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Action Alert: Contact Your Senators Today – Urge Them to Restore Funding for NSF

The United States Senate Appropriations Committee has approved legislation that would cut funding in fiscal year 2012 for the National Science Foundation (NSF) by $161 million (2.4%) below the current FY 2011 level. The Senate spending plan provides significantly less funding to NSF than the appropriations bill approved by the House Committee on Appropriations, which would keep NSF at the FY 2011 level, $6,859,867,000.

Your help is needed to encourage the full Senate to support the House bill that rejects cuts to NSF.

Under the Senate Committee’s proposal, the Research and Related Activities account at NSF would be cut by $120.9 million in the coming fiscal year. This is the account that provides funding for NSF’s various research directorates, such as the Biological Sciences Directorate, Geosciences Directorate, and so forth.  Under the House plan, Research and Related Activities would receive roughly $5.6 billion in the next fiscal year, about $43 million above the current funding level.

Both the House and the Senate have developed appropriations legislation that would cut funding for Education and Human Resources programs at NSF, but the House would cut roughly $6 million less than the Senate.

If enacted, these cuts would be damaging to NSF programs and counter to bipartisan pledges of support for scientific research and education. Senators need to hear from us that the FY 2012 NSF budget should be no lower than the FY 2011 NSF budget, the level the House Appropriations Committee has proposed.

If the Senate fails to increase funding for NSF, it is almost guaranteed that the agency will receive a significant budget cut in the coming fiscal year. It is important that Senators hear from their constituents today. Please contact your Senators today to urge them to oppose the Senate Appropriation Committee’s proposed cuts to NSF.

If you will be in Washington, DC, in the coming days, please make time to stop by your Senators’ offices to express your concerns. You may also schedule an appointment to meet with your Senators at one of their offices in your state (visit http://capwiz.com/aibs/dbq/officials/ to locate Senate offices in your state).

Please contact both of your Senators today! A letter prepared by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is available at http://capwiz.com/aibs/issues/alert/?alertid=53834971 and a targeted letter for Maryland residents to Senator Barbara Mikulski who chairs the Senate subcommittee and has been a strong supporter of NSF is available at http://capwiz.com/aibs/issues/alert/?alertid=53867986.

House bill:                            Compared with 2011

R&RA – $5,606,964,000,          +$43,089,000
MREFC – $100,000,000,           – $17,055,000
EHR – $835,000,000,                  -$26,034,000
Total NSF – $6,859,867,000,     $0

Senate bill:                           Compared with 2011
R&RA -$5,443,000,000              -$120,875,000
MREFC – $117,055,000                 $0
EHR – $829,000,000                    -$32,034,000
Total NSF – $6,698,095,000      -$161,772,000

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