The American Society for Microbiology (ASM), representing over 42,000 scientists, is writing to support the proposed increase of $675 million for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in fiscal year 2001, as the Subcommittee considers funding recommendations for programs in the VA/HUD/Independent Agencies appropriations bill.

The NSF is the premier basic science agency in the United States and has effectively stimulated and supported the best scientific talent in the country, which has led to cutting edge research discoveries. The NSF budget, however, has not grown commensurate with its record of achievement and broad and unique responsibilities to support science, mathematics and engineering research across disciplines. This year, the Administration has recognized this deficiency by proposing an increase that will restore balance among scientific fields and lead to greater research advances in the science disciplines. The NSF must ensure that the entire spectrum of research fields receives strong federal support and that America's human resources in science and technology are replenished.

ASM appreciates the difficult and complex task of making appropriations for the diverse programs and projects under the Subcommittee's jurisdiction. The ASM, however, urges the Subcommittee to make every effort to increase funding for the NSF by $675 million, which would raise the NSF's overall budget to $4.57 billion in fiscal year 2001. This level of funding is an essential step toward the effort to double the NSF budget over the next five years and provide sustained growth for multi-year research grants.

The ASM is the largest single life science organization in the world comprised of members who work in academic, governmental, and industrial institutions worldwide. ASM's mission is to enhance the science of microbiology to gain a better understanding of basic life processes, and to promote the application of this knowledge for improved health, and for economic and environmental well being.

Thank you for the Subcommittee's support of the NSF and ensuring its valuable contribution to research and education programs, which contribute substantially to the economic competitiveness of the United States and to ensuring the vitality of the U.S. science enterprise.



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