Proposed Cuts to National Science Foundation (NSF) Funding
June 10, 2015

Our thanks to David Lindsay, Manager, Government Affairs at SAA, for the following information:

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a reauthorization bill for National Science Foundation (NSF) funding. This bill (H.R. 1806) would make a 45 percent reduction in NSF’s research funding for the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences. The next stop for the bill is the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. It is vitally important that you contact your Senators about this pending legislation. Members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee are:

Republican Members

  • John Thune                 South Dakota Visit Site
  • Roger Wicker              Mississippi Visit Site
  • Roy Blunt                    Missouri Visit Site
  • Marco Rubio               Florida Visit Site
  • Kelly Ayotte                New Hampshire Visit Site 
  • Dean Heller                 Nevada Visit Site
  • Ted Cruz                     Texas Visit Site
  • Deb Fischer                 Nebraska Visit Site
  • Dan Sullivan               Alaska Visit Site
  • Jerry Moran                 Kansas Visit Site
  • Ron Johnson               Wisconsin Visit Site 
  • Cory Gardner              Colorado Visit Site
  • Steve Daines               Montana Visit Site

 Democratic Members

  • Bill Nelson                  Florida Visit Site
  • Maria Cantwell            Washington Visit Site
  • Claire McCaskill         Missouri Visit Site
  • Amy Klobuchar          Minnesota Visit Site
  • Richard Blumenthal    Connecticut Visit Site
  • Brian Schatz                Hawaii Visit Site
  • Ed Markey                  Massachusetts Visit Site
  • Cory Booker               New Jersey Visit Site
  • Tom Udall                   New Mexico Visit Site
  • Joe Manchin                West Virginia Visit Site
  • Gary Peters                  Michigan Visit Site

Even if your Senators are not on this Committee, you should still contact them and encourage them to speak to their colleagues on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Two draft letters are below:

If your senator IS on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee:

Dear Senator [NAME],

I am one of your constituents, living in [CITY]. I am writing to you because you sit on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, to urge you to assure that the National Science Foundation receives its full funding this year, and that the Committee takes its traditional approach to funding NSF: letting its scientists decide how best to allocate research dollars.

The House has passed the COMPETES Act (H.R. 1806), which includes a targeted, 45% budget cut to the Directorate of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. I believe this is not only a dangerous break with congressional relations with NSF but also not in the national interest. SBE programs foster a better understanding of how the brain works, how to deliver food, water, and energy to people, how people in the past coped with climate change, and how cultural diversity interacts with today's pressing issues. We cannot afford as a nation to play politics with this kind of research. Thank you for keeping all of NSF well-funded.

If your Senator is NOT on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee:

Dear Senator [NAME],

I am one of your constituents, living in [CITY]. I am writing to you to urge you to talk with your colleagues on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, to ask them to assure that the National Science Foundation receives its full funding this year, and that the Committee takes its traditional approach to funding NSF: letting its head scientists decide how best to allocate research dollars.

The House has passed the COMPETES Act (H.R. 1806), which includes a targeted, 45% budget cut to the Directorate of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. I believe this is not only a dangerous break with congressional relations with NSF but also not in the national interest. SBE programs foster a better understanding of how the brain works, how to deliver food, water, and energy to people, how people in the past coped with climate change, and how cultural diversity interacts with today's pressing issues. We cannot afford as a nation to play politics with this kind of research. Thank you for encouraging your colleagues to keep all of NSF well-funded.

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