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CRA Letter to House Appropriators on
FY 2000 Appropriations for the National Science Foundation

July 30, 1999

The Honorable James T. WalshThe Honorable Alan B. Mollohan
ChairmanRanking Minority Member
Subcommittee on VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies    Subcommittee on VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies
Committee on AppropriationsCommittee on Appropriations
U.S. House of RepresentativesU.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Walsh & Mr. Mollohan:

I am writing to offer the Computing Research Association's sincerest thanks and appreciation for your support for the National Science Foundation's Information Technology research initiative in the FY 2000 appropriations bill. We are exceedingly pleased that you and your subcommittee colleagues have affirmed the value of public investment in computing and communications research by making it a priority within the NSF's limited budget. The subcommittee clearly recognizes the potential that an expanded IT research program would have on advancing science, growing the economy, and meeting other critical public objectives, and we applaud your efforts to see this potential realized.

While we understand the difficulties surrounding the current budget situation, we are nonetheless disappointed that the subcommittee's allocation restricted funding for the initiative to levels well below those called for by the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee, the National Science Foundation's budget request, and the bipartisan Networking and Information Technology R&D legislation pending in the House Science Committee.

By forgoing provision of the total amount requested for IT research, we are forgoing tremendous opportunities to make the lives of the American people better through the enabling power of computing and information technologies. We are forgoing opportunities to revolutionize health care — to invent smart medical devices and high-performance biomedical research tools and to expand rural communities' access to top-quality health care via telemedicine. We are forgoing opportunities to design twenty-first century transportation systems, the reliability and safety of which depend so heavily on information technologies. We are forgoing opportunities to re-invent education, customized and delivered according to individual needs so that all Americans can share in the benefits of an information-rich society. We are forgoing opportunities to transform commerce for the benefit of consumers and businesses alike and to ensure the versatility, security, and privacy of our twenty-first century communications systems and other critical infrastructure.

We therefore urge the Congress to make additional efforts to provide the full budget request for information technology research at the NSF in FY 2000. Indeed the entire NSF budget request warrants full funding even in this constrained fiscal environment. We stand ready to offer whatever assistance we can in this crucial endeavor.


Edward Lazowska
CRA Board Chair

cc: Members, House Appropriations Committee

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Document last modified on Wednesday, 04-Apr-2012 06:51:14 PDT.