Strong Showing in House for NSF Funding: "We Need to Get Back on Track"

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Publication date: 
6 May 2005

A fourteen-page letter has been delivered to Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Ranking Member Alan Mollohan (D-WVA) of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Science, State, Justice and Commerce in support of an FY 2006 budget for the National Science Foundation that is considerably higher than that requested by President Bush.

The letter is fourteen-pages long because that was how much space was necessary for the signatures of 167 Members of the House. Support for the NSF came from both sides of the aisle and from Members whose views range from very liberal to very conservative. This outpouring of support for the NSF was all the more impressive because of the very constrained budget parameters that Congress is working under this year. The American Physical Society had a large role in coordinating this effort.

The letter was written by Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ). Holt and Ehlers, both physicists, promoted this letter as an important way of demonstrating wide support for the National Science Foundation. The letter, which can be read in full at states (paragraphs combined in the interest of space):

"As supporters of fundamental scientific research and education, we respectively ask that you make the National Science Foundation (NSF) funding a priority and provide $6.1 billion in your Fiscal Year 2006 Science, State, Justice and Commerce Subcommittee appropriations legislation. Innovation is the engine that drives our economy. Economists estimate that more than half the economic growth in the past 50 years can be attributed to technological innovation. As other nations are significantly increasing their funding of basic research, the U.S. leadership in science and technology is endangered and cannot be indefinitely taken for granted."

The letter concludes:

"In the FY 2005 Omnibus Spending Bill (P.L. 108-447), the NSF budget was cut by $180 million, or $272 million below the President's request of $5.75 billion. We must act to restore this cut as well as provide an increase consistent with previous NSF budgets. In 2002, Congress recognized the importance of an investment in basic research by overwhelmingly passing the National Science Foundation Authorization Act (P.L.107-368) which authorizes doubling the budget of NSF over five years. We realize that budget realities may not allow Congress to fully fund NSF at the FY 2006 authorized level of $8.5 billion. However, we need to get back on track after the cuts of FY 2005. Therefore, we believe than an increase above the FY 2005 $5.75 billion request is warranted. We are mindful that you will be faced with very difficult choices this year. But we must recognize the unique role that NSF funding plays in increasing economic growth in our nation and providing a means to compete successfully against other countries. We respectfully request that you fund NSF at $6.1 billion for FY 2006. We cannot afford to shortchange the fundamental sciences on which our future and our children's future depend."

Chairman Wolf, Ranking Member Mollohan, and their subcommittee colleagues made it clear at their hearing on the FY 2006 NSF request that they are strong proponents of science and technology funding.

As was true for the recent Senate letter supporting the DOE Office of Science, constituents should take a moment to thank the following representatives for their support of the National Science Foundation (

Snyder, Vic (D-AR, 2nd)

Grijalva, Raul (D-AZ, 7th)
Hayworth, J.D. (R-AZ, 5th)

Becerra, Xavier (D-CA, 31st)
Berman, Howard (D-CA, 28th)
Calvert, Ken (R-CA, 44th)
Capps, Lois (D-CA, 23rd)
Cardoza, Dennis (D-CA, 18th)
Costa, Jim (D-CA, 20th)
Davis, Susan (D-CA, 53rd)
Eshoo, Anna (D-CA, 14th)
Filner, Bob (D-CA, 51st)
Harman, Jane (D-CA, 36th)
Honda, Michael (D-CA, 15th)
Lantos, Tom (D-CA, 12th)
Lee, Barbara (D-CA, 9th)
Lofgren, Zoe (D-CA, 16th)
Matsui, Doris (D-CA, 5th)
Millender-McDonald, Juanita (D-CA, 37th)
Miller, George (D-CA, 7th)
Napolitano, Grace (D-CA, 38th)
Sanchez, Loretta (D-CA, 47th)
Schiff, Adam (D-CA, 29th)
Solis, Hilda (D-CA, 32nd)
Tauscher, Ellen (D-CA, 10th)
Thompson, Mike (D-CA, 1st)
Watson, Diane (D-CA, 33rd)
Waxman, Henry (D-CA, 30th)
Woolsey, Lynn (D-CA, 6th)

Beauprez, Bob (R-CO, 7th)
DeGette, Diana (D-CO, 1st)
Udall, Mark (D-CO, 2nd)

DeLauro, Rosa (D-CT, 3rd)
Simmons, Rob (R-CT, 2nd)

Brown, Corrine (D-FL, 3rd)
Meek, Kendrik (D-FL, 17th)
Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana (R-FL, 18th)

Barrow, John (D-GA, 12th)
Lewis, John (D-GA, 5th)
Marshall, Jim (D-GA, 3rd)

Abercrombie, Neil (D-HI, 1st)
Case, Ed (D-HI, 2nd)

Boswell, Leonard (D-IA, 3rd)
Leach, James (R-IA, 2nd)

Biggert, Judy (R-IL, 13th)
Costello, Jerry (D-IL, 12th)
Davis, Danny (D-IL, 7th)
Evans, Lane (D-IL, 17th)
Gutierrez, Luis (D-IL, 4th)
Johnson, Timothy (R-IL, 15th)
Lipinski, Dan (D-IL, 3rd)
Rush, Bobby (D-IL, 1st)
Schakowsky, Janice (D-IL, 9th)

Moore, Dennis (D-KS, 3rd)

Chandler, Ben (D-KY, 6th)

Jefferson, William (D-LA, 2nd)

Capuano, Michael (D-MA, 8th)
Delahunt, William (D-MA, 10th)
Frank, Barney (D-MA, 4th)
Lynch, Stephen (D-MA, 9th)
Markey, Edward (D-MA, 7th)
McGovern, James (D-MA, 3rd)
Meehan, Martin (D-MA, 5th)
Neal, Richard (D-MA, 2nd)
Tierney, John (D-MA, 6th)

Bartlett, Roscoe (R-MD, 6th)
Cardin, Benjamin (D-MD, 3rd)
Cummings, Elijah (D-MD, 7th)
Gilchrest, Wayne (R-MD, 1st)
Ruppersberger, C.A. Dutch (D-MD, 2nd)
Van Hollen, Chris (D-MD, 8th)

Allen, Thomas (D-ME, 1st)
Michaud, Michael (D-ME, 2nd)

Dingell, John (D-MI, 15th)
Ehlers, Vernon (R-MI, 3rd)
Kildee, Dale (D-MI, 5th)
Levin, Sander (D-MI, 12th)
McCotter, Thaddeus (R-MI, 11th)
Rogers, Mike (R-MI, 8th)
Schwarz, Joe (R-MI, 7th)
Stupak, Bart (D-MI, 1st)
Upton, Fred (R-MI, 6th)

Gutknecht, Gil (R-MN, 1st)
McCollum, Betty (D-MN, 4th)
Oberstar, James (D-MN, 8th)

Carnahan, Russ (D-MO, 3rd)
Clay, William (D-MO, 1st)
Cleaver II, Emanuel (D-MO, 5th)

Butterfield, G.K. (D-NC, 1st)
Etheridge, Bob (D-NC, 2nd)
McIntyre, Mike (D-NC, 7th)
Miller, Brad (D-NC, 13th)
Price, David (D-NC, 4th)
Watt, Melvin (D-NC, 12th)

Ferguson, Mike (R-NJ, 7th)
Holt, Rush (D-NJ, 12th)
Menendez, Robert (D-NJ, 13th)
Pallone, Frank (D-NJ, 6th)
Pascrell, Bill (D-NJ, 8th)
Payne, Donald (D-NJ, 10th)
Saxton, Jim (R-NJ, 3rd)
Smith, Christopher (R-NJ, 4th)

Udall, Tom (D-NM, 3rd)
Wilson, Heather (R-NM, 1st)

Ackerman, Gary (D-NY, 5th)
Bishop, Tim (D-NY, 1st)
Boehlert, Sherwood (R-NY, 24th)
Engel, Eliot (D-NY, 17th)
Hinchey, Maurice (D-NY, 22nd)
Israel, Steve (D-NY, 2nd)
Maloney, Carolyn (D-NY, 14th)
McCarthy, Carolyn (D-NY, 4th)
McNulty, Michael (D-NY, 21st)
Meeks, Gregory (D-NY, 6th)
Nadler, Jerrold (D-NY, 8th)
Owens, Major (D-NY, 11th)
Rangel, Charles (D-NY, 15th)
Slaughter, Louise McIntosh (D-NY, 28th)
Sweeney, John (R-NY, 20th)
Towns, Edolphus (D-NY, 10th)
Weiner, Anthony (D-NY, 9th)

Brown, Sherrod (D-OH, 13th)
Jones, Stephanie Tubbs (D-OH, 11th)
Ryan, Timothy (D-OH, 17th)
Strickland, Ted (D-OH, 6th)

Blumenauer, Earl (D-OR, 3rd)
DeFazio, Peter (D-OR, 4th)
Hooley, Darlene (D-OR, 5th)
Wu, David (D-OR, 1st)

Brady, Robert (D-PA, 1st)
Doyle, Michael (D-PA, 14th)
English, Phil (R-PA, 3rd)
Gerlach, Jim (R-PA, 6th)
Platts, Todd (R-PA, 19th)
Schwartz, Allyson (D-PA, 13th)
Weldon, Curt (R-PA, 7th)

Langevin, James (D-RI, 2nd)

Inglis, Bob (R-SC, 4th)

Cooper, Jim (D-TN, 5th)
Davis, Lincoln (D-TN, 4th)
Duncan, John (R-TN, 2nd)
Ford, Harold E. Jr. (D-TN, 9th)
Gordon, Bart (D-TN, 6th)

Burgess, Michael (R-TX, 26th)
Doggett, Lloyd (D-TX, 25th)
Gonzalez, Charles (D-TX, 20th)
Green, Al (D-TX, 9th)
Green, Gene (D-TX, 29th)
Hall, Ralph (R-TX, 4th)
Jackson-Lee, Sheila (D-TX, 18th)
Johnson, Eddie Bernice (D-TX, 30th)
Reyes, Silvestre (D-TX, 16th)
Smith, Lamar (R-TX, 21st)

Matheson, Jim (D-UT, 2nd)

Boucher, Rick (D-VA, 9th)
Davis, Tom (R-VA, 11th)
Moran, James (D-VA, 8th)

Sanders, Bernard (I-VT, At Large)

Inslee, Jay (D-WA, 1st)
Larsen, Rick (D-WA, 2nd)
McDermott, Jim (D-WA, 7th)
Smith, Adam (D-WA, 9th)

Baldwin, Tammy (D-WI, 2nd)
Green, Mark (R-WI, 8th)
Kind, Ron (D-WI, 3rd)
Moore, Gwen (D-WI 4th)

Rahall, Nick (D-WV, 3rd)

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