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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

Budget Cuts Impact Humanities

Most federal humanities programs received major cuts in FY 2011, and new budget allocations released by the House indicate that FY 2012 could result in even larger across-the-board reductions. As work on FY 2012 appropriations in Congress moves forward, you can help by contacting your congressional representatives. Here are two programs that directly impact many AAA members:

Title VI/Fulbright-Hays International Education Programs
The U.S. Department of Education just cancelled all new Fulbright-Hays International Education Program grants, stating: “Congressional action on the FY 2011 budget substantially reduced funds available for grants from the Title VI Programs, including new grants under the DDRA (Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad) Program. Therefore, no new awards will be made under the DDRA Program in FY 2011.”
Please write your Members of Congress and ask them to restore FY 2012 funding for the Department of Education’s International Education and Foreign Language Studies programs-Title VI and Fulbright-Hays- to the FY 2010 enacted level of $125.9 million.

Ask Congress to Support the Humanities – Restore NEH FY12 Funding
Please write your Members of Congress and ask them to support the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by requesting $167.5 million in FY12 funding for the agency. This would restore NEH funding to the same level the agency received in FY10. As you may know, the final, FY11 year-end Continuing Resolution (CR) set NEH funding for the current year at $155 million–a $12.5 million cut from the FY10 level.  In the FY12 Budget Proposal, President Obama has requested $146 million for the agency in FY12.  If enacted, this figure would represent an even deeper, $21 million cut from the FY10 level.

The National Humanities Alliance has template messages in which you can personalize for your congressional representative. Please contact your representative today!

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