Brad Smith

ACS Call-to-Action: Support DOE and NSF Funding

Discussion created by Brad Smith on Mar 16, 2010
Latest reply on Mar 16, 2010 by Brad Smith
Yesterday evening the American Chemical Society urged members of  its Legislative Action Network to contact their U.S. Representatives about funding DOE Office of Science and the  National Science Foundation.
Additional information on the call-to-action is below:

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.