The Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25) raised the nation’s debt limit to permit continued borrowing, but also prescribed mandatory budget cuts—nearly one trillion over a 10-year period—to help restore economic health by reining in the national debt and annual budget deficits. The cuts took effect in March 2013 across all federal agencies and programs. These across the board cuts in defense and nondefense spending (equal in dollar terms) are collectively referred to as “sequestration.”
The following chart is meant as an illustrative example of the potential effects sequestration would have on relevant science and technology agencies and programs.
(Dollars in millions)
|U.S. agency or
|Department of Defense, Science and Technology||$23,344||$2,007||$21,337|
|Department of Education, Effective Teaching and Learning: STEM*||$150||$12||$138|
|Department of Education, Investing in Innovation (i3)||$150||$12||$138|
|Department of Energy, Office of Science||$5,501||$400||$5,101|
|Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development||$817||$65||$752|
|National Institutes of Health||$34,093||$2,518||$31,575|
|National Institute of Standards and Technology||$761||$62||$699|
|National Science Foundation||$7,204||$577||$6,627|
For the Department of Defense, sequestration reductions were calculated using a 9.4% across-the-board cut on new discretionary appropriations for, per the Presidential Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) September 2012 Report to Congress.
For all other agencies, sequestration reductions were calculated using an 8.2% across-the-board cut on new discretionary appropriations, and a 7.6%, per the Presidential Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) September 2012 Report to Congress.
The OMB report used FY2012 Budget appropriations to determine the impact of the sequester.