Biden Administration Proposes Increasing Science Funding in Fiscal Year 2024 Request
President Joe Biden released his President’s Budget Request March 9. This request marks the start of the appropriations process for fiscal year 2024, which starts October 1, 2023. The House and Senate will begin drafting spending bills in the coming weeks.
Across administrations, the President’s Budget Request is typically viewed as a “wishlist” and allows the administration to demonstrate its priorities and vision for the federal government.
Overall, the request provides significant increases to most agencies and programs relevant to ecological science, although the request falls about $5 billion short of the amount authorized in the CHIPS and Science Act, passed by Congress this past fall.
Biden’s request includes a 5.2% cost of living increase for federal employees. This would be the largest raise for federal employees since the Carter Administration but falls short of the 8.7% increase supported by federal employee unions and some Congressional Democrats.
National Science Foundation
The President’s FY 2024 budget request to Congress includes $11.314 billion for NSF, an increase of 18.6% from FY2023 levels.
Department of Agriculture
Citing competition with China, the administration includes over $4 billion for agricultural research, a $299 million increase. This includes funding for climate research and increasing research capacity among historically underserved populations.
The Biden administration proposes $12 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, around a 19% increase over FY 2023 levels. This includes $5 billion for climate programs and $1.8 billion for environmental justice. The request notes that this funding level will allow the agency to add more than 2,400 employees, restoring its capacity to carry out its mission.
Overall, Biden seeks a 9% raise for the Department of the Interior. This includes $5.7 billion for climate adaptation and resilience and $366 million for climate science research.
The request includes $3.8 billion for the National Park Service, a $289 million increase over the previous year.
The Bureau of Land Management receives $1.669 billion, a $140 million increase, in the request. This includes funding to support the America the Beautiful initiative, which seeks to protect 30% of public lands and water by 2030 and $12 million for youth corps programs.
Biden allocates $1.786 billion for the U.S. Geological Survey, an increase of $288.3 million over FY2023 levels. This includes $395 million for the Ecosystems Mission Area, an $87.8 million increase. The Climate Adaptation Science Center and Land Change Science programs are funded at $128.0 million, $44.8 million above FY 2023 enacted levels.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service receives $4.1 billion, a $314.9 million increase, in Biden’s proposal.
The Earth Science Directorate receives $2.5 billion, a 14% increase.
Department of Energy
Biden seeks to increase the budget of the Office of Science by 9%.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The request includes $231 million for NOAA’s climate research programs, a $7 million increase above FY 2023 levels. The budget also includes $87 million for marine sanctuaries and protected areas, contributing to the Biden administration’s goal to protect 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030.