FY19 Statistical Agency Budget Developments

By Steve Pierson posted 02-12-2018 12:00

The Trump Administration released its FY19 budget request February 12, 2018. I will be filling in information as I become aware of it. This blog entry will track FY19 appropriations developments for the federal statistical agencies and so will be updated accordingly. (See update log below.) Note that the FY18 budgets are not expected to be finalized until March 23 so that column remains empty in the table below. Links to the FY18 budgets developments are just above table below. To receive notifications of updates, follow ASA Science Policy on Twitter: @ASA_SciPol. 

See also FY19 NIH, NSF, AHRQ, & FDA Budget Developments and the FY 2019 R&D Appropriations Dashboard (select "statistics" tab).



     Agency      FY12     FY13    FY14    FY15     FY16   FY17  FY18    Request    % change vs. FY18    House    Senate     Final   % change 
BEA 92.2  89.8  95.4  96.3  105.1 103.8 99.0 98.0 -1.0 99** 102** 101 +2
BJS 41.3  41.3  45  41 41  45.5 48.0 41.0 -14.6 50** 48** 43 -10
BLS 609  577.2  592.2  592.2  609.0 609.0  612.0 609.0 -0.5 612*** 615*** 615 0.5
BTS1 25  26  26  26  26 26 26  26 0 NA NA NA 0
Census7 9422  859.32 945   1088  1370 1457 2814 3797 34.9 4800** 3821* 3821 +36
EIA 105  99.5  117  117  122 122  125 115 -8 125*** 125.0*** 125 0
ERS4 85.9  79.1  85.8  85.4  85.4 86.8 86.8 45 -48.1 86.8** 86.8** 86.8 0
NASS4 167.8  175.8  170.4  172.4  168.4  171.2 191.7 165 -13.9 173.7** 174.8** 174.5 -9
NCES3 247  225.9  235.1  232 261  258.5   258.5 261.5 +1.26 258.5*** 260.5*** 260.5 0.8
NCSES 43.3  41.6 47   58.3  58.3 59.7 62.4 59.88 0 (from FY17) 60.2 -3.6
NCHS5 159 153.8 155.4  155.4  160.4 160.4 160.4  155 -3.4 160.4*** 161.4*** 160.4 0
ORES 29  27.5  26.9 29  25.9  24 27 31 +29.2 (from FY17)  30 11
SOI 38.7  34.9 37.1  36.8 37.8  34.3 35.2 35 +2 (from FY17) 34.7 4.6


Levels in millions of dollars; Agency abbreviations listed below; NCES is for Statistics and Assessment (not NAGB or SLDS)
Latest Action: *Subcommittee mark-up; **Committee mark-up; ***Passed the Floor
&Not available because of lack of sufficient detail in summary, bill or conference report; 
NATD (or blank): No Action To Date
1The BTS is funded through the Highway Trust Fund with levels determined by the authorizing committees. 
2The  FY12 and FY13 levels include funds from the Working Capital Fund (WCF), as mandated by Congress. These level may differ than what I report in the "final" column of the FY12 and FY13 columns of other blog entries.
3The NCES budget level includes both statistics and assessment, but not Salary and Expenses for years FY12-FY15. The levels do not include budget for National Assessment Governing Board. 
4ERS and NASS went through budget revisions in FY15. The FY12, FY13, and FY14 levels have been adjusted to be comparable to the FY15, FY16, FY17 and subsequent levels. The actual FY12, FY13, and FY14 levels for ERS and NASS are $78.2 M, $71.4 M, $78.1 M and $158.6 M, $166.6 M, and $161.2 M, respectively. The FY19 request has a sharper cut than indicated here as there is a $10 million increases to help phase out staff. 
5The NCHS budget went through an realignment from FY14 to FY15 to account for NCHS having to include business support services provided by the CDC. The comparable FY12, FY13, FY14 and FY15 levels are $138.7 million, 138.7, 140, and 140 respectively.
This is not new funding as the administration proposes to cut the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) programs and transfer a component into NCES. See below.  
7The Census budget levels here omit about $30 million in mandatory funding. 
8  The original amount reported here, $46 M, did not account for the budget addendum that was added in the days leading up to 2/12/18 after the budget deal for FY18 and FY19 raising the budget caps. Before that deal, the administration had proposed to cut the NSF budget by approximately 30% in its FY19 request. The updated amount is more than the $51.19 M in the NSF budget document, which shows flat funding from FY17, and omits staff support.  

Because this blog entry covers everything from the budget request to the final determination of the budget, it can become quite long. To help with that, I'll try to partition the blog entry:

FY19 Budget Request Highlights

  • Specific Agencies
    • BEA Congressional Budget Justification excerpts or notes:
      • Most of the BEA cuts are to Other services from non-federal sources and Purchases of goods and services from Gov't  
      • Consistent with the proposed FY 2018 consolidation of the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA), the Under Secretary
        for Economic Affairs will reside as a discrete office to directly support the Secretary in conducting oversight responsibilities of the
        Department’s economic and statistical analysis programs. The Under Secretary leads oversight activities of both BEA and the
        Census Bureau on high priority management, budget, employment, and risk management issues, such as the 2020 Decennial
        Census, by integrating such work with the priorities and requirements of the Department and other government entities. The Under
        Secretary also advises the Secretary and other Government officials on matters related to economic developments, and the
        development of positions relating to economic policy and participation in White House policy councils and the Secretary’s role on
        the Board of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
      • The consolidation of ESA proposed in the FY 2018 Budget will reorganize functions within BEA, the Census Bureau, and the Office of the Under
        Secretary for Economic Affairs. This will result in the permanent reduction in 15 appropriated positions. However, existing career staff will be
        reassigned to vacant, funded positions within the gaining organizations.  
    • Census Congressional Budget Justification 
      • Cut of $6.1 million to Current Surveys & Programs: increase of $2.35 billion to Periodic Censuses & Programs. 
      • Cut of $11 million to Household surveys and specifically Current Demographic Statistics:
        • "In FY 2019, the Current Demographic Statistics programs funding levels will allow for Current Population Survey data collection, the production of a Supplemental Poverty Measure, and the production of Small Area Health Insurance Estimates.
          FY 2019 resource levels will allow the first wave of the new FY 2019 Survey of Income and Program Participation panel to include approximately 31,900 households. This smaller sample will provide the data users need to analyze income, poverty, and program participation. In addition, the national population projections will be calculated once every four years, and outreach and benchmarking work for international migration will be prioritized to meet the most critical needs.
          The Census Bureau will also move from biannual to annual processing of Master Address File updates for current demographic surveys, reduce resources for hardware and software updates and maintenance, and prioritize research initiatives focused on reducing costs and increasing quality for the current demographic surveys.
          These actions will enable the Census Bureau to cover inflationary costs, while continuing to meet the missions of these valuable
    • DOE congressional budget justification for EIA. 
    • DOJ congressional budget justification for BJS states, "While the funding requests for NIJ and BJS in FY 2019 are equal to the request levels sought in the FY 2018 President’s Budget, this budget continues to request a set-aside of up to three percent for Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, an increase over the two percent enacted in FY2017. The set-aside amount from OJP discretionary programs supports the base programs for NIJ and BJS."
    • NASS congressional budget justification
      • A net decrease of $8,486,000 for the Agricultural Estimates Program ($128,185,000 and 646 staff years available in 2018). 
        • An increase of $600,000 for a Geospatial Improvement Initiative ($200,000 available in 2018).
        • An increase of $5,000,000 to conduct the Farm Labor Survey (no funding available in 2018).
        • A decrease of $1,350,000 to the Bee and Honey Program ($2,902,000 available in 2018).
        • A decrease of $4,003,000 to Chemical Use Program ($7,503,000 available in 2018). NASS will eliminate the fruit chemical use survey.
        • A decrease of $2,468,000 to Fruit and Vegetable Reports ($8,935,000) available in 2018). Reduction in some of the forecast for the fruit and vegetable reports.
        • A decrease of $6,264,000 to the Acreage, Crop Production and Grain Stocks ($64,542,000 available in 2018).
      • A net increase of $3,409,000 for the Census of Agriculture ($42,025,000 available in 2018).
        • A decrease of $2,385,000 due to expiration of a contract for the temporary Centralized Edit Unit 
        • An increase of $5,794,000 for 2018 Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey, Publication, and Planning
    • NCES congressional budget justification: "The additional $3 million would support the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), previously funded under Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS), which serves as a valuable resource center to State and local educational agencies, the postsecondary community, and other parties engaged in building and using education data systems on issues related to privacy, security, and confidentiality of student records." This is not new funding as the administration proposes to cut the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) programs. 
    • The IRS congressional budget justification includes as a highest priority under "Improving the Effectiveness of the IRS", this item: "Evaluation of Statistics of Income (SOI) Major Programs: The IRS SOI office will continue evaluations of its income tax products, determine projected future needs, and identify areas of potential cost savings. Cost-saving measures include replacing or supplementing statistical files with information from IRS administrative records as well as identifying statistical files that could be discontinued." The following are also included: 
      • Creating More Accessible Statistics: SOI will continue to implement its comprehensive plan to modernize its public communications efforts. Completed initiatives include extensive data visualizations, social media outreach, and redesigned Tax Stats web pages. These efforts will provide more accessible data to the public and assist SOI in leading OMB data dissemination requirements.
      • Redesign of Business Publications: SOI will complete a redesign of its business tax publications, which include data published for corporations and partnerships. The redesign will ensure compliance with new disclosure guidelines set forth in Tax Information Security Guidelines for Federal, State and Local Agencies (Publication 1075). SOI is working with customers, through public meetings, to ensure that the redesigned publications provide useful, comprehensive statistical data on businesses to the public while protecting taxpayer privacy. Researchers use this data extensively in evaluating current and proposed tax policy and estimating revenue. Additionally, the data is used by businesses for a wide range of analytics that support planning and
      • Comprehensive Taxpayer Attitude Survey: SOI assumed responsibility for the Annual Comprehensive Taxpayer Attitude Survey, formerly conducted by the IRS Oversight Board. The survey collects information from a sample of taxpayers to gain insight into taxpayer views on voluntary compliance and IRS enforcement and taxpayer services. 
      • Submission Processing Center Realignment: In conjunction with the closure of select IRS Submission Processing Centers, SOI is leading a Research, Applied Analytics & Statistics (RAAS)-wide effort to realign the processing of its statistical samples among the remaining centers. This includes a comprehensive effort to realize cost savings while still maintaining the quality and integrity of data collected for SOI’s statistical samples.
      • SOI Releases: In FY 2017, SOI released more than 200 additional tables containing detailed information on a wide range of topics. These included the Tax Year 2014 Individual Income Tax Percentile tables. The percentile tables present the number of returns, adjusted gross income, selected income items, credits, total income tax, and average tax rates tabulated by selected percentile classes and provide useful information on individual taxpayers to the public. For Tax Year 2014, the percentile tables include a new classification at the .001 percentile level – which in 2014 represented the top 1,396 returns. SOI’s other releases include updated statistical tables for sole proprietorships, estates, tax-exempt organizations and bonds, and international taxpayers and entities.
    • ERS congressional budget justification seeking "to reduce ERS’ workforce from 329 to 148 personnel." 
      • "A decrease of $21,759,000 and 78 staff years for Research on Agricultural Markets and Trade, Farms, Conservation and Agricultural Research and Development ($48,449,000 and 206 staff years available in 2018).
        "ERS will discontinue research relative to farm, conservation and trade policy, and on investments in agricultural research and development. ERS will also discontinue its annual estimates of international food security for low- and middle-income countries and research on international development that supports this activity. At the proposed funding level, research and extramural agreements associated with special initiatives such as on research innovations for policy effectiveness, drought resilience, new energy sources (including bioenergy, renewable energy and shale oil and gas), local and regional food markets, beginning farmers and ranchers, invasive species, and markets for environmental services will be eliminated.
        "With these reductions, ERS will continue to provide analysis and monthly newsletters to support participation in USDA’s Inter-Agency Commodity Estimate Committees and provide modeling and data related to USDA’s Agricultural Baseline Projections. ERS will refocus its international activities to ensure
        continued expertise and market analysis on major agricultural trading countries such as China, Brazil, and India, which are necessary to support the Inter-Agency Commodity Estimates Committees (ICEC) and USDA baseline development. ERS will produce high-quality, objective measures of farm business and household income and wealth, cost of production, and report on farm practice adoption. Research and data development – including the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) – will prioritize activities necessary to ensure objective and reliable statistics as well as the capacity to interpret and predict emerging data trends and to respond to short turn-around requests for such information."
      • "A decrease of $16,331,000 and 73 staff years for Research and Analysis on Food Assistance, Nutrition and Diet Quality ($18,941,000 and 93 staff years available in 2018).
        "ERS will continue to produce the Loss-Adjusted Food Availability Data, annual statistics to measure U.S.food security, and monthly retail food price forecasts. ERS will eliminate research and other data products on USDA food and nutrition assistance programs and on food consumption and nutrition, including all data resources related to food access and consumer food choices, including the Food Environment Atlas, Food Access Research Atlas, SNAP Data System, Fruit and Vegetable Prices, and Price Spreads from Farm to Consumer.
      • "A decrease of $5,266,000 for the Consumer Data Information Program ($5,966,000 available in 2018).
        "The Consumer Data Information Program (CDIP) funds data purchases and research to develop new data sources that support research by ERS and the academic community on the food system beyond the farm gate. In FY 2019, with the goal to rescale core responsibilities, ERS will continue to support core data for U.S. food security statistics, but will eliminate other data purchases including retail scanner data, grocery store and restaurant location data, modules on national surveys (e.g., Eating & Health Module in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' American Time Use Survey and the Flexible Consumer Behavior Survey in the National Center for Health Statistics’ National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), investments in USDA’s National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS), and will discontinue support for the academic community’s access to restricted data for research."
      • "A decrease of $4,000,000 and 20 staff years for Rural Economy and Well-being Research and Analysis ($4,000,000 and 20 staff years available in 2018).
        "ERS will discontinue all research and statistics related to the rural economy, some of which may be provided by public universities and non-profit institutions." 
      • "A decrease of $2,162,000 and 10 staff years for Food Safety Research and Analysis ($2,162,000 and 10 staff years available in 2018).
        "ERS will discontinue all research and data efforts related to food safety. The Department will support research related to food safety through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS)."
      • "A decrease of $1,650,000 for the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) ($6,650,000 available in 2018)."
        "ARMS is USDA's primary source of information on the financial condition, production practices, and resource use of America's farm businesses and the economic well-being of America's farm households.Data from ARMS are critical to many components of ERS’ core programs, including farm income estimates, cost of production estimates that capture the most recent changes by farmers in technology or production practices, national productivity accounts and research on farm structure, farm policy impacts, drivers of farm performance, technology adoption, and farm and conservation program participation. The FY 2019 funding levels would be sufficient for maintaining national and regional estimates from ARMS, but would require discontinuing the State-level estimates (currently produced for the 15 largest agricultural producing States). In addition, the periodicity of the crop and livestock commodity specific surveys would be lengthened."

Reports on FY19 request:

Reports on FY19 Congressional Developments:

Updates (and sources):

  1. FY19 Request, Table 15-1, Analytical Perspectives.
  2. 5/8/18: House CJS draft bill, for Census, BEA, and BJS
  3. 5/9/18: House Ag draft bill, for ERS and NASS
  4. 5/29/18: Senate Ag bill report, for ERS and NASS
  5. 5/29/18: Senate E&W bill for EIA
  6. 6/14/18: House draft LHHS bill for BLS; Senate Approps press release on CJS bill for Census
  7. 6/25/18: House draft LHHS report for NCES, NCHS. 
  8. 6/29/18:
    1. Senate CJS report for Census, BJS, BEA
    2. Senate LHHS report for BLS, NCHS, NCES
    3. House E&W report for EIA
  9. 10/5: final levels for BLS, NCHS
  10. 10/5: final levels for EIA
  11. 2/15/19: https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/SOM%20FY19%20Consolidated%20Appropriations%20Act.pdf
See also: 
Statistical Agency abbreviations
 BEA Bureau of Economic Analysis
BJS Bureau of Justice Statistics
BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics
BTS Bureau of Transportation Statistics 
ERS Economic Research Service
EIA Energy Information Administration
NASS National Agricultural Statistics Service
NCES National Center for Education Statistics 
NCHS National Center for Health Statistics
NCSES National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, NSF
ORES Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, SSA
SOI Statistics of Income Division, IRS

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