President’s FY 2023 Budget Request for Social and Behavioral Science

As previously reported, the Biden Administration released its fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget request to Congress on March 28. The FY 2023 budget prioritizes investment in areas of central importance to the Biden Administration, such as innovation and competitiveness, cancer research, and technological advancement.

In addition, like we saw in last year’s budget request, the Administration’s budget underscores the President’s commitment to science as a means for addressing large societal challenges, such as climate change, racism, and, of course, pandemic recovery. However, the budget seeks to achieve these ends through targeted investments that could potentially come at the expense of other programs and agencies; some of the proposals may be viewed as controversial by some in the research community.

The FY 2023 budget request also reflects, for the first time in decades, funding for two new research entities that were requested last year by the Administration and officially established in the FY 2022 omnibus appropriations bill: the new Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships Directorate at the National Science Foundation and ARPA-H at the National Institutes of Health. There are likely to be growing pains in FY 2023 as those entities take shape and as resources as allocated.

The release of the FY 2023 budget request is the official kick-off of “appropriations season.” Congressional committees have begun their oversight hearings for departments and agencies under their purview featuring testimony by Administration officials. House Appropriations Committees typically try to introduce and mark up their versions of the bills in early summer with the Senate often lagging several weeks behind. The start of the month-long August recess in which lawmakers return home to engage with constituents is a typical target for Appropriations Committees to complete their work on the bills and bring them to the floor for consideration. However, 2022 is a mid-term election year, which will all but guarantee that the work of Congress will grind to a halt by late summer or early fall. As always, Congress will aim to make as much progress as possible on FY 2023 appropriations before leaving Washington for the elections; however, it is common, if not likely, that Congress will delay final passage of FY 2023 funding legislation at least until after the November elections, if not until next calendar year, depending on the outcome of the midterms.

Read COSSA’s in-depth analysis of the FY 2023 budget request.

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