Fusion Power Associates
2 Professional Drive, Suite 249
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
phone: (301) 258-0545
fax: (301) 975-9869
e-mail: FusionPwrAssoc@aol.com
web: http://fusionpower.org


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FPN06-79

Congress Fails to Pass FY 2007 Budget

December 11, 2006

The U. S. Congress adjourned in the early hours of December 9 without passing most of the FY 2007 appropriations bills, including the Department of Energy budget that includes fusion. FY 2007 began last October 1. Instead, the Congress passed another "continuing resolution" designed to keep the government running at the FY 2006 level until mid-February.

Since a new Congress, that will now be controlled by the Democratic Party instead of Republicans, takes office in January, all bets are off as to what will happen to FY 2007 funding. A FY 2008 budget proposal will sent to Congress by President Bush early in 2007.

When Congress adjourns for the year, as this one just did, all previously passed bills in the separate houses that did not result in final bills sent to the President become null and void. Programs that would have received funding increases in FY 2007 over FY 2006 thus are especially negatively affected. In the case of the DOE Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, this means the program must continue to operate with a budget of $288 million, instead of the $319 million that had been approved separately in House and Senate bills. The increase of $31 million was earmarked to bring U. S. expenditures for ITER to $60 million in FY 2007.