Demand for RIS awards has greatly exceeded funding since the program’s first appropriation in FY 2014. For its lifetime appropriations of $57 million, EDA has received 830 applications for $245 million in funding.
The House commerce, justice and science appropriations bill also would fund MEP at $140 million, equal to its FY 2018 level, and increase NSF’s budget by more than $400 million to $8.2 billion.
The FY 2019 budget process has only just begun. The House will still need to advance its bill through the full committee and floor, while the Senate has not introduced its subcommittee draft. This year’s process benefits by starting with an agreed upon overall funding level — a continuation of the two-year agreement that held up the FY 2018 process — but is still likely to be done after the start of the next fiscal year.
In the meantime, the White House has introduced a plan to retroactively cut $15.4 billion from funding that remains available from FY 2017 and older budgets. The proposal includes eliminating $30 million from the Economic Development Administration, curtailing the ability of the agency to use remaining funds in the FY 2018 award cycles. The House and Senate appropriations committees have yet to decide if or how to prioritize this proposal against advancing the FY 2019 funding bills.