AAS ACTION ALERT 2003-01
AAS members are requested to write their senators asking them to Contact the chair and ranking member of the Senate VA-HUD-IA Appropriations Subcommittee in support of increased funding for the National Science Foundation. Although Senators Bond (R-MO) and Mikulski (D-MD) have Both stated they hope to double the NSF budget over the next five years. They will not do so without support from the scientific community. A Message of support, conveyed to Bond and Mikulski by their colleagues is the best way to guarantee the continued growth of NSF funding.
The chairman and ranking member of the Senate VA/HUD/Independent Agencies Appropriations subcommittee have heard little from other Senators in support of increased funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF). Very few Senators have included NSF specifically in their request letters to the panel.
Given the subcommittee's budget constraints, Senators Bond and Mikulski will have difficulty providing NSF with a significant funding increase unless more Senators express support for the agency.
You are urged to contact your Senators and ask them to send individual or delegational letters to subcommittee chairman Kit Bond (R-MO) and ranking member Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) on behalf of NSF.
A sample letter to send to your own Senators asking them to write a letter as well as a template letter for the Senators to use for this purpose are included below.
NOTE: Please edit both letters before sending them to your Senators.
Kevin B. Marvel
Deputy Executive Officer
DRAFT AAS MEMBER LETTER TO THEIR SENATORS
[EDIT BEFORE SENDING]
Dear Senator X,
I am writing to ask that you contact Senators Bond and Mikulski in support of increased NSF funding for FY2004.
As you know, NSF provides the bulk of the funding for basic research in our country as well as supporting large numbers of graduate students, who are the key to a vibrant technically trained workforce. The President signed into law last year the NSF Authorization Act, which specifically outlines the admirable and valuable goal of doubling the NSF budget in real terms over the next five years. I strongly support this goal as NSF funds a large fraction of the astronomical research in our country, including almost all of the ground-based research.
I have attached a draft letter for you to consider sending to Senators Bond and Mikulski for your convenience.
If I can be of any further help to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am happy to help you in whatever way I can.
Dr. Stahrs R. Twinklin
DRAFT LETTER FROM SENATOR X to SENATORS BOND AND MIKULSKI
Dear Chairman Bond/Ranking Member Mikulski:
As you move to mark up the FY2004 VA/HUD/IA appropriations bill, I (we) urge you to do your best to support funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) at, or near, the $6.4 billion level contained in the NSF authorization bill which Congress approved and the President signed into law last December.
The support that NSF provides for scientific research and education at universities in my (our) state, such as [INSTITUTIONAL NAME(S)], is critical to maintaining and advancing our nation's leadership in science, technology, and education. NSF's support of basic Research is absolutely essential to the development of advanced technologies in a variety of areas including nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, and medicine. Beyond that, NSF support helps ensure that the best and the brightest students have access to talented faculty at world class facilities so that the U.S. continues to train adequate numbers of future scientific leaders.
The simple fact that NSF has supported more than 100 Nobel Laureates over the past 50 years shows the importance of the agency in helping maintain a robust scientific enterprise and in driving the U.S. economy.
NSF programs from which [XXX University] has particularly benefited include [NAME SPECIFIC NSF PROGRAMS OF INTEREST TO YOUR CAMPUS]. ]
I am (we are) aware that budgetary constraints make your task of crafting the VA/HUD/IA bill most difficult. But in light of the critically important role that NSF plays in advancing research and education in my state and throughout the nation, I (we) would again request that you do what you can to support NSF at the authorized level in your appropriations bill.
Member, U.S. Senate (Members, U.S. Senate)
[Mailed to US members from aas.org at 3:45pm 25 JUNE 2003]
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