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AAU Summary of the President's FY20 Proposed Budget


The President presented the administration’s proposed budget for FY20 on March 11, 2019. Entitled “A Budget for A Better America,” the document and other budget materials including budget amendments are available on the Office of Management and Budget website. The overview below and the accompanying summaries and analyses for individual agencies are based on the administration’s budget documents. All figures denote budget authority unless otherwise noted.

The administration’s FY20 proposed budget sets overall spending at $4.7 trillion, including $1.317 trillion in total discretionary funding, which is a 1.8 percent cut below FY19. 

Within overall discretionary spending, the budget includes $543 billion in non-defense discretionary spending in line with the Budget Control Act (BCA) cap for FY20, plus another $24 billion in disaster relief funds for a total of $567 billion. This is approximately an 8.5 percent cut below FY19. 

For defense discretionary spending the budget includes $750 billion, including $576 billion in line with the BCA for FY20, plus $174 billion for overseas contingency operations (OCO) spending. OCO spending does not count against the BCA spending caps. Within the OCO spending is $8.6 billion for border security. 

The administration’s budget proposes significant cuts to mandatory spending programs totaling approximately $1.25 trillion over 10 years, including $51.8 billion in FY20. The budget also forecasts a $1.1 trillion deficit in 2019, 2020, and 2021, and a $1 trillion deficit in 2022.

AAU issued a statement on the administration’s budget. Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, of which AAU is a member, also issued a statement.

Download AAU Summary of the Trump Administration FY20 Proposed Budget



Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)

The budget provides $500 million for AFRI, an $85 million increase, or 20.5 percent, from FY19. The budget prioritizes competitive research through USDA’s flagship grant program.

USDA Budget Summary

Department of Defense (DOD)

The budget provides $642.4 billion in base defense funding and $67 million for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). The budget provides $2.3 billion for 6.1 basic research, a $300 million, or 11.4 percent reduction from the FY19 funding level. Science and Technology (S&T) is funded at $14 billion, reflecting a $2 billion or 12 percent reduction below FY19.

DOD R-1; Defense Budget Overview

Department of Energy (DOE)

The budget provides $5.546 billion for the DOE Office of Science, a decrease of $1.039 million, or 16 percent, from FY19. The budget proposes elimination for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).

DOE Press Release & Fact Sheet; DOE FY20 Congressional Budget in Brief

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

The budget provides $22.6 billion for NASA, a $1,100 million, or 5 percent, increase from FY19. The FY2020 NASA budget includes, $6.393 billion for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), which is a $512 million, or 7 percent decrease from FY19. The FY20 budget requests $1.146 million, a $219 million, or 23 percent, increase for the Space Technology Mission Directorate. The budget requests: $1.779 billion for Earth Science; $2.662 billion for Planetary Science; $844.80 million for Astrophysics; and $704.5 million for Heliophysics. The FY20 budget requests $666.9 million for the Aeronautics Mission Directorate, which is a decrease of $58.1 million from FY19. The FY20 budget requests $6.396 million for Deep Space Exploration, a $1.345 million or 26 percent increase. The FY20 budget proposes the eliminates the Office of STEM Engagement, which includes funding the National Space Grant Fellowship.

NASA Summary Budget Briefing ; NASA Agency Fact Sheet ; NASA Mission Fact Sheets ; NASA Budget Amendment Summary.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

The budget provides $38 million for NEH, a $117 million, or 75 percent, decrease from FY19. The budget proposes to begin shutting down the NEH in 2020 because the administration does not consider the activities within the agency to be “within its core Federal responsibilities.” Grants that extend beyond FY20 will continue to receive funding and matching offers made before the beginning of FY20 will be honored.

NEH Appropriations Request for FY2020

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The budget provides funding for NIH at $34.4 billion,* a decrease of $4.7 billion, or 12.1 percent, from the FY19 level. The budget includes $492 million in resources available through the 21st Century Cures Act funding as well as $256 million for AHRQ which would be moved under the NIH umbrella.

HHS Budget in Brief ; NIH FY20 Justification

*DHHS’ Budget in Brief document cites two different top line numbers for NIH. Figure is subject to change.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

The FY20 budget requests $7.1 billion for NSF, which is $975 million or a 12 percent decrease from FY19. The budget request for Research and Related Activities Directorate is $5.663 billion, a $857 million, or 13 percent decrease from FY19. The budget requests $823.47 million for the Education and Human Resources Directorate, a $87 million, or 10 percent decrease from FY19. The budget also includes $223.23 million for Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction, which is $72.51 million, or 25 percent below FY19.  

FY20 NSF Budget Table; NSF FY2020 Budget Request



Department of Education (ED)

The budget provides $22.5 billion in discretionary funding for the Pell Grant program in 2020, which, combined with mandatory funding, would support a maximum award of $6,195. This maximum award does not account for an inflation adjustment. The budget proposes expanding the Pell Grant program to cover short-term programs that provide students with a “credential, certification, or license in an in-demand field.” The May 13 budget amendments also propose a cancellation of $3.9 billion unobligated carryover funds in the Pell program to be used for deficit reduction.

Other ED programs:

  • Federal Work Study (FWS) would be funded at $500 million, a decrease of $630 million or 55.75 percent from FY19;
  • Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG) would be eliminated. The budget notes SEOG is "largely duplicative of the Pell Grant program and does not deliver need-based aid in the most targeted way;"
  • Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) would be eliminated. The budget notes that GAANN's activities are more appropriately supported through other Federal, State, local, and private funds;
  • Institute of Education Sciences (IES) would be funded at $521.56 million, a $93.9 million, or 15.26 percent decrease below FY19; and
  • International Education and Foreign Language Studies (Title VI) would be eliminated. The budget notes that the program supports activites that would be better advanced by other agencies whose primary mission is national security.

The budget also proposes various reforms to address student debt, college costs, and student financial aid programs. Notably, the Administration proposes to dramatically reform the Federal Work-Study program to allocate funding to institutions enrolling high numbers of Pell Grant recipients that would support workforce and career-oriented training opportunities for low-income undergraduate students.

It also includes a risk-sharing proposal to hold institutions of higher education accountable for results by requiring colleges and universities to share a portion of the financial responsibility associated with Federal student loans to encourage them to improve performance.

The Administration also proposes to consolidate the various income-based repayment programs into a single plan to prioritize repayment for undergraduate borrowers. This single income-based repayment plan would cap a borrower’s monthly payment at 12.5 percent of discretionary income. For undergraduate borrowers, any remaining balance after a 15-year repayment period would be forgiven. For borrowers with graduate debt, any balance remaining after a 30-year repayment period would be forgiven. In addition, the budget proposes ending Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), a debt forgiveness program for public servants, and proposes to eliminate subsidized student loans. These policies together would provide an estimated savings of $207 billion over the next decade.

The budget also requests $1.8 billion for student loan servicing, a $133 million increase from the current year. The funding would support the Trump administration's "NextGen" plan to overhaul how the federal government collects federal student loans.

The budget funds the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at $125 million, which reflects level funding from FY19. Within OCR, it calls for funding 619 full time employees, compared to the 625 full time employees it currently supports.

ED Budget Summary and Background Information; Budget Table