ALERT: Request NSF Support From Senate
This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's
IN A NUTSHELL: The 109th Congress did not complete the fiscal
year 2007 (FY 2007) budget. To ensure government functions, Congress
passed a continuing resolution until February 15, 2007. The 110th
Congress has decided to extend the CR for the full year with limited
adjustments. Senator Joe Lieberman is circulating a Dear Colleague
Letter, asking for an almost 8% budget increase for NSF as a limited
adjustment to the new CR. Such Dear Colleague Letters are effective
if they are signed by many members.
Please call or fax your senators as soon as possible and ask your
senators to sign onto the Lieberman Dear Colleague Letter to support
a $5.99 billion budget for NSF in the continuing resolution. Be sure
to mention that the deadline for signing on is Monday, January
22nd. Time is of the essence, please call or fax a short note
The 109th Congress returned from the mid-term election recess and
was unable to complete any of the unfinished appropriation bills.
Before turning out the lights in December 2006, the 109th Congress
did pass another continuing resolution (CR) through February 15, 2007.
The CR means that all of the other federal agencies will be funded
at the lowest funding level of three options, the fiscal year 2006
budget, the House approved FY 2007 budget or the Senate committee
approved FY 2007 budget.
The 110th Congress, which started their first session on January 4,
2007, has indicated that they plan to extend the CR for the full year,
rather than trying to work out a new budget for the 9 unfinished bills.
This means that NSF has started FY 2007 without the potential budget
increases proposed in appropriations work in 2006.
These proposed increases will be lost if the CR is extended for a
full year. The 110th Congress has indicated that it might consider
"limited adjustments" to some appropriations when they bring
forward a new CR that will be extended until September 30, 2007.
If the CR is extended for a full year without any adjustments, NSF
would see a reduction in funding of about $439 million and this reduction
would translate into a loss of about 600 new research grants for FY
The Lieberman Dear Colleague Letter requests an adjustment for NSF
in the next CR. The adjustment would give NSF the almost 8% increase
proposed in appropriations work in 2006 and raise the total NSF budget
to almost $6 billion.
1. Call your senators' Washington, DC office on Friday, January 19
or Monday, January 22 before noon (eastern time).
You may obtain the phone numbers from their official websites at
Ask to speak to the legislative assistant responsible for NSF. When
connected: Encourage the staffer to have Senator [name] sign onto
the Dear Colleague Letter that is being circulated by Senator Lieberman
to support a $5.99 billion budget for NSF in the continuing resolution.
Be sure to mention that the deadline for signing on is Monday, January
22. 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. Fax your senators
Your senators' fax numbers are available on their website at www.senate.gov.
Tips for an effective fax message:
-Be sure that the subject line is clear: "Please Support NSF
in Continuing Resolution".
-Be sure that you include your contact information at the top of
the 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 your senators to sign onto the Dear Colleague Letter
that is being circulated by Senator Lieberman to support a $5.99 billion
budget for NSF in the continuing resolution. Be sure to mention that
the deadline for signing on is Monday, January 22.
-If you have time, 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).
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 January 19, 2007