NOAA, NIST Budgets Hold Up Well in House Subcommittee

House of Representatives spending panel members on the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee would match the president's 17% spending boost for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) if the draft budget they passed yesterday gets passed later this year. President Obama asked for $5.5 billion for the agency, a big increase over the $4.7 billion NOAA got this fiscal year.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) would receive $883 million, a $36 million cut from the Administration's request but still a $26 million boost over the $857 million the agency got this year. In a statement, the subcommittee chair, Representative Alan Mollohan (D–WV), said the panel supports the doubling path recommended for the National Science Foundation and NIST but that he "considers the science and research conducted at NOAA and NASA to be as critical to the nation's science enterprise as that performed by the NSF and NIST."

More details to come soon, though for both agencies caveats abound. For NIST, Mollohan said the panel has matched the Administration's request for $130 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and $79 million for the high-risk, high-reward research supported by the Technology Improvement Program, both Democratic favorites.