American Geological Institute

Government Affairs Program SPECIAL UPDATE


Action Needed to Support NSF Increase

Urge Your Representative to Co-sign Letter to Appropriations Committee

May 23, 1997 (Action completed October 2, 1997)

Current Status: A bipartisan "Dear Colleague" letter signed by seventy-eight members of the House of Representatives has been sent to Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA) and Ranking Member Louis Stokes (D-OH) of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on VA/HUD and Independent Agencies in support of increased funding for the National Science Foundation. The letter, circulated by Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) and Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-MA), requested a 7.2 percent increase in funding for the NSF, the same level recently approved by the full House in the NSF authorization bill (H.R. 1273). AGI and many of its member societies signed on to a position in support of this level of increase. The FY98 VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies bill (which includes funds for NSF) was signed into law on October 2, 1997 and contained a 5 percent increase for NSF. More information on the FY98 appropriations process is available on the AGI website.

The AGI action alert contained a sample letter (including the necessary address) along with the "Dear Colleague" letter and a list of its current co-signers. Additional contact information (telephone, fax, e-mail) for your representative is available from the House web site or contact the AGI Government Affairs Program at or (703) 379-2480. If you do send a letter, please send us a copy as well: AGI, 4220 King Street, Alexandra VA 22302-1502.

Sample Letter to Your Representative

The Honorable ___________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative ____________:

As your constituent, I encourage you to co-sign the bipartisan "Dear Colleague" letter now being circulated in the House of Representatives concerning funding for the National Science Foundation. The letter urges the Appropriations Committee to fund a 7.2% increase in spending for fiscal year 1998 as called for in the NSF reauthorization bill that passed the House last month.

NSF has contributed to major scientific breakthroughs that have impacted the lives of millions of Americans. It has also provided education and training for thousands of K-12 students as well as post-secondary students. [Letter should include your own examples of valuable NSF research or education programs.]

If you have any questions or wish to sign onto the letter, please contact David Goldston in Rep. Sherwood Boehlert's office (225-3665) or Pete Leon on Rep. Joseph Kennedy's office (225-5111). Thank you very much for your support of science.


"Dear Colleague" Letter from Members of Congress to Appropriations Committee

Dear Chairman Lewis
Dear Ranking Member Stokes:

We are writing to urge your strong support of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Specifically, we ask that funding for NSF be appropriated equal to the levels recently approved by the full House of Representatives in the NSF Authorization bill.

The NSF is the only Federal agency whose sole mission is to invest in basic research. It is the dominant source of funding for many important areas of scientific research including environmental biology, ground-based astronomy, and ocean sciences. With only 3 percent of the total federal investment in research and development, the NSF has served as a major catalyst for many scientific breakthroughs. From climate forecasting to aircraft design to pioneering new medical tools to the creation of the internet, NSF supported basic research has improved the lives of millions of people in this country and around the world.

NSF's support of research has also helped to create new jobs and employment opportunities for all Americans. Some of our country's leading economists have estimated that as much as half of all economic growth in the United States results from advances in technology fostered by basic research.

The mission of the NSF is to promote and advance scientific, mathematics and engineering research in the United States. Much of the Foundation's support for research comes in the form of awards to university-based individual investigators. In fact, the NSF provides approximately a quarter of all of the federal support for basic research conducted at our nation's universities. NSF's activities involve almost 38,000 researchers, 45,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 130,000 K-12 students and teachers. Moreover, through its support of science and math education at the K-12, undergraduate and graduate levels, the NSF plays a critical role in educating our nation's future workforce for high tech, high-wage jobs.

On April 24, 1997 the House of Representatives approved the Nation Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1997 (H.R. 1273) by voice vote. This bill authorizes appropriations in the amount of $3.505 billion for NSF in FY 1998, a 7.2% increase from last year's appropriated level. It also authorizes a 3 percent increase for the NSF in FY 1999.

These levels would permit NSF supported researchers to pursue more important new discoveries. It would also help the NSF with its ongoing efforts to increase the scientific literacy of our nation's students and the population at large.

We feel that the House action on this bill signifies recognition of the importance and value of the NSF. We urge that you do everything within your means to provide full funding for this very important agency in your appropriations bill.


Signatories As Of 6-3-97
Earl Hilliard (D-AL)
Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Vic Snyder (D-AR)
Matt Salmon (R-AZ)
Howard Berman (D-CA)
George E. Brown, Jr. (D-CA)
Walter Capps (D-CA)
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Ronald V. Dellums (D-CA)
Sam Farr (D-CA)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Jane Harman (D-CA)*
Pete Stark (D-CA)*
David Skaggs (D-CO)
Sam Gejdenson (D-CT)
Karen Thurman (D-FL)
Bobby Rush (D-IL)
John Edward Porter (R-IL)
Lane Evans (D-IL)
John Lewis (D-GA)
William Jefferson (D-LA)*
Joseph P. Kennedy, II (D-MA)
Barney Frank (D-MA)
Edward Markey (D-MA)
William Delahunt (D-MA)
Martin Meehan (D-MA)
John Olver (D-MA)
John Tierney (D-MA)
Richard Neal (D-MA)
James McGovern (D-MA)
John Joseph Moakley (D-MA)
Tom Allen (D-ME)
James Barcia (D-MI)
Lynn Rivers (D-MI)
Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
John Conyers (D-MI)
John D. Dingell (D-MI)
Dale Kildee (D-MI)
Vernon J. Ehlers (R-MI)
Dave Camp (R-MI)
Bart Stupak (D-MI)*
Constance A. Morella (R-MD)
John Elias Baldacci (D-ME)
William Clay (D-MO)
Pat Danner (D-MO)
Bob Etheridge (D-NC)
Mel Watt (D-NC)
Earl Pomeroy (D-ND)
Michael Pappas (R-NJ)
Marge Roukema (R-NJ)*
Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY)
Benjamin A. Gilman (R-NY)
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
John LaFalce (D-NY)
Gary Ackerman (D-NY)
Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Louise Slaughter (D-NY)
Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Michael McNulty (D-NY)
Deborah Pryce (R-OH)
Wes Watkins (R-OK)*
J.C. Watts, Jr. (R-OK)
Elizabeth Furse (D-OR)
Darlene Hooley (D-OR)
Michael Doyle (D-PA)
Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
Joseph Pitts (R-PA)*
James Clyburn (D-SC)
Bart Gordon (D-TN)
Bob Clement (D-TN)
Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)
Martin Frost (D-TX)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
Ken Bentsen (D-TX)
Nick Lampson (D-TX)
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Rick Boucher (D-VA)
Robert Scott (D-VA)
Tom Davis (R-VA)
Gerald Kleczka (D-WI)
Scott Klug (R-WI)

* To be added in the addendum

Contributed by David Applegate, AGI Government Affairs

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program.

Posted May 23, 1997; Last updated June 12, 1997

American Geological Institute Home Page