Almost five months into FY 2011, the US still has no budget for the year, operating on a continuing resolution that funds the government at FY 2010 levels until March 4. The House Republicans have come up with a proposal for huge budget cuts, which would arrive late in the fiscal year, probably requiring national labs like Fermilab to essentially shutdown for the remainder of the fiscal year. John Conway has more about this here. No one seems to seriously believe this proposal will pass into law.
This morning, the White House announced its budget proposal for FY 2012. The DOE Office of Science would get a healthy increase, to $5.416 billion from $4.964 billion in 2010. Similarly, the NSF would go from $6.873 billion to $7.768. However, the Administration’s FY 2011 request ended up being pretty much irrelevant, and it’s not clear that this one will fare any better. No information yet on how HEP and mathematics fare specifically in these requests.
So, bottom line is that no one really knows what this year or next year’s budget numbers will be, with the House proposal a lower bound for this year, and I suspect the president’s proposal will be an upper bound for next year.
Midday tomorrow, Fermilab director Oddone will give an all-hands talk at Fermilab to discuss the implications of all this for the lab.
Update: At the DOE, the FY2012 request for High Energy Physics is $797 million, versus $791 million in FY 2010 (last year at this time, the FY 2011 request was for $829 million). More details here.
Details of the NSF budget request are here. Mathematics research goes from $241 million in FY 2010 to $260 million in FY 2012. Physics from $290 million to $300 million. The NSF has pulled the plug on the DUSEL lab, freeing up $36 million/year, which is repurposed towards what they describe as their three priority areas: physics of the universe, quantum information science and the physics-biology interface.