President’s FY2019 Budget Request Includes 2.3B Increase for 2020 Census, Slashed Economic Research

The administration’s fiscal year 2019 (FY19) budget was released February 12, 2018, with the FY18 budget expected to be finalized in March. Besides the increase proposed for the US Census Bureau and 50% cut to the Economic Research Service, the proposal would generally cut the federal statistical agency budgets by 3–10% relative to their FY17 levels, as shown in the table in FY19 Statistical Agency Budget Developments.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics budget is held at $609 million, the same level as in FY17 and, going further back, as in FY10.

The request holds the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) close to their FY17 levels (see FY19 NIH, NSF, AHRQ, & FDA Budget Developments), which is relatively welcome news given the large cuts proposed for the two agencies in FY18. The administration was on track to again request large cuts to the two agencies in FY19, but amended their request after the FY18 and FY19 budget deal with Congress that raised the budget caps.

The administration again proposes to cut substantially the budget for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and to fold AHRQ into NIH. The FY19 request has a 26% increase for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discretionary budget authority, mostly for its medical product work.

Like its FY18 budget request, the administration’s FY19 request for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) proposes to cut its important forensic science work.

Once Congress completes the FY18 budget, it will turn to the FY19 budget deliberations. The ASA will be tracking the developments. Once the FY18 budget is finalized, we will publish the annual report in Amstat News with the details.