Speaking Up for Science

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Publication date: 
4 April 2008

Individuals concerned about this year's budgets for the Department of Energy Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology are being encouraged to call their representative, senators, and President Bush on

Tuesday, April 8 or  
Wednesday, April 9 or  
Thursday, April 10.

This effort is being coordinated by the Energy Sciences Coalition and the Coalition for National Science Funding, to which AIP and several of its Member Societies belong.

As reviewed in previous issues of FYI, the FY 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act provided significantly less funding than was requested for NSF, the Office of Science, and NIST.  At the request of Congress, Administration officials outlined the impacts of this reduced funding on program operations for this year, as follows:

National Science Foundation
DOE Office of Science
National Institute of Standards and Technology

House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha (D-PA) has announced that his subcommittee will draft a bill providing supplemental funding for war expenses on April 15.  This supplemental appropriations bill is expected to include $110 billion for costs associated with the Iraq war.

It is widely predicted that this may be one of the only funding bills to move through the fractured Congress this election year.  As the House and Senate each consider this bill there will be an opportunity to provide funding for additional programs.  Efforts are being made to include additional money for storm-damaged national parks and federal lands, local law enforcement, and for  communities that are receiving reduced funding from federal timber sales.  Recently, eight senators wrote to senior appropriations requesting that $350 million be included in the supplemental appropriations bill for the Office of Science and NSF.    This follows earlier efforts on behalf of ITER funding, and the Office of Science and NSF. The White House and some fiscal conservatives are calling for this bill to only include war funding.

Members of Congress and the White House receive many telephone calls every day from constituents regarding legislation.  Information on this grass roots call-in campaign on behalf of additional current year funding for the National Science Foundation, DOE Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology can be viewed here.