Senate Move to Double NSF Funding Still Seeking Support Senators Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-Missouri) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) are still looking for additional support from their colleagues to double the National Science Foundation budget over the next five years. They have the signatures of 38 senators (counting themselves) on a letter to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) and Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (D- South Dakota) that advocates doubling of the foundation's budget. There is a general consensus among proponents of the National Science Foundation that the expressed support of more senators is needed -- to ensure both a good appropriation for FY 2001 and to demonstrate a commitment to this five year undertaking.
With the start of the new fiscal year only ten days away, the timing is tight. Senators respond to letters such as that from Bond and Mikulski when prompted by their constituents. Senate offices may be reached by calling 202-224-3121.
FYI #84 contains the full text of the Bond/Mikulski letter. The first and last paragraphs of the letter, sent on July 12, cite the five year doubling effort, and read as follows:
"We are writing as longtime supporters of investments in fundamental research and education the building blocks of the new economy. Just as we have worked collectively to double the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget over five years, we believe it is now time to launch a parallel effort to double the budget of the National Science Foundation (NSF) over five years. It is our strong belief that the success of NIH's efforts to cure deadly diseases such as cancer depends on the underpinning research supported by NSF."
"For all these reasons, we hope you will join us in adopting a five-year goal of doubling the National Science Foundation by fiscal year 2006."
The following 38 senators have signed this letter:
Alaska: Ted Stevens (R)
It is important to note that another letter was sent to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Ranking Minority Member Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) stating: "Senators Bond and Mikulski have just announced their intention to double NSF in five years. This is a laudable goal and we urge your support for NSF funding at levels sufficient to achieve this goal." This letter was signed by:
Michigan: Spencer Abraham (R)
A total of 41 senators have expressed support in the two letters for a doubling of the National Science Foundation budget over the next five years.
Richard M. Jones