Important efforts are underway in the House of Representatives to demonstrate Member support for the DOE Office of Science and the National Science Foundation. Constituent expressions of interest will be important to the success of these efforts.
“Dear Colleague” letters are a time-tested method for representatives and senators to show their support for a federal program or pending legislation. Two “Dear colleagues” are circulating among representatives requesting signatures on letters that will be sent to key appropriators.
Members’ offices receive many Dear Colleague letters every day. Letters are far more likely to be acted upon if constituents ask their representative or senators to sign them. Your representative can be reached through the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Time is of the essence: the deadline for signatures on these letters is Wednesday, March 17.
DOE Office of Science:
This letter is being circulated by Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Rush Holt (D-NJ). It will be sent to House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Peter Visclosky (D-IN) and Ranking Member Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ). Key paragraphs are as follows:
"As you begin your work on the Fiscal Year 2011 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, we write to express our strong support for the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science. In particular, we urge you to support the Administration's budget request of $5.121 billion for the DOE Office of Science, which represents a 4.4 percent increase over the Fiscal Year 2010 funding level, and is consistent with the plans of both the Administration and Congress to double the federal investment in the basic sciences within the next decade."
" . . . we urge you to support the Administration's Fiscal Year 2011 budget request of $5.121 billion for the DOE Office of Science. Furthermore, we urge you to focus this funding on mission-related activities and facilities, and to avoid using core DOE research program budgets to fund extraneous projects. With this funding, the DOE Office of Science can attract the best minds, educate the next generation of scientists and engineers, support the construction and operation of modern facilities, and conduct even more of the quality scientific research that can create jobs and ensure the U.S. retains its competitive edge for many years to come.”
National Science Foundation:
This letter is being circulated by Representatives Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Bob Inglis (R-SC), and Dan Lipinski (D-IL). It will be sent to House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Alan Mollohan (D-WV) and Ranking Member Frank Wolf (R-VA). Key paragraphs are as follows:
“We are writing to thank you for your consistent support for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and to urge you to continue that support in the fiscal year 2011 (FY11) appropriations bill. We ask that you uphold the Administration’s FY11 funding level request of $7.424 billion for the National Science Foundation.”
“ . . . we recognize that the overall increase requested for the NSF comes at a time when other agencies within the CJS subcommittee may be suffering cuts. Though NSF receives only four percent of the total federal research and development budget, it is the bedrock of our scientific strength and provides the basis for innovation and development throughout our economy. We respectively request that you continue to support such advances by funding the NSF at $7.424 billion in the FY11 appropriations bill.”
Information on the Administration’s FY 2011 budget requests for the National Science Foundation and the DOE Office of Science can be found here.