NYT: Congressional inaction threatens NSF supercomputer

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via the Computing Research Policy Blog

The CRA’s Policy blog pointed recently to a New York Times article on the potentially bad effects of the government’s failure to pass all but 2 of its 11 funding bills. For those agencies that aren’t the DOD and DHS, this inaction freezes budgets at 2006 levels.

All kinds of new programs and expanded growth areas are threatened, including accelerators, fusion research, and supercomputers:

The National Science Foundation, which supports basic research at universities, had expected a $400 million increase over the $5.7 billion budget it received in 2006. Now, the freeze is prompting program cuts, delays and slowdowns.

The threatened programs include a $50 million plan to build a supercomputer that universities would use to push back frontiers in science and engineering…

The really bad news is that current indicators don’t call for any relief this fiscal year:

Congressional Democrats said last month that they would not try to finish multiple spending bills left hanging by the departed Republican majority and would instead keep most government agencies operating under their current budgets until next fall.