Science Foundation

The House voted, 407 to 4, to freeze the budget of the National Science Foundation (NSF) at last year's level -- $1.5 billion. As a concession, however, the Science and Technology Committee won approval of an amendment that would allow it to decide how the money will be allocated, rather than freezing every program. The panel had recommended a $1.6 billion budget; the administration had sought $1.57 billion. The administration also asked that the NSF not spend $31.5 million appropriated for science and engineering education programs in fiscal 1985, and, instead, requested $50.5 million in new funds for 1986. The House-adopted freeze amendment preserves the administration's request for science education programs. (HR1210; April 17) Standards Bureau

The House voted, 282 to 103, to approve a $127.8 million authorization for the National Bureau of Standards, freezing the agency's budget at the fiscal 1985 level. The House first rejected, 201 to 196, a move to cut the agency's budget to the administration's request of $122.6 million, then approved the cut by a 398-to-2 vote. The Science and Technology Committee had recommended a $143.8 million budget. (HR1617; April 18) Youth Corps

Despite Republican complaints about the cost and the threat of another presidential veto, the Education and Labor Committee voted, 18 to 11, to approve legislation that would establish an American Conservation Corps. The corps would provide jobs on conservation projects for unemployed youths. The version approved by the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee authorizes $75 million a year through fiscal 1988, but the Education panel's language authorized "such sums" as needed for the program. President Reagan vetoed a similar bill last year. (HR99; April 16) SENATE

Earthquake, Fire Programs

By voice vote, the Senate approved authorizations for earthquake research and fire-prevention programs. The Senate approved a two-year, $144 million authorization for earthquake programs, with $72.6 million going to the U.S. Geological Survey and the rest to three other agencies. The Senate also approved a one-year, $22 million authorization to be split roughly evenly between the National Fire Academy and the U.S. Fire Administration. (S817, S818; April 17)