ALERT: House Budget Resolution $300 Million Short of President's Request for NSF, NASA, DOE Office of Science
This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's member societies.
IN A NUTSHELL: The House Budget Committee has passed a budget resolution (H.Con.Res.376) that does not fully fund the General Science, Space, and Technology account, which provides research funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Energy's (DOE's) general science programs. The resolution falls $300 million short of the President's fiscal year (FY) 2007 request for this category, despite an overall discretionary spending level that is the same as the Administration's requested level. In addition to under-funding valuable science research, this reduction could jeopardize the 7.9 percent increase for NSF called for in the President's American Competitiveness Initiative.
On March 29th, the House Budget Committee passed a budget resolution along party lines. The budget resolution then went to the full House for a vote, however, after a week of debate on the floor, the House was unable to pass a budget resolution before the two-week recess for Easter. House leadership plans to continue work on the resolution once Congress returns to session on April 24th. The House resolution provides $872.8 billion in discretionary spending, which is the same level as the President's request. Within this amount, the House budget resolution provides $25.8 billion for the General Science, Space, and Technology account. The House budget number is $300 million short of the President's request for these programs and the level of support outlined in the Senate Budget Resolution, which the full Senate approved of a few weeks earlier.
The $300 million reduction in the General Science, Space and Technology account would place at risk increased funding for the science programs at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Energy's (DOE's) general science programs. It would also threaten the 7.9% increase for NSF called for in the President's American Competitiveness Initiative.
Please write a brief letter to House Majority Leader John Boehner, Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle, and your Representative requesting them to fully fund the requested $26.1 billion for the General Science, Space, and Technology account (also called Function 250).
To determine who your representative is, go to www.house.gov and enter your zip code. The link will also provide the contact information for your representative, so you can call, fax or email them. Contact information for House leadership and a sample letter are provided below as a template. Feel free to cite specific programs and to use examples of the value of scientific research.
Please fax or e-mail a copy of your letter to AGI at Government Affairs Program, 4220 King Street, Alexandria VA 22302-1502; fax 703-379-7563; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to new security procedures for postal mail, the most timely and
efficient means with which to communicate with your Members of Congress
is by faxing letters or utilizing e-mail offered through their websites
thanks for taking the time to be an active citizen-scientist!
Letter to House Leadership:
The Honorable John Boehner, Majority Leader
The Honorable Jim Nussle, Chairman, House Budget Committee
I am writing to ask that you support a strong, balanced investment in science in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 House budget resolution. As approved by the House Budget Committee, the resolution contains a critical budget shortfall for science related programs as well as the American Competitiveness Initiative that the President announced in his State of the Union Address.
The resolution recommends $300 million less for General Science, Space and Technology (Budget Function 250) than the Administration's FY2007 request. If appropriators followed this guidance it would be very difficult to support basic research in the physical sciences and engineering as called for by the President.
I ask that you support a total funding level of $26.1 billion for
the General Science, Space, and Technology account when the House
Budget Resolution is debated on the floor and when the Appropriations
Committee makes its 302b allocations.
Alert prepared by Jenny Fisher, AGI/AAPG Spring 2006 Intern, and Margaret Anne Baker, AGI Government Affairs.
Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program.
Posted April 18, 2006