The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has announced that it intends to "mark-up" S. 2802 on Thursday, May 18, 2006. S. 2802 is the "American Innovation and Competitiveness Act of 2006." A "mark-up" is when the committee considers amendments to legislation prior to sending a measure to the full Senate for a vote.
We have learned that Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) plans to offer an amendment to S. 2802 during the Committee's scheduled mark-up on Thursday, May 18. The Hutchison amendment would direct the National Science Foundation to ensure that the assessment of research awards and grant proposals submitted to the Foundation, and research activities initiated by the Foundation, include consideration of the degree to which such awards and activities contribute to the enhancement of the Nation's capacities in the areas of "physical science, technology, engineering, and mathematics." The amendment does not include biological, enviromental or social sciences, nor does it include science education programs. If adopted, this amendment could limit funding for these important disciplines, all of which play a critical role in our nation's scientific enterprise and contribute to economic opportunities and global competitiveness.
We have also learned that Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) plans to submit an amendment striking the section in the bill on priorities, the same section that Hutchison seeks to rewrite. Lautenberg's amendment would be a positive change as it would allow the NSF the greatest latitude in making sound investments in fundamental research.
Scientists from the states listed below need to call or fax their Senator today to encourage them to oppose the Hutchison amendment and support the Lautenberg amendment to s. 2802. The Hutchison amendment arbitrarily excludes areas of scientific research that are vital to our national interest. S. 2802 should support all of NSF, not micromanage NSF.
Members of the Committee are listed below. Please contact your Senator and encourage your colleagues to do so as well.
AK, AZ, AR, CA, FL, HI, LA, MA, ME, MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, ND, OR, SC, TX, VA, WA, WV
Sen. Ted Stevens, Chair, Alaska, Ph. 202-224-3004, Fax. 202-224-2354
Sen. John McCain, AZ, Ph. 202-224-2235, Fax. 202-228-2862
Sen. Conrad Burns, MT, Ph. 202-224-2644, Fax. 202-224-8594
Sen. Trent Lott, MS, Ph. 202-224-6253, Fax. 202-224-2262
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, TX, Ph. 202-224-5922, Fax. 202-224-0776
Sen. Olympia Snowe, ME, Ph. 202-224-5344, Fax 202-224-1946
Sen. Gordon Smith, OR, Ph. 202-224-3753, Fax 202-228-3997
Sen. John Ensign, NV, Ph. 202-224-6244, Fax 202-228-2193
Sen. George Allen, VA, Ph. 202-224-4024, Fax 202-224-5432
Sen. John E. Sununu, NH, Ph. 202-224-2841, Fax 202-228-4131
Sen. Jim DeMint, SC, Ph. 202-224-6121, Fax 202-228-5143
Sen. David Vitter, LA, Ph. 202-224-4623, Fax 202-228-5061
Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, HI, Ranking Member, Ph. 202-224-3934, Fax 202-224-6747
Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, WV, Ph. 202-224-6472, Fax 202-224-7665
Sen. John F. Kerry, MA, Ph. 202-224-2742, Fax 202-224-8525
Sen. Byron Dorgan, ND, Ph. 202-224-2551, Fax 202-224-1193
Sen. Barbara Boxer, CA, Ph. 202-224-3553, Fax 415-956-6701
Sen. Bill Nelson, FL, Ph. 202-224-5274, Fax 202-228-2183
Sen. Maria Cantwell, WA, Ph. 202-224-3441, Fax 202-228-0514
Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, NJ, Ph. 202-224-3224, Fax 202-228-4054
Sen. Ben Nelson, NE, Ph. 202-224-6551, Fax 202-228-0012
Sen. Mark Pryor, AR, Ph. 202-224-2353, Fax 202-228-0908