Tomorrow, the House of Representatives starts its consideration of the FY 2006 Science, State, Justice, Commerce appropriations bill. The accompanying House Report 109-118 was just released, with its recommendation for a 3.1% increase in funding for the National Science Foundation over this year.
Below is the report language pertaining to the foundation, generally; the Research and Related Activities; and Major Research Equipment sections of the report. A forthcoming FYI will provide the report language on Education and Human Resources.
A fourteen-page letter has been delivered to Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Ranking Member Alan Mollohan (D-WVA) of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Science, State, Justice and Commerce in support of an FY 2006 budget for the National Science Foundation that is considerably higher than that requested by President Bush.
Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) will send a letter to key appropriators later this month in support of a FY 2006 budget of $6.1 billion for the National Science Foundation. Holt and Ehlers have invited their colleagues to sign this letter. The number of representatives who sign this letter will depend heavily on the extent to which constituents express their support for this effort. The deadline for signatures is April 22.
The new chairman and ranking minority member of the House Science Subcommittee on Research had the opportunity on March 9 to demonstrate their enthusiastic support for NSF, its responsibilities in supporting basic research and science education, and the value of basic research to America's future competitiveness.
Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) is the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Environment, Technology and Standards of the House Science Committee (see http://www.house.gov/science/committeeinfo/members/environment/index.htm ). In this role, he recently appeared before the newly established House Appropriations Subcommittee on Science, State, Justice, and Commerce and Related Agencies, chaired by Rep.
The March 11 appropriations hearing on the FY 2006 budget requests for the National Science Foundation and the Office of Science and Technology Policy did not follow the customary path. A major change in the appropriations subcommittee structure and a shift in tenor marked this hearing of the newly established Science, State, Justice, and Commerce and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.
The Coalition for National Science Funding is a broadly-based organization advocating for the National Science Foundation. The coalition annually develops a funding recommendation for NSF. The coalition just released a statement endorsed by the American Institute of Physics and four of its Member Societies: American Astronomical Society, American Geophysical Union, American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America.
National Science Foundation Director Arden Bement described the FY 2006 budget request as follows: "For FY 2006, the National Science Foundation is requesting $5.605 billion. That's $132 million, or 2.4 percent, more than in FY 2005. This modest increase allows us to assume new responsibilities, meet our ongoing commitments, and employ more staff – with little room for growth in research and education programs. This means we'll all have to keep working to leverage resources and work more productively."
The historic FY 2007 budget increases proposed for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, National Science Foundation, and research programs of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, are slipping away. On Monday, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Rep. David Obey (D-WI) announced their support of legislation that in almost all cases would keep funding flat, and in other instances reduce or eliminate funding, for almost every federal department or agency through September 30, 2007.