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This Action Alert asks AAS members to call and fax members of the Senate Budget committee to ask for an increased budget for the NSF and send thank-you notes to members of the House Budget committee for providing funds for an 11% increase for NSF, 5% above the President's request. Contact information and a draft FAX are included at the end of this Alert.


Each year after the President's budget is submitted to Congress, the House and Senate Budget Committees meet to allocate funds for the so-called "Budget Functions". These broad categories group Federal expenditures based on the type of expenditure. For example, all basic research is funded under the "Budget Function 250: Basic Research." Other budget functions include transportation, education etc.

If an insufficient allocation is produced by the Budget committee, it can be augmented at the request of appropriations committee leadership during the appropriations process. This is an inexact process and it is far easier to ensure that a large enough budget allocation is available at the beginning of the process.

Astronomy is supported through NASA and NSF through the Function 250 amount. By asking Congress to increase this allocation at the start of the budget season, more funds will be available for the appropriations committees as the year progresses.


AAS members are asked to call and fax members of the Senate Budget committee to support a large Function 250 allocation. This communication should take place in the next two weeks, as the senate budget committee is beginning to meet and should have their work completed by early- or mid-April. It is especially important that constituents of Budget Committee members make the effort to communicate the need for a large Function 250 allocation.

The House Budget Committee, on March 13, passed a budget resolution that included an 11% increase for the NSF, fully 5% above the President's requested level. We should expect an even larger increase from the Senate if sufficient communication is received from the community.


The following is a list of the phone numbers and Fax numbers for members of the House and Senate Budget Committees. A phone conservation template and draft FAX is attached at the bottom of this email.



Tammy Baldwin Wisconsin 202-225-2906 202-225-6942

Charles Bass New Hampshire 202-225-5206 202-225-2946

Ken Bentsen Texas 202-225-7508 202-225-2947

Henry E. Brown South Carolina 202-225-3176 202-225-3407

Michael Capuano Massachusetts 202-225-5111 202-225-9322

Eva M. Clayton North Carolina 202-225-3101 202-225-3354

Bob Clement Tennessee 202-225-4311 202-226-1035

Michael Collins Georgia 202-225-5901 202-225-2515

Ander Crenshaw Florida 202-225-2501 202-225-2504

John A. Culberson Texas 202-225-2571 202-225-4381

Jim Davis Florida 202-225-3376 202-225-5652

Ernest Lee Fletcher Kentucky 202-225-4706 202-225-2122

Gil Gutknecht Minnesota 202-225-2472 202-225-3246

Doc Hastings Washington 202-225-5816 202-225-3251

Van Hilleary Tennessee 202-225-6831 202-225-3272

Joseph M. Hoeffel Pennsylvania 202-225-6111 202-226-0611

Peter Hoekstra Michigan 202-225-4401 202-226-0779

Rush Holt New Jersey 202-225-5801 202-225-6025

Michael M. Honda California 202-225-2631 202-225-2699

Darlene Hooley Oregon 202-225-5711 202-225-5699

Mark S. Kirk Illinois 202-225-4835 202-225-0837

Jerry Kleczka Wisconsin 202-225-4572 202-225-8135

Carolyn McCarthy New York 202-225-5516 202-225-5758

Jim McDermott Washington 202-225-3106 202-225-6197

Gary G. Miller California 202-225-3201 202-226-6962

Dennis Moore Kansas 202-225-2865 202-225-2807

James P.Moran Virginia 202-225-4376 202-225-0017

Jim Nussle Iowa 202-225-2911 202-225-9129

Rob J. Portman Ohio 202-225-3164 202-225-1992

David E. Price North Carolina 202-225-1784 202-225-2014

Adam Putnam Florida 202-225-1252 202-226-0585

Jim R. Ryun Kansas 202-225-6601 202-225-7986

Edward L. Schrock Virginia 202-225-4215 202-225-4218

John M. Spratt South Carolina 202-225-5501 202-225-0464

John E. Sununu New Hampshire 202-225-5456 202-225-5822

Bennie G. Thompson Mississippi 202-225-5876 202-225-5898

William Thornberry Texas 202-225-3706 202-225-3486

Pat Toomey Pennsylvania 202-225-6411 202-226-0778

Wes W. Watkins Oklahoma 202-225-4565 202-225-5966


Wayne Allard Colorado 202-224-5941 202-224-6471

Christopher S. Bond Missouri 202-224-5721 202-224-8149

Robert C. Byrd West Virginia 202-224-3954 202-228-0002

Hillary Clinton New York 202-224-4451 202-228-0282

Kent Conrad North Dakota 202-224-2043 202-224-7776

Pete V. Domenici New Mexico 202-224-6621 202-228-1177

Russ Feingold Wisconsin 202-224-5323 202-224-2725

Bill Frist Tennessee 202-224-3344 202-228-1264

Phil Gramm Texas 202-224-2934 202-228-2856

Charles E. Grassley Iowa 202-224-3744 202-224-6020

Judd Gregg New Hampshire 202-224-3324 202-224-4952

Chuck Hagel Nebraska 202-224-4224 202-224-5213

Ernest F. Hollings South Carolina 202-224-6121 202-224-4293

Tim Johnson South Dakota 202-224-5842 202-228-5765

Patty Murray Washington 202-224-2621 202-24-0238

Bill Nelson Florida 202-224-5274 202-228-2183

Don Nickles Oklahoma 202-224-5754 202-224-6008

Paul S. Sarbanes Maryland 202-224-4524 202-224-1651

Gordon Smith Oregon 202-224-3753 202-228-3997

Olympia J. Snowe Maine 202-224-5344 202-224-1946

Debbie A. Stabenow Michigan 202-224-4822 202-228-0325

Ron Wyden Oregon 202-224-5244 202-228-2717


Operator: Hello, this is the office of Senator X, how can I help you?

YOU: This is Dr. Starry Night, I would like to ask Senator X to support a large Function 250 budget allocation this year. Is the Budget committee staffer available for a brief phone call?

Operator: Sure, let me connect you. She isn't available right now, would you like her voice mail?

Staffer: Hello, this is Rose C. Glasses.

YOU: Hello, this is Dr. Starry Night, I wanted to ask that you support a large Function 250 allocation during the budget committee hearings. Both NASA and the National Science Foundation are funded from this allocation and the research that they do is vital for our Nation, especially now.

Staffer: OK, thanks, I'll do what I can.

YOU: Great. Thanks so much for your time and if I can be of any help to you or Senator X, please don't hesitate to call on me.


Senator X

Senate Budget Committee

Dear Sir,

I am sending you this FAX to ask that you support an increased Function 250 budget allocation in the upcoming meetings of the Senate Budget committee.

As you know, the National Science Foundation and NASA are both funded from this budget function and I strongly support an increased budget for these very important agencies.

Basic scientific research is vital for our Nation and our Nation's security. The NSF provides basic research support in all areas of scientific endeavor, including my area of expertise, Astrophysics.

The NSF also is responsible in large part for the training and education of our high-tech workforce, which they accomplish through support of graduate fellowships and research grants.

NASA excites our imagination and informs us of the Universe in which we live. Students, teachers and the general public all appreciate the value of the basic research activities of NASA. NASA provides fundamental research in Astronomy, Astrophysics, Solar Physics and a variety of other areas that help us understand our Earth and our place in the Universe as well as pushing the boundaries of technology through its other areas of work.

I know you will do what you can to support an increased Function 250 allocation and if I can be of any service to you now or in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.


Dr. Starry Night

My University

My Hometown, My State

[Mailed from at 4:00pm 16 March 2002]

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