One Battle Down, One to Go on NSF Appropriations

Tell Your Senators To Support All Sciences at NSF

Thanks to your voice; the actions of FABBS and other science advocates in DC; and the excellent management of the appropriations bill by Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Ranking Member Chaka Fattah (D-PA), we scored an important victory for NSF research funding.

The U.S. House voted to increase funding for NSF in the FY 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science & Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill by 3.31%, and in the process, avoided passing amendments that cut funding for the social, behavioral, or education sciences at NSF.  To review the full story of what we faced on the House floor, see this FABBS news article.

We have one more round to go before NSF appropriations is complete, and your voice counts! During the week of June 16, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the FY 2015 CJS Appropriations bill. As on the House side, we anticipate amendments to be offered that may target the social and behavioral sciences (SBS) and/or specific SBS disciplines by reducing funding or placing restrictions on it.

Write your Senators now to encourage support for NSF and opposition to any amendment that singles out any area of science for negative treatment.

Please write your Senators following the three simple steps below:

1. Identify your Senators:

  • Go to senate.gov 
  • Select your home state from the box at the upper right (Find your two Senators)
  • Click each Senator’s name when it appears on the next page, and you will be directed to their website(s).

2.  Locate the "Contact" button on their website

  • Use the form provided. If you have to select an issue area, select “Budget."

3.  Cut and paste the message below:

Dear Senator______________________:

As a scientist and constituent, I am appreciative of the bipartisan work of the Senate Appropriations Committee in passing a FY 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science & Related Agencies Appropriations bill.  Under the leadership of Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Ranking Member Richard C. Shelby (R-AL), the bill provides a small increase in funding for the National Science Foundation, despite a very tight budget.

I am deeply concerned, however, about amendments to the bill as it moves to the Senate floor. As you know, funding for NSF has not kept pace with inflation in recent years. For our country to compete internationally and train the next generation of scientists, we must invest in science, including the social and behavioral sciences.

The discoveries made through NSF-funded social and behavioral sciences impact people’s lives. This research tells us how to improve disaster preparedness; enhance the teaching of our children; increase the safety of our troops in combat areas; reduce violence among our youth; improve public health; improve the effectiveness of the criminal justice system; and help paralyzed people communicate – and many other areas.

I urge you to support funding for NSF in the CJS Appropriations bill. I also urge you to oppose any amendments that seek to reduce funding or place restrictions on any area of science supported by NSF, including the social and behavioral sciences.

I look forward to hearing back from you about how NSF fares in the appropriations process and how amendments that threaten areas of science were addressed. 

Thank you for your support of all sciences at NSF during tight fiscal times.

Sincerely,