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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

Humanities at the Forefront of Congressional Vote on National Budget

The Annual Meeting for the National Humanities Alliance took place on March 7, 2011 at George Washington University, followed by Humanities Advocacy Day on March 8 at Capitol Hill. The Annual Meeting was an opportunity to provide concrete ways to exemplify and frame arguments to support the humanities, skills meeting participants would need for the following Advocacy day.

AAA’s Director of Public Affairs, Damon Dozier was featured in a three member panel that exemplified the field of humanities. Dozier emphasized the importance of education through the biological sciences and cultural perceptions o f race. Through the RACE: Are We So Different? public education program, AAA has spurred dialogue across the nation to embrace cultural differences and rethink preconceived notions of race and racism in the United States.

Bill Davis, AAA’s Executive Director, joined NHA’s national delegation that met with congressional members that hold stature within congressional committees. Damon Dozier and Joslyn Osten, Marketing & Communications Manager, joined first-time constituent lobbyist, Hollis Clayson of Northwestern University in meeting with the representatives of Illinois. While all meetings with congressional staffers were fruitful, feedback led to the conclusion that the representatives who have a history of supporting humanities will work out the best possible solution to minimize the financial impact of the national budget on humanities funding.

Although NHA’s Advocacy Day was a success, lobbying for humanities funding cannot be completed in just one day. Congress will be voting this week and in the coming weeks on bills and revisions to settle the national budget. NHA and AAA need your help in communicating the critical need for funding the research and grant-related programming offered in your communities today. Contact your congressional representative now to demonstrate your support for humanities and visit NHA’s website to stay tuned in to the latest budgetary developments.

Budget Announced – Write to Your Congress Representative Today!

Yesterday, the Obama Administration released its budget for fiscal year 2012, a plan that includes bold proposals to reduce government spending and address a budget deficit that is expected to reach over $1.6 trillion dollars by the end of this fiscal year.

Among the agencies subject to proposed budget cuts include the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts (both agencies subject to a reduction of 13.1% to $146 million), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (a reduction of 13.8% to 243 million).

While the budget includes modest increases for the Smithsonian Institution (6.9% to 1.05 billion), the National Institutes of Health (2.4% to 31.8 billion) and the National Science Foundation (13% to 7.8 billion), Republicans have introduced, cuts to CURRENT funding for the NIH ($1.6 billion) and the NSF ($360 million). These actions, introduced in the latest version of the House continuing resolution (CR) funding bill for the remainder of this year, may be a portent of cuts to come for the 2012 budget bill.

Please contact your local Representatives and ask:
 1: the current CR NOT to include cuts to NSF and NIH
2: the final FY 2012 budget eliminate the proposed cuts to NEH, NEA, and IMLS.

Don’t delay, write to your congressmen today!

NEH Needs Your Support

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) announced plans for a Continuing Resolution that would reduce spending by $74 billion below President Obama’s 2011 budget request for the remainder of the year.  This proposal would cut over $12 million from the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH)!

As one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the US, NEH provides critical support for research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities through grants to a wide range of educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and scholars nationwide.

Write to your representative today to let members of Congress know WHY the humanities and NEH are important to you, their constituent.

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