REQUEST: Please urge your U.S. representative to sign onto the bipartisan Dear Colleague letters being circulated by Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL), Vern Ehlers (R-MI), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Bob Inglis (R-SC), and Dan Lipinski (D-IL). These letters encourage House leadership to increase funding for DOE’s Office of Science and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Facing economic challenges abroad and here at home, strong investments in research and development in the fiscal year 2011 budget can help ensure America’s scientists and engineers have the research grants, instrumentation, and infrastructure necessary to generate the “innovation fuel” necessary to drive our economy for decades to come. These letters are critical to building support within the House of Representatives for the DOE Office of Science and NSF. The more representatives that sign the letters, the more it will resonate with key members of the House.
DOE Office of Science
This letter is being circulated by Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Rush Holt (D-NJ), and it is being sent to Chairman Peter Visclosky (D-IN) and Ranking Member Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ). Important parts of the letter are:
"As you begin your work on the Fiscal Year 2011 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, we write to express our strong support for the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science. In particular, we urge you to support the Administration's budget request of $5.121 billion for the DOE Office of Science, which represents a 4.4 percent increase over the Fiscal Year 2010 funding level, and is consistent with the plans of both the Administration and Congress to double the federal investment in the basic sciences within the next decade."
" . . . we urge you to support the Administration's Fiscal Year 2011 budget request of $5.121 billion for the DOE Office of Science. Furthermore, we urge you to focus this funding on mission-related activities and facilities, and to avoid using core DOE research program budgets to fund extraneous projects. With this funding, the DOE Office of Science can attract the best minds, educate the next generation of scientists and engineers, support the construction and operation of modern facilities, and conduct even more of the quality scientific research that can create jobs and ensure the U.S. retains its competitive edge for many years to come.”
National Science Foundation
This letter is being circulated by Representatives Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Bob Inglis (R-SC), and Dan Lipinski (D-IL). It will be sent to House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Alan Mollohan (D-WV) and Ranking Member Frank Wolf (R-VA). A couple important paragraphs are below:
“We are writing to thank you for your consistent support for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and to urge you to continue that support in the fiscal year 2011 (FY11) appropriations bill. We ask that you uphold the Administration’s FY11 funding level request of $7.424 billion for the National Science Foundation.”’
“ . . . we recognize that the overall increase requested for the NSF comes at a time when other agencies within the CJS subcommittee may be suffering cuts. Though NSF receives only four percent of the total federal research and development budget, it is the bedrock of our scientific strength and provides the basis for innovation and development throughout our economy. We respectively request that you continue to support such advances by funding the NSF at $7.424 billion in the FY11 appropriations bill.”
CURRENT STATUS: The House Appropriations Subcommittees will begin writing their funding bills shortly. It’s a tight budget year and the Office of Science and NSF may get overshadowed. Given the many competing priorities for federal funding, communication with your legislator now is essential to building support for increasing DOE basic research funding this year.
ACS POSITION: The United States must continue to make the robust investments in federal science agencies such as the DOE Office of Science and NSF that are critical to our future economic prosperity. These investments will help fuel our economic recovery as they also enable our scientific workforce to continue improving lives in this country and around the world. The ACS appreciates the steps the Congress took to provide unprecedented levels of funding for science agencies through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
However, the ACS is concerned that excessive fluctuations in year-to-year agency research budgets can have a negative impact on many aspects of scientific research and on student decisions to pursue careers in science. ACS encourages Congress to fund science and technology in a predictable and sustainable manner in fiscal year 2011.