Summary and Analysis of Final Agreement on H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

print-no-cover.pngAuthor Lewis-Burke Associates
Title Summary and Analysis of Final Agreement on H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Publisher Council on Social Work Education, Washington, DC
Copyright February 13, 2009
Download Report (PDF, 92KB)

CONGRESS FINALIZES AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT

Late last evening, Congressional leaders put the finishing touches on the final agreement on H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and this afternoon the House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 246 to 183. Efforts by the conferees to reduce the total cost of the bill ensure the continued support of three moderate Republicans in the Senate – Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) –and give the Democrats the votes needed to pass the bill. The Senate is expected to vote on the legislation later today or tomorrow so President Obama can sign the bill into law on Monday.

The final bill totals $789.5 billion and contains investments in public works infrastructure; assistance to State and local governments; tax relief and assistance for families and businesses; and investments to address long-term challenges on health care, energy, and climate change. This document provides details of the funding in the final bill of interest to the research and academic communities.

Significant funding is provided for research agencies in the final bill, demonstrating that Congress recognizes science and innovation as playing a role in both the near-term and long-term economic health of the nation. The final levels of support for education programs were more mixed; while additional funding for Pell Grants was maintained, funding for higher education infrastructure was reduced. However, opportunities for research facilities remain within the science agencies’ funding.

Importantly, almost all the funds in the bill are available to expend between now and September 30, 2010; this provides critical flexibility to the agencies. However, as emergency spending, the additional amounts do not become part of agency base budgets for future years.

The research funding at science agencies includes:

  • National Institutes of Health: $10.4 billion.
  • National Science Foundation: $3 billion.
  • Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science: $1.6 billion. (In addition, there is $30 billion for various applied research programs at DOE.)
  • NASA: $1 billion.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: $830 million.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology: $580 million.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: None.

Education: The final package includes $53.6 billion in State Fiscal Stabilization Funds for Governors to shore up state education budgets and for use in the modernization of educational facilities. In addition, the bill also includes a $500 increase to the maximum Pell Grant, funding for Federal Work Study, a new tuition tax credit, and grants for Teacher Quality Partnerships and data collection.