# Action Alert on National Science Foundation FY2012 Budget

Please contact your senators and congressional representative and ask them to support a FY 2012 budget of $6,859,867,000 for the National Science Foundation (NSF). It is important that you contact your senators and representative immediately. The FY 2012 NSF budget has been marked by the House Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee at$6,859,867,000, the same as the FY 2011 NSF budget.  It is not likely that NSF will receive a FY 2012 budget higher than $6,859,867,000. The Senate CJS committee has marked the FY 2012 NSF budget at$6,698,095,000, or $161,772,000 less than the FY 2011 NSF budget. The Senate CJS committee budget mark includes cuts of$120,875,000 to Research and Related Activities (R&RA) and $26,034,000 to Education and Human Resources (EHR). Representatives Frank Wolf (R-VA), chair and Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Ranking Member, of the House CJS committee are committed to funding the NSF in FY 2012 at$6,859,867,000.  They need our help in getting the Senate to agree to this level of funding.

To put things in perspective, the FY 2010 NSF budget was $6,926,510,000,$66,643,000 more than the FY 2011 NSF budget and $228,415,000 more than the FY 2012 NSF budget proposed by the Senate CJS committee. The House and Senate will work out a compromise to establish a FY 2012 NSF budget that will most likely be part of an omnibus appropriations bill. This compromise is being worked on now and once an agreement is in place it will be almost impossible to change. This is why we need your help now. Contact your senators and representative by phone, fax, or email. Information on contacting your representative can be found at http://www.votesmart.org/official_congress.php?dist=bio.php http://www.senate.gov/ http://www.house.gov/ TALKING POINTS Whenever possible you should make your talking points pertinent to your state, district, or region. Urge your senators to oppose the proposed cuts to NSF. Support for NSF is critical for maintaining the scientific knowledge base critical to discovery and needed for innovation and technology development. We understand the need for fiscal restraint, and the need to live within our means. However, spending cuts need to be smart and strategic. Drastic cuts in areas such as scientific research that are essential to American Innovation, growing the economy, and being globally competitive are counterproductive. In the long-term these cuts will put us at a severe disadvantage relative to our competitors. Predictable and sustained support for federally funded scientific research is essential for maintaining the science enterprise and educating the next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and innovators. SAMPLE CORRESPONDENCE Dear Senator XXX: I want to express my concern with the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies FY 2012 appropriations bill which has cut the National Science Foundation (NSF) budget by$161,772,000 compared to its FY 2011 budget.

I urge you to support a FY 2012 NSF budget of at least $6,859,867,000, the level of the FY 2011 NSF budget and the FY 2012 House CJS NSF budget mark. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dear Representative XXX: I urge you to support a FY 2012 National Science Foundation (NSF) budget of at least$6,859,867,000, the budget mark in the House Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill.
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You can use the text below with correspondence to a Senator or Representative.

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While I recognize that Congress is facing difficult decisions with respect to our national fiscal health, it is important to make continued federal support for NSF a priority.  NSF is a cornerstone of America’s research enterprise and is absolutely critical to the nation’s economic health.

The bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform noted that while it is necessary to make budget cuts, “at the same time we must invest in education, infrastructure, and high value research and development to help our economy grow, keep us globally competitive, and make it easier for businesses to create jobs.”   NSF is the only federal agency that supports research and education across all fields of science, engineering, and mathematics and at all educational levels.  Research and education programs supported by NSF increase and develop the knowledge base needed for pushing the frontiers of science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines, contribute to the development of the future science and technology workforce, develop new fields of inquiry, and promote interdisciplinary research and education, all of which facilitate technological innovation.