NASA is seeking to increase funding for what it call astrobiology. Most of that money goes to the SETI Institute. SETI is a California-based non-profit organization that uses powerful radio telescopes to search for intelligent life outside of our solar system. SETI also gets a significant portion of its funding from private sources.
SETI was founded in 1984, and has been search for intelligent life in space for the past 25 years. So far, there have been no signs that intelligent life with the capability to communicate with us has been trying to do so.
I have no idea how much money has been spent by the institute in the past 25 years, although their funding from NASA alone has been into the billions.
I just wonder if they would have found anything by now if they had used those funds to try to find intelligent life in Washington, D.C.