The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden released its budget for fiscal year 2023 today. While Congress controls the purse strings, a president’s budget request to them serves as a strong marker of an administration’s policy priorities and a starting point for budget negotiations for Congress, federal agencies, advocacy organizations, and lobbyists on K Street. To see how this guidance may (or may not) be honored, last year the executive branch requested $10.2 billion for the National Science Foundation; in turn, the nation’s largest funder of basic social and behavioral science research received $8.8 billion.
Traditionally the administration’s budget will be released in February and many professional organizations host “fly-ins” in March and April for their members to call upon their respective members of Congress to allocate funding for their policy and research priorities.
While the budget (aka appropriations) process begins in the spring, in recent years it has not been signed into law until late summer at the earliest – and the current fiscal year’s budget was only passed this month, a half year after it began. If an agreement cannot be reached by October 1, the beginning of the fiscal year, a continuing resolution is passed to avoid a federal government shutdown while the negotiations and federal government can keep the lights on. It is worth noting, that these agreements often do not get agreed to unless there is a multi-week “recess” from congressional action, where members return to working in their districts.
What does this year’s budget suggest for key agencies that provide social and behavioral science funding?
National Science Foundation
- The Biden Administration’s National Science Foundation topline request is $10.5 billion, which if passed by Congress, would be a $1.7 billion increase from the final amount signed into law. The FY2022 Biden request to Congress was $10.2 billion.
- For NSF’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, the Biden Administration requested $330 million, which is an increase from 2022’s request of $319 million.
- The administration’s request for NSF’s research and related activities account for FY2022 was $8.1 billion and FY2023 is $8.4 billion. Congress funded this account for FY2022 at $7.2 billion.
Department of Commerce
Bureau of Economic Analysis
- The request pushes for $140.9 million for the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), which is a $24.9 million increase over its FY 2022 enacted level of $116 million.
- The Biden Administration’s request for FY2023 $1.5 billion, which provides $160 million for the 2020 Census, $252 million for the 2030 Census preparation, $245.6 million for the American Community Survey, and $170 million for Economic Census. For FY2022, it was enacted at $1.35 billion.
Department of Education
- The FY2023 budget request for the Institute of Education Sciences is $662.5 million, which would be a 10.1 percent cut from the FY 2022 enacted level.
Department of Health and Human Services
- The Biden Administration’s request for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is $62.5 billion for FY2023, which is a big bump from the $45 billion that was recently signed into law for 2022. Biden’s budget request for 2022 was $51 billion.
- For the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), the budget request includes $30.5 million for OBSSR, a cut of $8.4 million. The FY 2022 enacted level included the highest-ever funding level for OBSSR at $38.9 million.
- The FY 2023 request for firearm research is $25 million from NIH and $35 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For FY2022, Congress funded research related to firearm injury and mortality via NIH’s Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, at $12.5 million, the same level as FY2021 and FY2020. The CDC also had the same levels for those years.
- The request would allocate $376.1 million to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which would be an increase of $25.7 million over FY2022.
- The Administration request includes $181.9 million for the National Center for Health Statistics, a $1.5 million or 0.9 percent increase over FY2022.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
- The Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) request totals $145 million for FY 2023, $400,000 below its FY 2022 appropriation.
Department of Justice
- The President’s budget request includes $45 million for the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which is a $ 5 million increase from the FY2022 enacted level.
- For the National Institute of Justice, the President’s budget request is $43 million, which would be which would represent a $13 million increase to the agency above the its FY2022 level of $30 million.
Department of Labor
- The request for FY2023 level is $741.7 million for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an increase of $53.8 million from the FY2022 enacted level.
Department of Transportation
- The Administration’s request for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics is $26.25 million in FY2023, representing the first growth in BTS’s funding level since FY 2014.