I am writing to alert you to efforts underway this morning to zero out a large portion of the science funding from the Senate American Reinvestment and Recovery Act as a part of a $77.9B reduction effort led by Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME).
As you know better than most, science and technology are responsible for half of the economic development of the United States since WWII and yet, if current trends hold, some, such as the Business Roundtable, have predicted that 90% of all scientists and engineers will live in Asia within 5 years.
The United States simply MUST renew our investment in the single greatest economic engine this country has ever known. Small federal investments in scientific research have helped produce things like the internet and the transistor that have consistently delivered multi-trillion dollar economies.
The United States is at a critical juncture, and if this concerns you we suggest now would be a time to contact your Senators and urge them to support science funding. Here is what is being proposed to be cut from the bill, according to TPM:
NASA exploration $750,000,000 = 50%
NSF $1,402,000,000 = 100%
NOAA $427,000,000 = 34.94%
NIST $218,000,000 = 37.91%
DOE energy efficiency & renewable energy $1,000,000,000 = 38%
DOE office of science $100,000,000 = 100%
Collins-Nelson Group Staff Paper Potential Cuts -- $77.9 Billion
1. WHAT TO DO: call and email your two U.S. senators. Contact from a constituent on a wonky issue like this will have enormous influence. Calling is better than email, but do both if you can.
Go here to find your Senator, and select your state in the drop down box in the upper right hand corner:
Tell them in your own words to reject the reduction
effort in the stimulus bill led by Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) when it comes to science.
Note that most Senator's web pages contain a form (e.g. - CONTACT ME) that you can fill out to contact the Senator. Also, use your own words since identical
messages get rejected by the Senators' staff. You can adapt language from my previous email or from below, but be sure to personalize it.
2. TALKING POINTS:
A) Science & technology have produced half of the economic growth of the United States since WWII.
B) Spending on basic research is the single greatest economic engine this country has ever known.
C) Funding to federal granting agencies is about as "shovel-ready" a stimulus as you can get. If the granting agencies lower their score thresholds for awards across the board the money will be flowing within months, leading to rapid hiring and increased purchasing from technical service and supply companies that are largely American, and creating thousands of the kinds of high-quality jobs the country needs.
13:02 CST EDIT:
I just fired off letters to both Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker. Expressing my disgust. I don't know if it will do any good or not though.