACT for ALS).
Opioid Epidemic – $4.9 billion, an increase of $296.7 million, to combat the opioid epidemic.
- Funds are targeted toward improving treatment and prevention efforts; finding alternative pain medications; workforce needs, especially in our rural communities; research; and treating behavioral health.
- Importantly, the bill gives states flexibility to use opioid response funds on stimulants across multiple government programs. In the last year, the number of drug overdose deaths exceeded 100,000 lives, emphasizing the need to continue these critical investments.
Mental Health – $5.27 billion, an increase of $803.2 million, for mental health research, treatment, and prevention, including:
- $385 million, an increase of $70 million, for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics;
- $512 million for SAMHSA suicide prevention activities, including $439.6 million for the recently launched 9-8-8 Suicide Lifeline, in addition to $62 million provided in P.L. 117-180; o $1.01 billion, an increase of $150 million, for the Mental Health Block Grant;
- $2.34 billion, an increase of $120.9 million, for the National Institute of Mental Health, which includes targeted funding for research related to social media’s impact on mental health; and
- $111 million for school-based mental health grants at the Department of Education.
HHS Preparedness – The agreement includes $950 million to support advanced research and development of medical countermeasures at BARDA, an increase of $205 million; $965 million for the Strategic National Stockpile, an increase of $120 million; and $335 million for pandemic influenza preparedness, an increase of $35 million.
- Pell Maximum Award – The agreement includes a $500 increase to the maximum Pell award for a total of $7,395 for the 2023-2024 school year.
- Higher Education:
- TRIO: $1.19 billion, an increase of $54 million
- GEAR UP: $388 million, an increase of $10 million.
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting: $535 million in advance funding for FY25, an increase of $10 million. The bill also provides $60 million for the public broadcasting interconnection system.
Global Health Programs – a total of $10.6 billion to bolster global health and prevent future pandemics. $4.2 billion of this funding is for USAID, and $6.4 billion is for the State Department. We are still looking into how this is going to be allocated to the WSU program.