ALERT: Support Increased Funding for NSF
This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's
AGI GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS ACTION ALERT: 3-20-07
*** Support Increased Funding for NSF ***
In A Nutshell: Each year during the appropriations process, members
of Congress may circulate "Dear Colleague" letters, obtain
signatures and submit these letters to an appropriations subcommittee
in support of a specific program or project. These letters allow members
of Congress to demonstrate their support for a program. A large number
of signatures indicate strong support for the program discussed in
the letter. Currently, Representatives Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Rush
Holt (D-NJ) and Bob Inglis (R-SC) are collecting signatures for a
Dear Colleague letter that requests increased funding for the National
Science Foundation (NSF). The letter will be sent to the House subcommittee
on Science, Justice and Commerce of the Appropriations Committee which
has jurisdiction over the NSF.
Please contact your Representative today and ask them to sign onto
the Ehlers-Holt-Inglis NSF Dear Colleague letter. This is great opportunity
to communicate with your Representative and it will only take a few
minutes. The deadline for sign-on is March 29.
The Ehlers-Holt-Inglis Dear Colleague letter requests that Congress
provide $6.43 billion for NSF in fiscal year 2008, which is the same
amount that President Bush has requested. In addition, the letter
asks that if additional funds become available, that $200 million
be given to the Education and Human Resources Directorate of NSF to
support their research efforts in science and engineering education.
Last year, more than 100 members of Congress signed a similar letter.
It is important that more members of Congress sign the letter this
year. The federal budget is once again austere and quite competitive.
A demonstration of strong bipartisan support for NSF is required.
The letter will be sent to the House Subcommittee on Science, Justice
and Commerce Appropriations subcommittee which has jurisdiction over
the NSF. The letter will be addressed to the chairman of the subcommittee,
Alan Mollohan (D-WV) and the ranking member, Rodney Frelinghuysen
Please contact your Representative and ask them to sign the Ehlers-Holt-Inglis
Dear Colleague and to support increased funding for NSF. The staff
contacts for signing onto the letter are Julia Jester in Congressman
Ehlers' office (x53831) or Don Engel in Congressman Holt's office
The deadline for signing the letter is March 29, 2007, so the most
efficient way to reach your representative is by phone, fax or email.
To determine who your Representative is, go to www.house.gov and
enter your zip code+4. The link will also provide the contact information
for your Representative, so you can call, fax or email them.
1. Call your Representative's Washington, DC office.
You may obtain the phone number from their official website (via
www.house.gov) or you may call
the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121) and ask to be connected
to Representative [name] office. NOTE: You must know the name of your
Representative prior to calling the switchboard; they will not be
able to tell you who your member of Congress is.
Ask to speak to the legislative assistant responsible for NSF. When
connected: Encourage the staffer to have Representative [name] sign
the Ehlers-Holt-Inglis NSF Dear Colleague letter. Be prepared to mention
how important NSF funding is to your research, academic department/institution,
and/or your community. Legislative staff 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 contact information.
2. E-Mail or Fax your Representative
Your Representative's e-mail address and fax number are available
on their website at www.house.gov.
Tips for an effective e-mail or fax message:
-Be sure that the subject line in your e-mail is clear: Please sign
the Ehlers-Holt-Inglis NSF Dear Colleague, or Request 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.
-In the opening paragraph of your message, clearly state that you
are writing to ask that your Representative to sign the Ehlers-Holt-Inglis
NSF Dear Colleague letter. Tell them that the letter requests that
Congress provide the National Science Foundation with $6.43 billion
in FY 2008 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/).
Representatives Ehlers, Holt and Inglis anticipate collecting signatures
until March 29, 2007, so please contact your Representative as soon
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;
Many thanks for taking the time to be an active citizen-scientist!
Alert prepared by Linda Rowan, AGI Director of Government Affairs
Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI
Government Affairs Program.
Posted March 20, 2007