Help Science Research Budgets

Member Alert from Judy Franz, APS

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I ask your help in urging Congress to enact increases for the budgets of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) STRS account in the upcoming Continuing Resolution for FY07.  These increases are critical for preserving the health of science and education programming at these three agencies.

Please go to this URL to quickly and easily send an email to your Member of Congress:

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(See Pointers below.)


Congress did not pass the Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 budget before the start of the fiscal year on October 1. Consequently, the NSF, the DOE Office of Science and NIST are currently operating at the FY06 levels, despite strong bipartisan support for significant increases that had been proposed in the FY07 budget.  Before adjourning in December, the 109th Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds the federal government at FY06 levels through Feb 17th. The leadership of both the House and the Senate has already announced their plan to pass a yearlong spending resolution in lieu of the outstanding appropriations bills when the 110th Congress convenes. The spending resolution, if left unchanged, will extend FY06 funding levels for the entirety of FY07. 

The year-long extension of the FY06 funding levels could have severe effects on the science and education programs in the US:

  • There will be a significant reduction in operations or a complete shutdown at some key national user facilities that academic and industrial researchers from around the country rely on.

  • Scientific and technical staffing at the national laboratories may suffer reductions in force, since the FY06 funding levels do not account for salary-adjusted inflation.

  • University grants will be notably reduced
    • At NSF, there will be a 10% reduction in the number of new research grants, a loss of 40 planned Graduate Fellowships and $439 million in missed opportunities for scientific discoveries.
    • At DOE, university grants could be cut by 10% or more.  Due to the significant cut in funding of the Office of Science in FY06, DOE has been operating below FY05 levels.  The proposed Continuing Resolution would extend these difficult levels through October 2007.

It is possible that Congress will make some adjustments for select agencies when they pass the yearlong resolution.  It is conceivable that funds will be added to the NSF budget.  Congress is more likely to allow DOE and the Department of Commerce to reprogram their allocations to fund the DOE Office of Science and NIST at the proposed FY07 levels, since the overall increases in the proposed FY07 budgets over FY06 for those two agencies is very small and it is the reallocation within the agency that is critical for science.  If either or both of these actions are to be taken, however, it is vital that scientist constituents  urge their Members of Congress to do so.  Communications from constituents are a very effective tool in influencing Members of Congress and are an important source of leverage for the APS Washington Office.

Please take a moment to write your Member of Congress and strongly urge them to include the FY07 funding levels for these three agencies in the yearlong Continuing Resolution, by simply clicking this link:

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  1. Individualizing your letter is not essential.
  2. If you are a government employee, please do not use government resources to send a communication.
  3. Using the above link to send your messages is straightforward and fast; the system can be used with most web browsers, but works best with Windows and a recent version of Internet Explorer or Netscape.
  4. Your browser will take you to a page where you will enter your name and address.
  5. After entering your address, click the “Edit/Send Email button.” A window with an individual email message to the five offices will appear. Click “Send Emails” to transmit the communication.
  6. Electronic submission is preferred.
  7. For technical help, write to