Action Alert: Tell Congress To Support Federal Funding For The National Science Foundation

31 Oct

I urge readers to call your Senators and encourage them to support the National Science Foundation. Here’s why. Having worked in a Senate office, I can assure you that every call matters. I received these details by email:

Call your Senators by 5:00 ET today to urge them to support the House Appropriations Committee funding level of $6,859,867,000 (same funding level as for FY 2011) for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in fiscal year (FY) 2012.

On Tuesday, 01 Nov, the full Senate will vote on a group of appropriations bills, which will include funding for the National Science Foundation. Unfortunately, the Senate bill set FY 2012 funding for the NSF $161 million below the House level. Consequently, House Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee (the appropriations subcommittee responsible for NSF) Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Ranking Member Chaka Fattah (D-PA), both NSF champions, need our support to get the Senate to agree to a FY 2012 NSF budget of $6,859,867,000.

Requested Action:

1. Call your two Senators. (Find your state, Senators, and their phone numbers below).

2. When connected to your Senator’s office, state your name, where you’re from, and “I’m calling today to urge the Senator to support the National Science Foundation at $6,859,867,000 for fiscal year 2012, the funding level set in the House spending bill.”

3. If asked, say that the $161 million reduction in funding for NSF proposed by the Senate will be detrimental to U.S science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research and education. Decreases would curtail the ability of the U.S. public and industrial research and development (R&D) sector to train and recruit the best and brightest scientists and engineers. Such a cut would undoubtedly affect the nation’s ability to maintain its international competitive advantage in the R&D sector in the future.

Additional Details If Asked or Needed:

- Many of our global competitors are increasing their financial support for scientific and engineering research while the rate of growth of funding for research in the U.S. is slowing. The U.S. must maintain its leadership position in high level scientific research and education and NSF is critical to this endeavor.

- Even under tight budget constraints, it is imperative to have robust annual budget levels for NSF as research and development investment leverage today’s knowledge to build long-term growth.

- NSF is the only federal agency that supports research and education across all fields of science, engineering, and mathematics and at all educational levels.

- Dependable funding levels will enable NSF and the science and engineering communities to plan, develop infrastructure, maintain a steady pipeline of graduate and postdoctoral students, and facilitate a continuous stream of high level research and researchers that in turn will support the level of technological development needed for economic growth.

- The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform noted that while it is necessary to make budget cuts, “at the same time we must invest in education, infrastructure, and high value research and development to help our economy grow, keep us globally competitive, and make it easier for businesses to create jobs.”

- Research and education programs supported by NSF increase and develop the knowledge base needed for pushing the frontiers of science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines, contribute to the development of the future science and technology workforce, develop new fields of inquiry, and promote interdisciplinary research and education, all of which facilitate technological innovation.

- In FY 2010, over 90 percent of NSF’s budget went to support research, facilities, and education projects in colleges and universities in all 50 states. The Foundation evaluated over 55,600 proposals through its merit review process, funding 13,000 of these proposals. This is a success rate of 23 percent, indicating the competitiveness of NSF grants. The success rate will continue to fall if NSF budgets don’t grow and potential substantial research and education results will not be realized. A healthy NSF is necessary for maintaining a prosperous innovation pipeline that ultimately leads to the development of new technologies, leading to new products and improvement of existing products.

Senators and Phone Numbers

- Richard C. Shelby-(202)-224-5744
- Jeff Sessions-(202)-224-4124

- Lisa Murkowski-(202)-224-6665
- Mark Begich-(202)-224-3004
- John McCain-(202)-224-2235
- Jon Kyl-(202)-224-4521
- Mark Pryor-(202)-224-2353
- John Boozman-(202)-224-4843
- Dianne Feinstein-(202)-224-3841
- Barbara Boxer-(202)-224-3553
- Mark Udall-(202)-224-5941
- Michael Bennet-(202)-224-5852
- Joseph Lieberman-(202)-224-4041
- Richard Blumenthal-(202)-224-2823
- Thomas Carper-(202)-224-2441
- Chris Coons-(202)-224-5042
- Bill Nelson-(202)-224-5274
- Marco Rubio-(202)-224-3041
- Saxby Chambliss-(202)-224-3521
- Johnny Isakson-(202)-224-3643
- Daniel Inouye-(202)-224-3934
- Daniel Akaka-(202)-224-6361
- Michael Crapo-(202)-224-6142
- Jim Risch-(202)-224-2752
- Richard Durbin-(202-224-2152
- Mark Steven Kirk-(202)-224-2854
- Richard Lugar-(202)-224-4814
- Dan Coats-(202)-224-5623
- Charles Grassley-(202)-224-3744
- Tom Harkin-(202)-224-3254
- Pat Roberts-(202)-224-4774
- Jerry Moran-(202)-224-6521
- Mitch McConnell-(202)-224-2541
- Rand Paul-(202)-224-4343
- Mary Landrieu-(202)-224-5824
- David Vitter-(202)-224-4623
- Olympia Snowe-(202)-224-5344
- Susan Collins-(202)-224-2523
- Barbara Mikulski-(202)-224-4654
- Benjamin Cardin-(202)-224-4524
- John Kerry-(202)-224-2742
- Scott Brown-(202)-224-4543
- Carl Levin-(202)-224-6221
- Debbie Stabenow-(202)-224-4822
- Amy Klobuchar-(202)-224-3244
- Al Franken-(202)-224-5641
- Thad Cochran-(202)-224-5054
- Roger Wicker-(202)-224-6253
- Claire McCaskill-202-224-6154
- Roy Blunt-(202)-224-5721
- Max Baucus-(202)-224-2651
- Jon Tester-(202)-224-2644
- Ben Nelson-(202)-224-6551
- Mike Johanns-(202)-224-4224
- Harry Reid-(202)-224-3542
- John Ensign-(202)-224-6244
New Hampshire
- Jeanne Shaheen-(202)-224-2841
- Kelly Ayotte-(202)-224-3324
New Jersey
- Frank Lautenberg-(202)-224-3224
- Robert Menendez-(202)-224-4744
New Mexico
- Jeff Bingaman-(202)-224-5521
- Tom Udall-(202)-224-6621
New York
- Charles Schumer-(202)-224-6542
- Kristen Gillibrand-(202)-224-4451
North Carolina
- Richard Burr-(202)-224-3154
- Kay Hagan-(202)-224-6342
North Dakota
- Kent Conrad-(202)-224-2043
- John Hoeven-(202)-224-2551
- Sherrod Brown-(202)-224-2315
- Rob Portman-(202)-224-3353
- James Inhofe-(202)-224-4721
- Tom Coburn-(202)-224-5754
- Ron Wyden-(202)-224-5244
- Jeff Merkley-(202)-224-3753
- Bob Casey-(202)-224-6324
- Patrick Toomey-(202)-224-4254
Rhode Island
- Jack Reed-(202)-224-4642
- Sheldon Whitehouse-(202)-224-2921
South Carolina
- Lindsey Graham-(202)-224-5972
- Jim DeMint-(202)-224-6121
South Dakota
- Tim Johnson-(202)-224-5842
- John Thune-(202)-224-2321
- Lamar Alexander-(202)-224-4944
- Bob Corker-(202)-224-3344
- Kay Bailey Hutchison-(202)-224-5922
- John Cornyn-(202)-224-2934
- Orrin Hatch-(202)-224-5251
- Mike Lee-(202)-224-5444
- Patrick Leahy-(202)-224-4242
- Bernard Sanders-(202)-224-5141
- Jim Webb-(202)-224-4024
- Mark Warner-(202)-224-2023
- Patty Murray-(202)-224-2621
- Maria Cantwell-(202)-224-3441
West Virginia
- John Rockefeller IV-(202)-224-6472
- Joe Manchin III-(202)-224-3954
- Herb Kohl-(202)-224-5653
- Ron Johnson-(202)-224-5323
- Michael Enzi-(202)-224-3424
- John Barrasso-(202)-224-6441

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