Federal Research and Development: Budgeting and Priority-Setting Issues, 109th Congress

Federal Research and Development:
Budgeting and Priority-Setting Issues,
109th Congress
Updated December 29, 2006
Genevieve J. Knezo
Specialist in Science and Technology
Resources, Science, and Industry Division

Federal Research and Development: Budgeting and
Priority-Setting Issues, 109th Congress
This report summarizes current research and development (R&D) priority-
setting issues — in terms of expenditures; agency, topical, or field-specific priorities;
and organizational arrangements to determine priorities. Federal R&D funding
priorities reflect presidential policies and national needs. Defense R&D
predominated in the 1980s, decreasing to about 50% of federal R&D in the 1990s.
In non-defense R&D, space R&D was important in the 1960s as the nation sought to
compete with the Soviet Union; energy R&D was a priority during the energy-short

1970s, and, since the 1980s, health R&D has predominated in non-defense science.

This Administration’s R&D priorities include weapons development, homeland
security, space launch vehicles, and, beginning in 2006, more support for physical
sciences and engineering. For FY2007, R&D was requested at almost $137 billion
of budget authority, about 1.8% more than enacted in FY2006. The request would
have increased funding for physical sciences and engineering programs in the
National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and
National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories as part of the President’s
American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) to enhance innovation. Funding for the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s R&D would have increased by
about 8% largely to develop human space vehicles. For FY2007, two appropriations
bills were signed; the rest of the government is operating on a continuing resolution
through February 2007, but likely to continue throughout FY2007, funding domestic
agencies at FY2006 levels. Appropriations action increased support for defense
development and decreases homeland security R&D funding.
The latest estimated expenditure for national (public and private) R&D is
$312.1 billion for FY2004. Federal R&D expenditures, at $93.4 billion, have grown,
but have declined to 30% of total national R&D spending. During the 109th
Congress, some proposals to increase incentives for industrial R&D included H.R.
1454, H.R. 1736, S. 14, S. 627, S. 2199, and S. 2720. H.R. 6111, passed in both
Houses, extended the R&D tax credit for two years and widened eligibility for the
credit. The FY2007 budget would have emphasized three interagency R&D
initiatives: networking and information technology; climate change science; and
nanotechnology. Proposals to coordinate R&D include a continuing priority-setting
mechanism; a cabinet-level S&T body; functional R&D budgeting; and
reestablishment of a technology assessment function. The Administration opposes
R&D earmarking, estimated at $2.4 billion in budget authority for FY2006.
Although the Administration is using the Government Performance and Results Act
and the Program Assessment Rating Tool for R&D budgeting, some critics say better
data and concepts are needed before performance budgeting can be used to identify
R&D priorities.

Background and Analysis...........................................1
R&D Budgets.................................................1
FY2005 Budget Action Summary.............................1
FY2006 Budget Action Summary.............................2
FY2007 Budget Request....................................2
Priority-Setting Issues..........................................3
Trends in R&D Support Patterns..............................3
Observations on the Role of the Federal Government in Supporting
R &D ...............................................4
Priorities Among Fields of Federally Funded Research................8
Congressional Views About the Balance in Federal R&D Funding..10
Professional Groups’ Views About Balance....................10
Legislative Proposals to Broaden Incentives for Private R&D......11
NSF Funding............................................11
Homeland Security R&D Funding............................12
Federal R&D Priority-Setting Structures...........................13
Unified Federal Science and Technology (FS&T) Budget.........14
Interagency R&D Initiatives................................14
Proposals to Coordinate Federal R&D........................15
Legislation on Technology Assessment........................15
Earmarking ..............................................16
Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and
Performance Assessment Rating Tool (PART)..............17
List of Figures
Figure 1. AAAS Data on Trends in Non-defense R&D Funding by
Function, FY1953-FY2007......................................9
List of Tables
Table 1. Funding for Homeland Security R&D and R&D Facilities.........13
Appendix Table. R&D in the Budget, by Agency, Based Largely on
AAAS Data.................................................20

Federal Research and Development:
Budgeting and Priority-Setting Issues,
109th Congress
Background and Analysis
This report summarizes current research and development priority-setting issues
— in terms of spending priorities, topical or field-specific priorities, and
organizational arrangements to determine priorities. Federal R&D funding priorities
have shifted over time, reflecting presidential preferences, congressional
appropriations, and national priorities. Defense R&D predominated in the 1980s but
decreased to about 50% of total federal R&D in the 1990s, reflecting Clinton
Administration policies. In non-defense R&D, space was important in the 1960s as
the nation sought to compete with the Soviet Union in the space race; energy R&D
joined space as a priority during the 1970s; and since the 1980s, health R&D funding
has grown as the cohort of aged population increases and the promise of life sciences
and biotechnology affects national expectations. Defense and counterterrorism R&D
funding have been increased since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Together, Department
of Defense (DOD) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding total about 77%
of the FY2007 R&D request. (See Figure 1 and the Appendix table.)
R&D Budgets
R&D budgets are developed over an 18-month period before a fiscal year
begins. Often advisory committees, influenced by professional scientific groups,
recommend R&D priorities to agencies, which use this information, internally
generated information, and the White House’s Office of Management and Budget
(OMB) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) guidance to determine
priorities. Agencies and OMB negotiate funding request levels during the
preparation of the budget before it is sent to Congress. After standing committees
recommend budget levels for matters within their jurisdiction to the budget
committees, Congress is to pass a budget resolution, which sets spending levels and
recommends levels for each budget function that appropriations committees use in
setting discretionary (302b) spending allocations for each appropriations
subcommittee. The resolution also gives outyear projections based on budget and
economic assumptions. Each of the appropriations subcommittees is to report
approved funding levels for agencies within their jurisdiction; appropriations bills,
which give agencies spending authority, are to be sent to the floor, usually beginning
in the summer.
FY2005 Budget Action Summary. For FY2005, R&D appropriations
totaled about $131.8 billion of budget authority, about 54% going to defense R&D.

Non-defense R&D funding was increased about 0.2%. The largest increases went to
R&D in NIH and DOD; smaller increases were made for R&D budget authority at
the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS), the Department of Transportation (DOT), the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA), and NIH. FY2005 congressional action reduced the
National Science Foundation’s (NSF) budget by 0.3% below the FY2004 level.
Congress appropriated less than the FY2004 level for R&D in the Department of
Education and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In the Department of
Commerce (DOC), the President sought again to eliminate the Advanced Technology
Program (ATP), whose R&D was funded at $134.0 million in FY2004. Congress
increased R&D funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) by 10%, and funded ATP R&D at $114.0 million, about 15% less than in
FY2004. (See the Appendix table.)
FY2006 Budget Action Summary. For FY2006, Congress enacted R&D
budget authority of about $134.8 billion, $2.2 billion more than in FY2005. More
than 90% of the increase went to DOD research, development, testing, and evaluation
(RDT&E), largely for weapons development, and the rest to NASA, largely for space
exploration. DOT received a 14% increase for R&D. Other agencies’ R&D budgets
were reduced or flat if inflation is considered. Congress also enacted a 1% across-
the-board cut for all discretionary R&D, in effect lowering enacted appropriations
amounts. Of the major R&D support agencies, FY2006 appropriations action
reduced R&D funding below the FY2005 level for NIH, USDA, and DOE. (See the
Appendix table.)
FY2007 Budget Request. For FY2007, R&D was requested at almost $137
billion of budget authority, about 1.8% more than enacted in FY2006. The request
sought to double funding over 10 years (for a total of about $50 billion) for three key
federal agencies that support basic research in physical sciences and engineering, that
is for NSF, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science (for advanced
energy research), and for the NIST laboratories, as part of the American
Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) introduced in the 2006 State of the Union address
to enhance U.S. innovation. Also, funding for NASA R&D would have been
increased by about 8% largely for a development program called Constellation
Systems to develop human space vehicles to replace the Space Shuttle. Cuts would
have been made in NASA research programs in aeronautics, life sciences, and other
research activities. Continuing previous emphases, the budget would have slightly
increased over FY2006 support in real dollar terms for defense development. NIH
funding would have been flat and R&D funding for all other agencies would have
been decreased from FY2006 enacted levels. Over the next five years, the
Administration’s budget projected reducing budget deficits by cutting discretionary
spending, so that while NASA and the three ACI-emphasized agencies would have
continued to receive increases, other R&D funding agencies would have been subject
to real dollar cuts after adjusting for expected inflation rates. (See the Appendix
table.) The ACI initiative would also have made the R&D tax credit permanent, and
increased support for mathematics and science education teacher training and
For FY2007, two appropriations bills were signed before adjournment — for
DOD and DHS. The rest of the government is operating on a continuing resolution

through February 2007, but which incoming Appropriations Committee chairmen say
they will seek to continue throughout FY2007, thereby funding all other R&D
activities at FY2006 levels.1 FY2007 appropriations action increased support for
defense development and decreased homeland security R&D funding. (See the
Appendix table.)
Priority-Setting Issues
Current priority-setting debates focus on the functions and size of federal R&D
funding as a part of national R&D and on how to balance priorities in the portfolio
of federal non-defense R&D, especially between health and nonhealth R&D.
Trends in R&D Support Patterns. The NSF projects that national (public
+ private) R&D expenditures will total $312.1 billion for FY2004, the latest year for
which data are available, and about 51% more than in 1990.2 Federal R&D
expenditures as a part of the total have also risen, to $93.4 billion (mostly to fund
work performed in non-governmental sectors), but have declined significantly as a
part of the total from 46% in 1983 to about 30% in 2004. The United States
performs over twice as much R&D as the second largest funding nation, Japan.
However, in terms of the ratio of R&D expenditures to gross domestic product
(GDP), the United States ranks sixth, at 2.7%, following Israel, Sweden, Finland,
Japan, and Iceland. Funding patterns figure prominently in priority-setting debates.
Industry is the largest supporter and performer of the nation’s R&D; universities
and colleges are the second-largest performer. It is estimated that industry funded
64% of all U.S. R&D performed in 2004 and conducted 70%; industry funded about
89% of the R&D it conducted. The amount of R&D supported by various industries
varies; most industrial R&D is for near-term applied work and product or prototype
development. In 2004, industrial R&D expenditures supported 82% of the nation’s
development work and provided 36% of national research expenditures (exclusive
of development), largely for applied research. Industry allocated 5% of its R&D
expenditures to basic research, and supported 17% of the nation’s total basic
research. Federal support for development, which totaled about 34% of federal
R&D, goes largely for defense R&D performed by industry. The federal government
is the largest supporter of the nation’s basic and applied research (i.e., research per

1 Jeffrey Brainard and Annie Shuppy, “Democrats’ Plan to Hold Spending at ‘06 Levels Will
Eliminate Earmarks, Cost Academe in Other Ways,” Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec.

13, 2006; AAAS, “Federal Research Funding in Decline as Appropriations Stall,” Dec. 13,

2006, [http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/upd1206.htm].

2 Data in this section are based on U.S. National Science Foundation, National Patterns of
Research and Development Resources: 2003, pp. 9-10, (NSF 05-308), Brandon Shackelford,
“U.S. R&D Continues to Rebound in 2004,” NSF InfoBrief, Jan. 2006, NSF 06-306, and
National Science Foundation, National Patterns of R&D Resources: 2004 Date Update,
2006, NSF 06-327. Expenditure data, rather than budget authority data, need to be used to
compare federal and nonfederal funding levels. Shackelford acknowledges that the
expenditure data he uses are not the same as R&D funding totals reported by the Federal
agencies. The largest difference appears concentrated in DOD-supported funding of
industry R&D. Expenditures do not equal outlays or budget authority. See also Elisa
Eiseman, et al., Federal Investment in R&D, RAND, Sept. 2002, MR-1639.0-OSTP.

se), and supplied 49% of total national basic research expenditures in 2004. The
federal government was the single largest supporter of the nation’s basic research,
funding 62% of national basic research expenditures, largely in universities, and,
thus, is the largest supporter of the nation’s scientific knowledge base. About 42%
of total federal research dollars goes to universities and 22% to mission-oriented
work in intramural federal agency laboratories, largely at DOD, NIH, and USDA.
Universities and colleges conducted 55% of nationally funded basic research; the
federal government funded about 65% of this university-performed basic research.
According to a recent NSF report, “The share of academic R&D support provided by
industry peaked at 7.4% in 1999 and declined every year thereafter, reaching 4.9%
in 2004.”3 One of the major reasons for this shift, according to NSF, was that “...U.S.
companies increasingly choose to work with foreign rather than U.S. universities,
encouraged by the more favorable [intellectual property] IP rights that foreign
universities offer and the strong incentives for joint industry-university research that
foreign governments provide.”4
OMB’s historical trend data indicate that in constant dollar terms, federal R&D
funding declined from about 18% of total federal discretionary outlays in FY1965 to
about 16% today. In part because of economic pressures and budgetary caps, during
the years FY1991 to FY2002, federal R&D funding was below the previous constant-
dollar high of FY1990. Subsequently, as a result of congressional action, constant-
dollar R&D appropriations started to eclipse the FY1993 level beginning with
FY2001. However, concerns that had been raised about the declines in federal R&D
funding have not abated because of a return to deficit spending, and likely future
reductions in discretionary R&D spending. As constrained federal R&D budgets
focus more on defense, homeland security, and biomedical R&D, fewer resources
may be available for other areas of R&D. National defense-related R&D outlays
constituted 55% of federal R&D outlays in FY2000 and are requested at an amount
which would constitute 59% in FY2007. (It should be noted that recommendations
have been made to improve the types and quality of econometric and research and
development data used in making science policies, especially the information
developed by NSF.5)

3 Alan I. Rapoport, “Where Has the Money Gone? Declining Industrial Support of
Academic R&D,’ NSF SRS Info Brief, Sept. 2006, NSF-06-328.
4 Idem.
5 Lawrence D. Brown, et al., Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the

Observations on the Role of the Federal Government in Supporting
R&D. As shown in the preceding funding data, federal government support for R&D
serves primarily the objectives of defense and homeland security, biomedical
research, basic research knowledge generation, and enhancement of academic
research capacity (which some call the “seed corn” of future scientific and
technological development). Only a small percentage of federal non-defense R&D
spending supports industrial R&D and innovation directly. Some observers contend
that federal research support should be funded at increasingly higher levels to
generate knowledge as a public good. Some contend that other actions should be
taken to enhance the U.S. ability to advance scientifically; to enhance the stature of
U.S. academic institutions; to increase scientific literacy, the number of science and
engineering personnel, and research capacity in an increasingly competitive global
environment where countries like China, India, Korea, and Japan are challenging
U.S. output in knowledge generation and innovative industrial production
capabilities. For instance, these issues and proposals to deal with them were
discussed in Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America
for a Brighter Economic Future, a report released in 2005 by a National Academies
committee in response to congressional requests by members of the Senate
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the House Committee on Science;
in an American Electronics Association report, Losing the Competitive Advantage?
The Challenge for Science and Technology in the United States, 2005; and at the
“The National Summit on Competitiveness: Investing in U.S. Innovation,” December

6, 2005, a meeting of industrial, academic, and governmental leaders.

Although there is controversy about it, some observers theorize that innovation
and technological development are as important or more important than labor and6
capital as macro-economic drivers of economic growth. Some contend that
industrial R&D and innovation benefit indirectly from federal investments in basic7
research and academic science and that such funding should be increased. For
example, President Bush’s FY2002 budget supported the view that “More than half
of the Nation’s economic productivity growth in the last 50 years is attributable to
technological innovation and the science that supported it” (p. 29). In 2006, the
Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), using data from NSF
surveys, released calculations that “... suggest ... R&D accounted for a substantial
share of the resurgence in U.S. economic growth in recent years....” That is,
researchers said, “...the Bureau determined R&D contributed 6.5 percent to economic8
growth between 1995 and 2002.” BEA will produce an R&D satellite account and
likely will incorporate R&D into GDP estimates around 2013. The President’s
FY2006 budget reported “Basic research is the source of tomorrow’s discoveries and

5 (...continued)
U.S. Economy, National Academy of Sciences Press, 2004; John H. Marburger, “Wanted:
Better Benchmarks,” Science, May 20, 2005, p. 1087.
6 See Congressional Budget Office, R&D and Productivity Growth, June 2005, 41 p.
7 See NSF, Science and Engineering Indicators, 2006, pp. 4-7 and 4-19.
8 National Science Foundation, “Analysis Shows Research and Development Adds to
Economic Growth,” Press Release 06-142, Oct. 3, 2006.

new capabilities and this long-term research will fuel further gains in economic
productivity, quality of life, and homeland and national security.”9
Some observers say that data are inadequate to support the notion that basic
research knowledge leads to technological innovation as a crucial determinant of
economic growth. Because of the lack of credible data and disagreement among
experts, policymakers do not know exactly how much increased federal research
support would enhance growth and which R&D fields or programs warrant funding
in order to promote technological innovation.10 As a result, some say that federal
policy for industrial innovation, and its likely byproduct, economic growth, should
focus more on improving the climate for industrial R&D, such as by tax incentives,
altered regulatory policies, and wider liability protections.
The benefits of federal R&D investments are likely to be discussed in the
context of long-term economic projections of deficits, decreasing outyear federal
R&D budgets, and reductions in domestic discretionary spending. There are other
related issues. For instance, will federal, state, and industrial policies to increase
support for academic research — but often for short-term applied studies —
overwhelm traditional academic research which traditionally has tended toward the
conduct of basic research studies?11 Could state-supported funding supplant federal
funding in some areas, as evidenced by initiatives in California and other states to
fund stem cell research and biotechnology R&D?12 Other issues of debate focus on
diversifying priorities for fields of support. There are also issues of organizing the
government to fund and generate research knowledge, modifying funding
mechanisms, and enhancing accountability for federal R&D investments. For
instance, a 2005 report of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, entitled
Waiting for Sputnik: Basic Research and Strategic Competition, stressed the need to
increase federal basic research funding and discussed options, such as redirecting
funds from development and testing of defense technologies; dedicating at least a
minimum percentage of R&D funding for basic research in physical sciences; making
basic research funding an entitlement, not discretionary; increasing tax credits for
increased industrial support of academic basic research; establishing independent
consortia for basic research supported by both government and private resources;
creating a special class of Treasury bonds dedicated to basic research; or creating a
loan-guarantee program for third party bonds (issued by states, for example) to
finance basic research (pp. 29-31).
Among the legislative responses in the first session of the 109th Congress to the
various expert reports and recommendations were: outlining of a “Democratic

9 OMB, Analytical Perspectives, FY2006, p. 61.
10 William B. Bonvillian, “Meeting the New Challenge to U.S. Economic Competitiveness,”
Issues in Science and Technology, Oct. 1, 2004.
11 NSTC, Implementation of the NSTC Presidential Review Directive-4: Renewing the
Federal Government-University Research Partnership...., Jan. 2001.
12 The NAS held “Planning Meeting on the Role of State Funding of Research,” July 13,
2001. See RAND/OSTP, Discovery and Innovation: Federal R&D Activities in the Fifty
States, June 2000.

Innovation Agenda,” by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (to increase funding
for NSF and physical sciences research, and to create research centers of excellence);
introduction of the “National Innovation Act of 2005,” S. 2109, a bipartisan bill,
which would have doubled NSF funding, created a Presidential Council on
Innovation, and encouraged agencies to devote 3% of their R&D budgets to high-risk
research (associated bill H.R. 4654); introduction of a package of several innovation
enhancing bills, including Democratic leadership proposals, H.R. 4434 to increase
the number of U.S. mathematics and science teachers; H.R. 4435 to create an energy-
related Advanced Project Agency; and H.R. 4596 to increase basic research funding
and support high-risk, high-payoff research.
Arguments have been made to give more attention to education. The U.S.
Commission on National Security 21st Century, in Road Map for National Security:
Imperative for Change, The Phase III Report, 2001, concluded that threats to the
nation’s scientific and educational base endanger U.S. national security. It
recommended doubling the federal R&D budget by 2010 and improving the
competitiveness of less capable U.S. academic R&D institutions. A 2006 National
Science Board report, America’s Pressing Challenge-Building A Stronger
Foundation, published by the NSF in conjunction with release of the NSF’s Science
and Engineering Indicators, 2006, called for a series of “drastic changes within the
Nation’s science and mathematics classrooms,” to avoid “... raising generations of
students and citizens who do not know how to think critically and make informed
decisions based on technical and scientific information.” The Council on
Competitiveness, in a December 2004 report, Innovate America, included proposals
to increase to an average of 3% the amount of federal agency budgets for basic
research, to improve the regulatory climate for corporations, to increase federal
investment in selected areas of applied research, and to improve science and
engineering education. A National Academy of Engineering report, Trends in
Federal Support of Research and Graduate Education, 2001, recommended that the
Administration and Congress should evaluate federal research funding by field,
assess implications for knowledge generation and industrial growth, and increase
budgets for underfunded disciplines. Similar recommendations were made in New
Foundations for Growth: The U.S. Innovation System Today and Tomorrow, released
by the National Science and Technology Council on January 10, 2001. A new report,
“Measuring the Moment: Innovation, National Security, and Economic
Competitiveness. Benchmarks of our Innovation Future II,” was released in
November 2006. It reviews risk factors for U.S. technological competitiveness.
During the second session of the 109th Congress, the President’s “American
Competitiveness Initiative” (ACI) emphasized funding for basic physical sciences
and engineering research at NSF, NIST, and DOE’s Office of Science to enhance
U.S. innovative capacity and ability to compete internationally. (This is described
above in the section on the FY2007 budget.) ACI would also support additional
training in mathematics and science education at the pre-college level and training
for part-time science and math teachers.13 Several bills were introduced in the second

13 For additional information, see CRS Report RL33434, Science, Technology, Engineering,
and Mathematics (STEM) Education Issues and Legislative Options, by Jeffrey J. Kuenzi,

session of the 109th Congress to address these issues, including S. 3936, the National
Competitiveness Investment Act; the bipartisan-supported “Protecting America’s
Competitive Edge” (PACE) Acts; that is, S. 2197, focusing on the DOE and creation
of an Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (reported amended, (S.Rept.
109-249) on April 24, 2006) from the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources; S. 2198, focusing on education, on which hearings were held; and S. 2199
(regarding an R&D tax credit for industry). S. 2398, proposed an Advanced
Research Projects Administration – Energy. The House Science Committee held
hearings on March 9, 2006 regarding the energy advanced research projects agency.
Democratic members of the House Science Committee have critiqued the President’s
proposals contending that additional programs warrant funding.14 On June 22, 2006,
the House Science Committee reported H.R. 5358, the Science and Mathematics
Education for Competitiveness Act (H.Rept. 109-524); H.R. 5356, the Early Career
Research Act (H.Rept. 109-525); and H.R. 5357, the Research for Competitiveness
Act. H.R. 4734 and S. 3502 would have given urgency to initiating education
programs similar to national defense education acts of the past, which focused on
improving education to deal with space and defense challenges posed by the former
Soviet Union.
Priorities Among Fields of Federally Funded Research
Important questions are what should be the balance among fields of federally
supported research, and specifically, since health/life sciences research has in recent
years received priority, should more non-defense R&D funding go to support other
fields of science? Some critics are concerned that the emphasis on health R&D may
presage a scarcity of knowledge in physical sciences, math, and engineering.15 They
maintain that funding should be increased for all R&D fields, and others cite the need
to allocate more federal funding to nonhealth R&D.
As shown in Figure 1, health sciences R&D has grown as a priority for about
the last 20 years. Over the period FY1995 to FY2007 as requested, R&D funding in
constant dollars, will have increased at NIH by 103% compared to DOD, 65%; NSF,
48%; USDA, 6%; DOE, 11%; and NASA, 1%. R&D funding decreased in constant
dollars for EPA and the Departments of the Interior, Transportation, and Commerce.
For FY2007 as requested, it is estimated in terms of constant dollars that federally
funded health-related R&D, primarily at NIH, would receive over 54% of the federal
non-defense R&D budget. In terms of constant dollar funding by field, federal
obligations for life sciences increased from $13.4 billion in FY1994 to an estimated
$29.3 billion in FY2004, or about 119%, while at the same time, between those years

13 (...continued)
Christine M. Matthews, and Bonnie F. Mangan.
14 House Science Committee, “Science, Competitiveness Shortchanged In Administration
Budget,” Minority Committee Office, Press Release, Feb. 15, 2006,
[http://sciencedems.house.gov/ press/PRAr ticle.aspx?News ID=1042].
15 NSB, The Science and Engineering Workforce/Realizing American’s Potential, NSB-03-

69, 2003.

funding for physical sciences increased 7%; mathematics and computer sciences,

83%; and engineering, 40%. 16

Figure 1. AAAS Data on Trends in Non-defense R&D Funding by
Function, FY1953-FY2007

AAAS granted CRS permission to use this figure.
The issue of whether the National Science Foundation should support social and
behavioral sciences research was addressed in the 1950s shortly after the agency was
established and also again in the 1980s during the first Reagan Administration.
Questions were raised about whether these fields were scientific and if support for
these topics would detract from support for chemistry, physical sciences, life sciences
and mathematics.17 NSF started to support the social sciences under its “permissive
authority” to support “other sciences” and, in 1968, was given explicit authority to
support these fields (P.L. 90-407), although some Members of Congress continued to
question this function in NSF. In September 2005, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison,
chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space that has
authorizations jurisdiction for NSF, and a member of the Senate Appropriations
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies that appropriates
funds for NSF, again questioned the propriety of NSF’s support for social sciences
16 Based on NSF data and AAAS data. See AAAS, “Guide to R&D Funding Data-Historical
Data,” at [http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/guihist.htm].)
17 For an overview of this history, see Chapter II of U.S. Congress, House, Committee on
Science and Technology, Research Policies for the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Science
Policy Study Background Report No. 6), Report prepared by the Congressional Research
Service, Library of Congress, transmitted to the Task Force on Science Policy. Septemberthnd

1986, 99 Congress, 2 session.

research and recommended that NSF “focus firmly” on “the hard sciences,” —
biology, chemistry, and physics, and not direct additional resources to support social
sciences research.18 She reiterated her concerns in 2006, specifically raising questions
about the appropriateness of some specific NSF social sciences awards and about
whether the social sciences should benefit from the doubling in NSF’s research budget
proposed in President Bush’s ACI initiative or whether such doubling should be
limited to the other fields of science NSF supports.19 According to news reports, a
draft of S. 2802 would have limited NSF’s budget increase to support physical
sciences research but subsequently after amendment, a compromise was reached20
with language that would not restrict NSF funding for areas of research that the
agency deems to be consistent with its mandate (Sec. 305 d.) The bill was reported
on July 19, 2006.
Congressional Views About the Balance in Federal R&D Funding.
There are various perspectives on the issue of balance, focusing on both types and
fields of R&D supported. Funding for biomedical research has been a priority in
recent years. In 1998, an amendment to S.Con.Res. 86, the FY1999 Senate budget
resolution, expressed the sense of the Senate that the NIH budget should double within
the next five years, which occurred by FY2003, although the budget has started to
decrease from FY2003 in terms of constant dollars.21 Critics allege that other fields
of science have received inadequate federal attention as a result of the health science
emphasis. Partially in reaction, P.L. 107-368, the NSF authorization bill for FY2003,
authorized increases for NSF (which supports all areas of research) that would double
its budget by 2008. NSF funding has not been appropriated consistently at a rate to
meet this target.
Professional Groups’ Views About Balance. Some professional groups
argue for increased federal health sciences funding22 and others contend that more
balance or support for other fields is needed. For instance, 32 Nobel laureates and
industrialists wrote to President Bush in April 2003, urging more balance and
increased funding for physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering in the 2005
budget.23 In response to language in appropriations reports, in November 2004, the
NIH and NSF held a conference on “Research at the Interface of the Life and Physical
Sciences: Bridging the Sciences,” to identify opportunities, challenges, and issues at

18 “Ensuring a Healthy Future America,” Sept. 30, 2005,
[http://hutchison.senate.gov/ cchealthfuture.htm] .
19 Jeffrey Mervis, “Senate Panel Chair Asks Why NSF Funds Social Sciences,” Science,
May 12, 2005, p. 829.
20 Jeffrey Mervis, “Senate Panel Backs Social Sciences at NSF,” Science, May 26, 2006, p.


21 For additional information, see the section on NIH by Pamela Smith, in CRS Report
RL33345, Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2007, by Michael E. Davey
22 For instance, see Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Federal
Funding for Biomedical and Related Life Sciences Research, FY2007.
23 “Nobel Laureates and Corporate Leaders Urge Higher FY 2005 S&T Funding,” FYI, The
AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News, No. 58, Apr. 25, 2003

the interface of the life and physical sciences that could result in major advances and
to develop approaches for bridging the separate fields.24 The President’s Council of
Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released Assessing the U.S. R&D
Investment, January 2003,25 that recommended targeting physical sciences and
engineering to bring “them collectively to parity with the life sciences over the next
4 budget cycles” in order to better balance budget allocations. The Alliance for
Science and Technology Research in America supports increased R&D funding for
all fields.26
Legislative Proposals to Broaden Incentives for Private R&D.th
Legislation was enacted during the 109 Congress to make permanent the Research
and Experimentation (R&D) tax credit that had expired on December 31, 2005. It
provides credits (and incentives) for industrially funded R&D support in industry and
universities.27 The credit is intended to spur innovative research that companies might
not pursue because of the lack of immediate market rewards. The Administration has
sought to have the credit made permanent. There is analysis indicating that if the
credit were extended for a year and expanded, the cost to the Treasury could be about
$10 billion and that instead the credit should focus more on supporting basic and
applied research and less on product development which is claimed by some
companies under the credit.28 H.R. 4297, a tax reconciliation measure passed by the
House and amended and passed in the Senate, would have extended the credit through
the end of 2007. Conferees did not include language dealing with the tax credit. H.R.

5970, a tripartite tax bill which passed in the House, included the R&D tax credit.

Final Senate action did not occur. In the final days of the Congress, both the House
and Senate enacted H.R. 6111, which extended the credit for two years and widened
eligibility for the credit.29
NSF Funding. NSF funds research across all disciplines and is the main
federal source for most non-health related academic research. P.L. 107-368, the NSF
authorization bill for FY2003, authorized increases in NSF’s budget by 15% for each
of FY2003, FY2004, and FY2005, which according to the sponsors, would “put the
NSF on the track to double its budget within five years” (FY2008), similar to the NIH
doubling track. Another- objective was to increase federal support for science fields
which in recent years have not experienced the larger percentage increases which have
gone to biomedical R&D. The law also required increased oversight of NSF facilities

24 Jeffrey Mervis, “What Can NIH Do for Physicists?,” Science, Nov. 26, 2004, p. 1463.
25 “PCAST Releases Report on U.S. R&D Investment,” CFR Weekly Wrapup, Feb. 14, 2003.
26 See David Malakoff, “Perfecting the Art of the Science Deal,” Science, May 4, 2001, pp.


27 See CRS Report RL31181, Research Tax Credit: Current Status, Legislative Proposals,
and Policy Issues, by G. Guenther.
28 “Revisiting the R&D Credit,” National Journal’s Congress Daily, Jan. 26, 2006. AM
29 Rachel Van Dorgen, “In Closing House, Senate Clears Package of Tax, Trade Benefits,”
CQ Weekly, Dec. 18, 2006.

programs; a report was prepared by the National Science Board (NSB).30 Congress
appropriated about $4.1 billion in budget authority for NSF’s FY2004 R&D funding,
almost 5% more than FY2003, and about $1.0 billion less than envisioned in the
authorization act. For FY2005, congressional action reduced NSF’s budget authority
below the FY2004 level. The President requested an FY2006 R&D budget increase
of almost 3% largely for facilities support. Appropriations action increased NSF’s
FY2006 R&D budget authority by about 1.6%, and up to the level enacted for
FY2004. The FY2007 request would have increased NSF’s R&D budget by 8.3%
over the FY2006 level. Although final appropriations action was not completed for
FY2007, both House floor action and Senate Appropriations Committee action would
have increased NSF’s budget over FY2006, with the House level slightly more than
the Senate. See the appendix table.
P.L. 107-368 also required the NSB, which governs NSF together with the
Director, to report on how NSF’s increased funding should be used. In a 2003 report,
Fulfilling the Promise: A Report to Congress on the Budgetary and Programmatic
Expansion of the National Science Foundation (NSB-2004-15), the Board
recommended meeting unmet needs by funding NSF annually at $18.7 billion,
including about $12.5 billion for R&D, and outlined priorities for support. Because
the budget levels recommended in that report had not been attained, the National
Science Board released a final report in January 2006, 2020 Vision for the National
Science Foundation (NSB 05-142), which identified four main investment principles,
attainment goals, and enabling strategies. Prominent among groups which in the past
recommended increased funding for NSF is the Coalition for National Science
Funding (CNSF), which represents many universities and professional science
Homeland Security R&D Funding. Homeland security R&D funding has
grown from about 2.5% of the FY2002 federal non-defense R&D budget to about
6.8% of the FY2007 request for non-defense R&D budget authority. See Table 1 for
trends based on data compiled by the American Association for the Advancement of
Science (AAAS). Homeland security R&D funding is becoming an increasingly
significant issue in priority-setting discussions. OMB’s term “combating terrorism”31
R&D includes homeland security R&D and overseas combating terrorism R&D. An
appendix to OMB’s FY2007 Analytical Perspectives budget request volume includes
data on homeland security funding, but these data do not clearly identify R&D
funding. The largest FY2007 programs are in NIH largely for bioterrorism R&D and
for containment facilities. This is followed in size by the requests for DHS, DOD,

30 The draft NSB report is at [http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/documents/2005/large_facilities
31 For additional details, see CRS Report RS21270, Homeland Security Research and
Development Funding, Organization, and Oversight; CRS Report RL32481, Homeland
Security Research and Development Funding and Activities in Federal Agencies: A
Preliminary Inventory; and CRS Report RL32482, Federal Homeland Security Research
and Development Funding: Issues of Data Quality, all by Genevieve J. Knezo.

P.L. 107-296, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, mandated DHS to coordinate
federal agency homeland security R&D programs. The law also consolidated some
federal homeland security R&D programs in DHS. DHS’s R&D funding has almost
quintupled since FY2002 but in FY2007 appropriations action, Congress reduced
DHS R&D funding about 22% below the FY2006 amount (AAAS data, see the
appendix table). DHS is emphasizing support of development over research, with the
result that basic and applied research in DHS would be reduced by about 20% for
Table 1. Funding for Homeland Security R&D and R&D Facilities
(Budget authority dollars in millions)
FY2002 FY2003 FY2004 FY2005 FY2006 FY2007
Agency Actua l Actua l Actua l Actua l Estima te Request
USDA $175 $155 $40 $161 $105 $100
DOC 20 16 23 59 62 68
DOD 259 212 267 1,079 1,166 1,074
DOE 50 48 47 67 68 71
DHHS 1 7 7 1 , 6 5 3 1 , 7 2 4 1 , 7 9 5 1 , 8 9 9 2 , 0 1 4
(NIH) (162) (1 ,633) (1 ,703) (1 ,774) (1 ,878) (1 ,993)
DHS 266 737 1,028 1,240 1,281 1,149
DOT 1 0 6 7 3 2 3 1
EP A 9 5 7 0 5 2 3 3 5 2 9 2
NASA 73 73 88 89 93 83
NSF 229 271 321 326 329 371
All other4847 32 42 41 47
Total R&D1,4993,2903,6264,8935,0995,070
Total Non-
defense HS R&D 1,2403,0783,3593,8143,9333,996
Note: Data in italics are non-additive. Totals may not add due to rounding. Based on data in a table
entitledFederal Homeland Security R&D by Agency,” prepared by AAAS, Feb. 21, 2006, available
at [http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/hs07p.pdf], a link found at “Guide to R&D Funding Data-R&D in the
FY2007 Budget,” [http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/guify07.htm]. According to AAAS, the data are “...
based on OMB data from OMB’s 2003 Report to Congress on Combating Terrorism and Budget of
the U.S. Government FY2007. Figures [are] adjusted from OMB data by AAAS to include conduct of
R&D and R&D facilities, and revised estimates of DHS R&D. Figures do not include non-R&D
homeland security activities. DOD has expanded its reporting of homeland security spending beginning
in 2005. Funding for all years includes regular appropriations and emergency supplemental
appropriatio ns.”
Federal R&D Priority-Setting Structures
Some observers recommend more centralized R&D priority-setting in Congress
and in the executive branch. Others say that congressional jurisdiction for R&D, split
as it is among a number of committees and subcommittees, prevents examination of
the R&D budget as a whole. This means that R&D funding can serve particular local
or program interests, but may not be appropriate for a national R&D agenda. But
opponents see value in a decentralized system in which budgets are developed,
authorized, and appropriated separately by those most familiar with the needs of

32 AAAS, “DHS R&D Falls in 2007 Budget,” [http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/dhs07p.htm].

specific fields of R&D — the department or agency head and the authorizing and
appropriations subcommittees with jurisdiction. Other issues center on interagency
initiatives, R&D policy coordination, developing a technology assessment capacity,
earmarking, and R&D funding accountability.
Unified Federal Science and Technology (FS&T) Budget. In a 1995
report, Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology, the National Academies
recommended that Congress consider the R&D budget as a unified whole before its
separate parts for each agency are considered by individual congressional committees.
It recommended that R&D budget request data be reconfigured as an S&T budget,
excluding defense development, testing and evaluation activities, to denote basic and
applied R&D and the creation of new knowledge. Since the FY2002 budget request,
OMB has used a modified version of this format and has identified a “Federal Science
and Technology (FS&T) budget table,” which, for FY2007, includes less than half of
total federal R&D spending but also some non-R&D funding, such as education and
dissemination of information.33 Table 5-2 of Analytical Perspectives projected a
decrease in FS&T funding of about 1% from FY2006 to FY2007 as requested.
Continued use of this alternative format may pave the way for congressional
consideration of a realigned and unified S&T budget. S.Amdt. 2235 to the Senate
budget resolution (S.Con.Res. 86) for FY1999 expressed the sense of the Senate that
for FY2000-2004, all federal civilian S&T spending should be classified under budget
function 250. In 2004, Senator Jeff Bingaman said: “It would be valuable to have
joint hearings across the relevant committees in the Senate on the overall shape of our
S&T spending. It might be worth considering whether the functional nature of the
budget itself should be revised to put the entire federal S&T budget in one place, so
that there is much more transparency as to what the real trends are....”34
Interagency R&D Initiatives. Executive Order 12881, issued by President
Clinton, established the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) with
cabinet-level status. Located in the Executive Office of the President, it recommends
agency R&D budgets to help accomplish national objectives, advises OMB on agency
R&D budgets, and coordinates presidential interagency R&D initiatives. Beginning
with the FY1996 budget request, NSTC identified interagency R&D budget priorities.
The FY2007 budget presented agency funding for two interagency R&D initiatives
whose reporting is required by statute, “Networking and Information Technology
R&D,” requested at $3.1 billion, a 2% decrease from the estimated FY2006 amount,
and “Climate Change Science Program,” requested at $1.7 billion, a level flat with the
FY2006 estimate. Another priority interagency initiative was nanotechnology,
requested at $1.3 billion, a 2% decrease from the FY2006 amount. Other FY2007
interagency R&D initiatives included combating terrorism R&D and hydrogen R&D.
In a joint OMB/OSTP annual memorandum, the Administration announced
FY2008 interagency priorities that “should receive special focus in agency budget
requests.” These are: homeland security, energy security, advanced networking and
high-end computing, national nanotechnology initiative, understanding complex

33 Section 5, FY2006 Budget, Analytical Perspectives.
34 “Bingaman: A Revitalized Science and Technology Policy Badly Needed,” Feb. 11, 2004,
Office of Sen. Bingaman.

biological systems, and environment. In addition the statement gave details on two
“areas requiring special agency attention and focus though the NSTC,” that is
stewardship for federal scientific collections and developing a “ ‘new science of
science policy’ ” to understand the “linkages between R&D investments and economic
and other variables that lead to innovation, competitiveness, and societal benefits.”35
Proposals to Coordinate Federal R&D. The 2001 National Science Board
(NSB) report, Federal Research Resources: A Process for Setting Priorities (NSB 01-
160) recommended a “continuing advisory mechanism” in Congress and the executive
branch and strengthening the OMB/OSTP relationship to coordinate R&D priorities.
It said that federal R&D funding should be viewed as a five-year planned portfolio,
rather than as the sum of the requirements and programs of departments. AAAS
President Mary Good, recommended creating a cabinet-level post for S&T to help
achieve balance in R&D and coordinate federal R&D and handle research policy36
issues. The aforementioned Commission on National Security recommended
empowering the President’s science advisor to establish “functional budgeting,” to
identify non-defense R&D objectives that meet national needs, strengthen the OSTP,
NSTC and PCAST, and improve coordination with OMB to enhance stewardship of
national R&D. The congressional science policy report, Unlocking Our Future, 1998,
spearheaded by Representative Vernon Ehlers, called for balance in the federal
research portfolio and said that while OMB can fulfill the coordination function in the
executive branch, “no such mechanism exists in the Congress. ... [I]n large, complex
technical programs, ... committees should ... consider holding joint hearings and
perhaps even writing joint authorization bills” (p. 7).
Legislation on Technology Assessment. The aforementioned NSB report
also recommended that Congress develop “an appropriate mechanism to provide it
with independent expert S&T review, evaluation, and advice” (p. 16). Some believe
that this could pertain to reestablishing the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA),
which was active between 1972 and 1995 as a congressional support agency. It
prepared in-depth reports and discussed policy options about the consequences of
applying technology. Sometimes congressional committees used these reports to set
R&D priorities in authorizations and appropriations processes. OTA was eliminated
as part of the reductions Congress made in a FY1996 appropriations bill. Proponents
of “resurrecting” OTA or variants of it cite the need for better congressional support
for S&T analysis.37 The OTA is still authorized, but funds would have to be

35 John H. Marburger, Director Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Rob Portman,
Director, Office of Management and Budget, “FY2008 Administration Research and
Development Budget Priorities,” Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and
Agencies, M-06-17, June 23, 2006.
36 Rebecca Spieler, “AAAS President Concerned About Imbalances in Nation’s R&D
Portfolio...,” Washington Fax, Feb. 21, 2001.
37 Wil Lepkowski, “The Mummy Blinks,” Science and Policy Perspectives, June 25, 2001;
D. Malakoff, “Memo to Congress: Get Better Advice,” Science, June 22, 2001: 2229-2230;
and M. Davis, “A Reinvented Office of Technology Assessment May Not Suit
Congressional Information Requirement...,” Washington Fax, June 18, 2001; M. Granger
Morgan and John M. Peha, Science and Technology Advice for Congress, Washington,

appropriated for it. The pros and cons of reviving OTA or re-creating a similar body
have been examined since its termination and several proposals were introduced
during the 107th Congress and 108th Congresses to address this issue.38 Since 2002,
at congressional direction, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has
conducted three pilot technology assessments, Technology Assessment: Using
Biometrics for Border Security, GAO-03-174, 2002, Cybersecurity for Critical
Infrastructure Protection, GAO-04-321, and Protecting Structures and Improving
Communications During Wildland Fires, GAO-05-380, and has one underway on port
security. During the 109th Congress, the House Science Committee held a hearing on
July 25, 2006 on S&T advice in Congress, which, in part, addressed the issue of re-
creating an OTA-like agency.39 Issues under debate relating to restoring a technology
assessment capability have included questions about the need for assessments, funding
arrangements, the utility of GAO’s assessment reports, and options for institutional
arrangements, including conducting technology assessments simultaneously with
conducting R&D.40
Earmarking. There is controversy about congressional designation of R&D
funding for specific projects, also called earmarking. When using this practice,
Congress, in report language or law, directs that appropriated funds go to a specific
performer or designates awards for certain types of performers or geographic
locations. Typically an agency has not included these awards in its budget request and
often such awards may be made without prior competitive peer review. The
Administration seeks to discourage earmarking, saying that it distorts agency R&D
priorities and seldom is an effective use of taxpayer funds. Supporters believe the
practice helps to develop R&D capability in a wide variety of institutions, that it
compensates for reduced federal programs for instrumentation and facilities, and that
it generates R&D-generated industrial and economic growth in targeted regions.
OMB did not publish funding data on R&D earmarks in the FY2007 budget
request, although it had done so in the past. It reported that AAAS-accumulated data
show that $2.4 billion was appropriated for earmarked R&D for FY2006, an increase
of 13% over the estimate for FY2005. This would constitute 1.7% of total federal41
R&D funding for FY2006. According to AAAS, FY2006 R&D earmarks were
mainly for projects in DOD, DOE, USDA, NASA, DOC (NIST), and DOT, in that

37 (...continued)
Resources for the Future, 2003, pp. 208-227.
38 For additional information, see CRS Report RS21586, Technology Assessment in
Congress: History and Legislative Options, by Genevieve J. Knezo.
39 See [http://www.house.gov/science/hearings/full06/July%2025/index.htm].
40 On this point, see Michael Rodemeyer, Daniel Sarewitz, and James Wilsdon, The Future
of Technology Assessment, Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, Dec. 2005, non-
41 Based on data in Office of Science and Technology Policy, “Earmarks, Research and
Development Funding in the President’s 2007 Budget,” Press release, [Feb. 2006]. See also
[ ht t p: / / www.aaas.or g/ spp/ r d/ ear m06c1.pdf ] .

order. Although appropriations action is still not finished, AAAS estimates that
FY2007 R&D earmarks will total about the same amount as in FY2006.42
Although such action is controversial, attempts were made in the 109th Congress
to make “earmarking” more transparent. For instance, on September 26, 2006,
President Bush signed S. 2590, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency
Act, into law (P.L. 109-282). It requires OMB to create by January 1, 2008 a website
containing information about federal awards, to be updated within 30 days after the
award is made. Although one of the stated purposes of the legislation is to enable the
public to use the on-line database to identify congressional “earmarks,” it is unclear
how the database will serve users, since the data systems that will be used to obtain
information, called Federal Assistance Award Data System (FAADS) and Federal
Procurement Data System (FPDS), do not collect data on earmarks.43 OMBWatch, a
private group, also created its own website [http://www.FedSpending.org], intended
to provide the same kind of information. Some of the entries do identify whether the
grant was congressionally directed.
On September 14, 2006 the House agreed to a rule change drafted by House
Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier, H.Res. 1000, which mandates disclosure
of earmark sponsors in tax and spending legislation. Reportedly, the Senate is
working on a similar rules change. Critics argue that this new requirement will not
change the practice of earmarking and may not reveal all earmarks since it does not
apply to all tax provisions, to manager’s amendments offered on the floor, and to
some earmarks inserted into conference reports.44
In July 2006, Senator Tom Coburn sent a survey to 110 universities asking them
whether they received research earmarks in the past six years, if they hired lobbyists
to obtain the earmarks, and the impacts of the money on their campuses and on
science. This has, reportedly, caused considerable concern among Members of
Congress who support earmarks and among many universities who view earmarks as
an acceptable way to obtain funding.45 Dr. Coburn’s office released the 90 responses
received as of October 10, 2006. His office said an analysis is forthcoming.46
Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and Performance
Assessment Rating Tool (PART). The Government Performance and Results

42 AAAS, “R&D Earmarks Headed Toward Records in 2007,” Aug. 11, 2006, 4 p.
43 For additional information, see, Garrett Leigh Hatch, The Federal Funding
Accountability and Transparency Act: Background, Overview, and Implementation
Issues, CRS Report RL33680.
44 Peter Cohn, “House Passes Earmark Disclosure Rule by Comfortable Margin,”
GovExec.Com, Sept. 15, 2006.
45 See, for instance, Jeffrey Mervis, “Academic Earmarks: The Money Schools Love to
Hate,” Science, Sept 8, 2006, p. 1374 and Jeffrey Brainard, “U.S. Senator Criticizes
Colleges That Ignore His Request for Details on Pork,” Chronicle of Higher Education,
Sept. 22, 2006.
46 Office of Senator Coburn, “Coburn Releases College and University Responses to
Earmark Inquiry,” Sept. 12, 2006, (contains hotlinks to response letters ).

Act of 1993 (GPRA), P.L. 103-62, is intended to produce greater efficiency,
effectiveness, and accountability in federal spending and to ensure that an agency’s
programs and priorities meet its goals. It also requires agencies to use performance
measures for management and, ultimately, for budgeting.
Recent actions have required agencies to identify more precisely R&D goals and
measures of outcomes. As underscored in The President’s Management Agenda,
since FY2001 the Bush Administration has emphasized the importance of
performance measurement, including for R&D. In a memorandum dated June 5,
2003, signed jointly by the directors of OSTP and OMB regarding planning for the
FY2005 R&D budgets, the Administration announced it would expand its effort to
base budget decisions on program performance (OMB M-03-15). OMB referred to
this memorandum again in the FY2007 R&D budget guidance, which reiterated the
importance of performance assessment for R&D programs (Joint OMB/OSTP M-05-
18). According to Section 5 of Analytical Perspectives, FY2007, agencies were
required to use OMB criteria to measure research outcomes, focusing on three
investment criteria — relevance, quality, and performance. R&D performed by
industry is to meet additional criteria relating to the appropriateness of public
investment and to identification of decision points to transition the activity to the
private sector.
The Administration has assessed some R&D programs with the Program
Assessment Rating Tool (PART), which uses the OMB/OSTP R&D investment
criteria and other measures.47 PART results for 102 R&D programs evaluated over
the past four years were used when making budget decisions. OMB’s Analytical
Perspectives volume reported that of these, at least 29 programs were effective and
41 were moderately effective. Commentators have pointed out that it is particularly
difficult to define priorities for most research and to measure the results quantitatively,
since research outcomes cannot be defined well in advance and often take a long time
to demonstrate, possibly precluding use of performance measures to recommend
budget levels for most R&D. Some observers say that many congressional staff are
not yet comfortable with using performance measurement data to make budget
decisions and prefer to use traditionally formatted budget information, which focuses
on inputs, rather than outputs.48 Congress may increase attention to the use of R&D
performance measures in authorization and appropriations actions especially as
constraints grow on discretionary spending. In June 2005, OMB sent Congress draft
legislation to authorize results commissions to evaluate programs and recommend
restructuring or termination of those deemed ineffective.49

47 John H. Marburger, Director Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Rob Portman,
Director, Office of Management and Budget, “FY2008 Administration Research and
Development Budget priorities,” Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and
Agencies, M-06-17, June 23, 2006.
48 Amelia Gruber, “Lawmakers Remain Skeptical of Linking Budget, Performance,”
GovExec.com, Jan. 13, 2004, and GAO, Performance Budgeting: Observations on the Use
of OMB’s Program Assessment Rating Tool for the Fiscal Year 2004 Budget, GAO-04-174,
Jan. 2004.
49 Available at [http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0605/063005a1.htm]. See also CRS

The NAS’s most recent report advising on use of performance measures for
research is Implementing the Government Performance and Results Act for Research:
A Status Report, 2001. As for congressional interest, the House Science Committee’s
science policy report, Unlocking Our Future, 1998, commonly called the Ehlers
report, recommended that a “portfolio” approach be used when applying GPRA to
basic research. The House adopted a rule with the passage of H.Res. 5 (106th
Congress) requiring all “committee reports [to] include a statement of general
performance goals and objectives, including outcome-related goals and objectives for
which the measure authorizes funding.”

49 (...continued)
Report RL32671 Federal Program Performance Review: Program Assessment and Results
Act and Other Developments, by Virginia A. McMurtry.

Appendix Table. R&D in the Budget, by Agency, Based Largely on AAAS Data
(Budget authority in millions of dollars)
FY2007FY2007% Change, FY06-FY11, estimate
FY2007SenateFinal or
FY2001 FY2002 FY2003 FY2004 FY2005 FY2006 FY2007 House Apps. Co nf. Current Co nst a nt
Selected agencies & programsactualactualactualactualactualestimaterequestApps. Comm.Rept.$$
Department of Agriculture total$2,181$2,112$2,334$2,222$2,410$2,411$2,012$2,312$2,331-20.2%-28.2%
(Agr. Res. Service)(1,012)(1,234)(1,294)(1,165)(1,310)(1,288)(1,027)(1,216)(1,229)
(Forest Service)(245)(265)(265)(312)(316)(313)(302)(321)(302)
Department of Commerce total1,0301,3281,2001,1371,1211,0741,0649951,26513.92.5
(NOAA) (561) (611) (666) (640) (646) (617) (578) (509) (779) (-10.0) (-19.1)
iki/CRS-RL33511(NIST) (413) (460) (491) (457) (444) (423) (450) (450) (450) (49.9) (34.9)
g/w(ATP) ((Within NIST))(118)(150)(153)((134))((111))((60))((0))((0))
leakDepartment of Defense Total42,74049,87759,29665,94870,26972,48574,07676,20874,182$75,519-1.7-11.6
(S&T (6.1-6.3+ medical))(9,365)(10,337)(11,186)(12,377)(13,564)(13,778)(11,214)(13,688)(12,394)(13,614)
://wikiDepartment of Education264265282299308302299301301-5.1-14.6
httpDepartment of Energy total7,7338,0788,3128,7638,6208,7219,0479,3269,59719.37.3
(Ato mic/Defense)/(NNSA+Defense) (3,462) (3 ,855) (4 ,049) (4 ,198) (4 ,009) (4 ,062) (3 ,975) (4 ,057) (4 ,064) (5 .9) (-4.8)
(Energy & Science)(4,271)(4,224)(4,263)(4,565)(4,611)(4,659)(5,072)(5,269)(5,533)
Dept. of HHS Total21,04523,69627,41128,52129,16129,11129,06228,99729,292-2.5-12.3
(NIH) (19,807) (22,714) (26,398) (27,248) (27,875) (27,805) (27,810) (27,714) (28,005) (-2.3) (-12.1)
Dept. of Homeland Security* 2667371,0281,2401,2811,1499741,0451,0036.1-4.6
Dept. of the Interior Total621641643627621635595633642-10.2-19.2
(U.S. Geological Survey)(566)(583)(550)(553)(546)(559)(532)(568)(569)
Dept. of Transportation Total718778700665707838767807793-9.5-18.6

FY2007FY2007% Change, FY06-FY11, estimate
FY2007SenateFinal or
FY2001 FY2002 FY2003 FY2004 FY2005 FY2006 FY2007 House Apps. Co nf. Current Co nst a nt
Selected agencies & programsactualactualactualactualactualestimaterequestApps. Comm.Rept.$$
Department of Veterans Affairs719756 819866742765765790778-2.5-12.3
Environmental Protection Agency574592567662641600557608596-8.2-17.4
NASA Total9,88710,22410,68110,80310,61811,29512,20212,15312,16657.341.5
(Space Flight)(2,901)(2,461)(3,613)
(Science, Aeronautics, Tech.)(7,024)(7,840)(7,386)
(Science, Aeronautics,(8,974)(9,051)(9,721)(10,524)(10,482)(10,489)
National Science Foundation3,3203,5253,9264,1234,1024,1754,5234,5224,50542.528.2
iki/CRS-RL33511All other R&D702912391724729773767764775-1.7-11.6
g/wTo t a l 91,534 102,899 117,439 126,389 131,289 134,465 136,885 139,390 138,286 5.5 -5.1
s.orNo n-Defense 45,332 49,167 54,552 56,046 56,648 57,565 58,496 58,788 59,713 14.6 3 .1
Non-Defense Minus NIH(25,525)(26,453)(28,243)(28,798)(28,773)(29,760)(30,686)(31,074)(31,708)
://wikiDefense/Energy Defense46,20253,73162,88770,34474,64176,90078,38880,60278,573-1.2-11.2
Notes: Totals may not add due to rounding. Data include conduct of R&D and R&D facilities. Not all subagency R&D data is given, therefore the sums may not
equal the agency total. Based largely on data in tables prepared by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), including data from “AAAS
Analysis of R&D in the FY2007 Budget — Revised (Part 2 of 2) — Tables,” Revised March 8, 2006, at [http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/prev07tb.htm]. Data from
previous years tables appear at [http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/]. AAAS bases its tables on OMB data, agency budget justifications, information from agency budget
offices, and appropriations action. Data in italics in parentheses are parts of the total and have been included in agency totals. See also CRS Report RL33345, Federal
Research and Development Funding: FY2007, by Michael E. Davey (coordinator). The final FY2005 figures include adjustments to reflect across-the-board
reductions in the FY2005 omnibus bill.
* FY2002 data for comparison purposes only. DHS began operations in FY2003. DHS figures include programs that were transferred from other agencies.
** Categories were changed after FY2003. Other includes largely space station exploration capability funding.