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FY08 NSF and Department of Energy Office of Science Appropriations Action Alert

The American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) introduced by the President during the 2006 State of the Union is a commitment to the doubling of the research budgets for NSF, NIST, and the Department of Energy Office of Science. Much of that commitment was met by congressional appropriators in FY 07, as they increased the budgets for the three agencies in the year end "continuing resolution." The President remained committed to ACI in his FY 08 budget request, asking for 7 to 14 percent increases for the three agencies.

The FY08 requests of $6.43 billion for NSF and $4.4 billion for the Office of Science would keep both agencies on the doubling path, which has received much bipartisan support in the past.

Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Christopher Bond (R-MO) are circulating a letter to colleagues asking for their support of the $6.43 billion request for the National Science Foundation in FY 2008. Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) are circulating a similar letter to colleagues asking for their support for the Administration's $4.4 billion request for the Department of Energy's Office of Science in FY08. The letters (below) will be sent to the chair and ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee and the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, respectively.

So far the NSF support letter has been signed by Christopher Bond (R-MO), Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Carl Levin (D-MI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Barack Obama (D-IL), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

The Office of Science letter has been signed by Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), John Kerry (D-MA), Carl Levin (D-MI), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Barack Obama (D-IL), Pat Roberts (R-KS), John Rockefeller (D-WV), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), George Voinovich (R-OH), John Warner (R-VA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

During the FY 07 appropriations process, these "ask" letters were remarkably influential on congressional appropriators, helping position science funding as a "national priority" and carving out increases for three key science agencies even as many other agencies were held flat or cut. We're asking for your help in making this similar effort by Lieberman, Bond, Bingaman and Alexander equally effective. Please fax your state Senators (especially if they're not on the list above - but even if they are) and ask them to sign on to the Lieberman/Bond and Bingaman/Alexander "Dear Colleague" letters.

A sample letter you can use can be found below -- please FAX it to your Senators offices as soon as possible. The deadline for signers is Monday, March 12. Please also fax a copy of your letter to Melissa Norr at 202.667.1066.

Find out who your Senators are at Senators of the 110th Congress