January 12, 2007 - ASM Urges Increased Funding for DOE, NSF and USDA

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
U.S. House of Representatives
Office of the Speaker
H-232, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the largest single life science Society with over 40,000 members, urges you to provide funding levels approved by the House and the Senate Appropriations Committee during the 109th Congress for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research and education programs in the final Continuing Resolution for FY 2007.

We request that Congress fulfill the goal to double the investment in research supported by the NSF and the DOE Office of Science. The NSF supports research and education programs that are essential for US leadership and innovation in science and technology. Flat funding for NSF programs in FY 2007 would have a very adverse effect on scientific research in the United States. The DOE Office of Science provides resources that address the development of sustainable energy alternatives, such as bio-based energy sources. A one year Continuing Resolution at the FY 2006 appropriations level will reduce support for innovative technology to facilitate the generation of biomass and microbes to enhance biofuels production. Increased USDA resources are needed to respond to emerging infectious diseases in plants and animals, and to ensure food safety and security.

We ask Congress to include increased funding in the FY 2007 Continuing Resolution for NSF, the DOE Office of Science and USDA research. The House approved a 7.9 percent increase in the NSF budget and the Senate Appropriations Committee increased the NSF budget by 7.3 percent. We request that Congress fund NSF at the House passed level of $6.02 billion in FY 2007. The DOE Office of Science and the USDA National Research Initiative (NRI) received increases in the House of 14.9 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively; the Senate Appropriations Committee increase for DOE Science was 17.9 percent and 5 percent for the NRI. We urge Congress to provide these increases in funding in FY 2007 for these critically important research programs.

Thank you for your support of federal funding for research.

Sincerely,

Diane E. Griffin, Ph.D., President, ASM
Ruth L. Berkelman, M.D., Chair, Public and Scientific Affairs Board

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