First Trump budget proposes major cuts to federal research programs


President Donald Trump sent his first full budget request to Congress on May 23. The $4.1 trillion package calls for an increase to defense spending of $22 billion and a $57 billion cut to nondefense spending, which includes most research funding programs, like those within the USDA, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy - Office of Science. Some details are listed below.

  • USDA Agricultural Research Service cut by $177 million (-15%)
  • USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture cut by $116 million (-8%)
  • National Science Foundation cut by $819 million (-11%)
  • Department of Energy Office of Science cut by $919 million (-17%)
  • U.S. Geological Survey cut by $163 million (-15%)
  • Science and Technology within the Environmental Protection Agency cut by $263 million (-36%)

It is important to remember however, the President’s budget reflects the administration’s priorities, not necessarily the priorities of Congress. Many members of Congress have already spoken out against the cuts and changing the allocation between defense and nondefense spending violates the Budget Control Act and would require a change in the current law to enact. Over the next several months, members of Congress will work together to develop the appropriations bills that will set federal spending for the upcoming fiscal year 2018.

150 scientific organizations, including ASA, CSSA and SSSA, sent to a letter to House and Senate leadership opposing the cuts to federal research programs and urging Congress to prioritize these programs during the FY 2018 appropriations process.

Follow the budget process as it progresses here.