ALERT: Request Increased Funding for the
National Science Foundation (NSF)
This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's
IN A NUTSHELL: The new leaders of the House and Senate (as
of January 4, 2007), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senator Harry Reid
(D-NV), as well as House and Senate Appropriation Committee incoming
chairs, Rep. David Obey (D-WI) and Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) have
stated that they plan to run the federal government on a continuing
resolution for all of FY 2007. This means that the budget of the NSF
will remain at the FY 2006 level for all of FY 2007 and NSF will not
receive the almost 8 percent increase requested in the administration
request and in congressional work in 2006.
The 110th Congress, which begins on January 4th has been left with
9 unfinished appropriation bills for the fiscal year 2007 (FY07) budget.
Among the unfinished bills are the budgets for science agencies, such
as the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, NOAA, the Department
of Energy and the United States Geological Survey.
Please contact your representative and senators, requesting them
to contact Reps. Nancy Pelosi and David Obey and Senators Robert Byrd
and Harry Reid, urging these Democratic leaders to include increased
funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the extension
of the continuing budget resolution. Communications should reach the
Democratic leaders by January 4, 2007.
As you know all other federal agencies and programs, except Defense
and Homeland Security, are operating on a continuing resolution which
restricts budgets to the lower of the FY 2006 appropriation, the FY
2007 House Appropriation mark, or the Senate Appropriations Committee
mark. The current continuing resolution runs through February 15,
The new leaders of the House and Senate (as of January 4, 2007),
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), as well as
House and Senate Appropriation Committee chairs, Rep. David Obey (D-WI)
and Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) have stated that they plan to run the
federal government on a continuing resolution for all of FY 2007.
This means that the budget of the NSF will remain at the FY 2006 level
for all of FY 2007.
The NSF was slated to receive a substantial increase over FY 2006
in the FY 2007 budget. The Administration Budget Request and the House
passed Appropriation for the NSF increased the agency's budget by
7.9 percent. The Senate Appropriations Committee increased the NSF
budget by 7.3 percent.
********************** SAMPLE LETTER ********************************
December XX, 2006
Sample Letter for the House of Representatives (similar letter should
be directed to the appropriate Senator and Senate-Elect Leadership):
The Honorable __________
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable __________
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Representative OR Senator XXX:
I urge you to ask Speaker-Elect Pelosi and House Appropriations Chair
- Elect Obey to include increased funding for the National Science
Foundation (NSF), at the levels approved by the House and Senate Appropriations
Committee during the 109th Congress, when the extension of the continuing
resolution for FY 2007 is deliberated.
The NSF supports research and education programs that are critical
for maintaining U. S. innovation leadership and sustaining economic
growth in the coming decades. Investments in the NSF should not be
put off for another year as continuous development and growth of our
scientific foundation is essential for a robust innovative environment.
Investments in basic research enjoy strong bipartisan support. The
Democratic Innovation Agenda, announced last year by Speaker-Elect
Pelosi and the Democratic Caucus, calls for doubling of the NSF budget
over five years, and the Administration's FY 2007 budget calls for
doubling the NSF over ten years. Doubling basic research investments
is a multi-year effort and the process needs to start now.
We will reap the benefits for years to come for an incremental investment
of $ 439 million for the NSF, as support for basic research has time
and again lead to new inventions, new industries, more jobs, and increased
productivity. Increasing the NSF budget in the limited adjustment
to the continuing resolution would be a simple and necessary step
to ensure U.S. competitiveness.
I am a XXX [briefly describe yourself and the value of NSF to you
and your community]
Thank you for your help.
Please contact XXX [provide your contact info] if you need any additional
information or if you have any questions.
****************** END OF LETTER ***********************************
1. Call your Senator/Representative's Washington, DC office.
You may obtain the phone number from their official websites at www.senate.gov
Ask to speak to the legislative assistant responsible for NSF. When
connected: Encourage the staffer to have Senator/Representative [name]
support increased funding for NSF in the continuing resolution. Be
prepared to mention how important NSF funding is to your research,
academic department/institution, and/or your community. Legislative
staffs are busy, so you may be asked if you would like to leave a
voice mail - you do. Simply convey the same information you would
have if you spoke to the staffer in person, but be sure to leave your
2. E-Mail or Fax your Senator/Representative
Your Senator/Representative's e-mail addresses and fax numbers are
available on their website at www.senate.gov
Tips for an effective e-mail or fax message:
-Be sure that the subject line in your e-mail is clear: "Please
Increase Funding for NSF in Continuing Resolution", or Request
Senator/Rep. [name] support increased funding for NSF.
-Be sure that you include your contact information at the top of
the e-mail/letter; this must include your name, mailing address, phone
number and e-mail address. NOTE: many offices will discard correspondence
that does not include contact information, or that comes from outside
of their district/state.
-In the opening paragraph of your message, clearly state that you
are writing to ask that your Senator/Representative support increased
funding for NSF in the continuing resolution. Tell them that the letter
requests that Congress provide the National Science Foundation with
about $6 billion in FY 2007 funding.
-Briefly explain why NSF funding for basic research is important
to you and/or your institution (e.g., only source of funding for your
area of research, helps support undergraduate/graduate student research
experience, leads to innovation, etc).
To further bolster your argument, you may wish to incorporate statistics
from the National Science Foundation (http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/).
You can also find more information on the NSF budget at the Government
Affairs website (http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis109/appropsfy2007_nsf.html).
Alert prepared by Linda Rowan, Government Affairs Staff
Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI
Government Affairs Program.
Posted December 18, 2006