Nearly 200 Members of Congress participated in a bipartisan and bicameral effort to ensure that the National Science Foundation (NSF) does not become a budgetary casualty in the appropriations process for fiscal year (FY) 2009.

Representatives Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Bob Inglis (R-SC), and Brian Baird (D-WA) circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter to each member of the House of Representatives asking for their signature on a letter requesting that the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations subcommittee make NSF a priority in the FY 2009 appropriations process. One-hundred-thirty-five representatives signed the Dear Colleague letter, a common tool used by members of Congress to demonstrate support for specific federal programs. The letter requested that the CJS Appropriations Subcommittee restore NSF to a budget-doubling pathway as outlined in the America COMPETES Act by providing NSF with $7.326 billion in the FY 2009 appropriation. The President’s FY 2009 request is $6.854 billion.

On the other side of Capitol Hill, 47 senators signed a “Dear Colleague” letter circulated by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Kit Bond (R-MO). The Lieberman-Bond letter asked the Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee support NSF by providing at least the President’s FY 2009 request of $6.85 billion.

This week, House and Senate leaders will meet and continue negotiations towards a final budget resolution for FY 2009. This resolution would establish spending levels and rules under which the appropriations process will take place. Meanwhile, the twelve Appropriations subcommittees in the House and Senate will continue to hold hearings on FY 2009 appropriations for programs under their jurisdiction. Lawmakers are also discussing FY 2008 supplemental funding legislation for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and some domestic programs.

For more detailed information about the federal budget and appropriations process, please visit:


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