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President Obama Releases FY 2016 Federal Budget Proposal

The White House
image © Tom Lohdan

On February 2, President Obama released his proposed FY 2016 Budget of the US Government, which focuses on “middle-class economics.” This budget would increase federal spending for many higher education programs and ignore sequestration caps that have severely impacted funding for research and development and other federal programs that support teaching, research, and learning.

The proposed budget would increase funding for federal R&D by 5.5% compared to FY 2015, resulting in a 5.2% ($379 million) increase for the National Science Foundation (NSF), bringing the NSF allocation to $7.7 billion. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would also see a significant increase in its budget allocation from FY 2015—a 3.3% ($1 billion) increase bringing the budget to $31.3 billion. The proposal would boost the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) budget by 1.3% ($1.9 million) to $147.9 million. The budget also includes a 4.2% ($9.6 million) increase for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for a total of $237.4 million.

In a sign of commitment to public and open data policies, there are references to opening up “government-generated assets, including data and the results of federally funded research…to the public” throughout different sections of the budget proposal.

For more information about the budget, see the February 2, 2015, White House Blog entry by Lindsay Holst and Tanya Somanader, “5 New Things about the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget.”