Fermilab Director Pier Oddone

There is no news yet on the budget for FY11, although we hope for some resolution within the next few days, as the current Continuing Resolution expires this Friday. There are, however, several important issues to note while we wait.

Yesterday, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rogers (R-KY) introduced another Continuing Resolution to extend funding through April 15, with another $12 billion in spending reductions attached to it. If passed, those reductions would not affect Fermilab.

Later this morning, the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan (R-WI), is expected to unveil his proposed budget resolution for FY12. We expect it to contain more tough budget medicine, including overall caps on spending by the Appropriations Committee. It will also propose significant reforms in the health entitlement programs (Medicare and Medicaid) and other programs to help tackle the federal deficit and debt. Reports are that the proposed House budget resolution will cut spending by $4 trillion over 10 years, so you can see the magnitude of the proposed reductions. The House resolution will not necessarily be adopted by the full Congress (last year neither the House nor Senate passed a budget resolution), but it will certainly be a sobering look at the nation’s budgetary future.

On March 18, as input to the House Budget Committee deliberations, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee approved and forwarded its views and estimates providing guidance on what it sees as priorities for the FY12 budget cycle. In particular the Committee strongly supported the priority of Office of Science within the DOE programs. The views and estimates approved by the Committee are available online.

In addition to the approved views and estimates, the link includes the majority (Republican) views, the minority (Democratic) views as well as those of individual members, including Rep. Hultgren’s views on support of basic research in high energy physics and at Fermilab. While the views and estimates of the Science, Space and Technology Committee are not binding, they are important input to the Budget Committee and they make interesting reading.