Wednesday, 19 July 2017 10:57

Coalition Letter on FY 2018 Funding for NSF

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Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Speaker Ryan, Minority Leader Schumer, and Democratic Leader Pelosi:

On behalf of the undersigned coalitions, which represent 500 combined member organizations – we are writing to urge Members of the 115th Congress to pass a bipartisan budget agreement that increases the spending caps for both defense and non-defense discretionary programs. A bipartisan budget agreement is needed to maintain robust federal investments in America’s scientific and innovation enterprise.
For decades, sustained federal investment in scientific research, engineering, and technology development has been critical in driving economic growth, providing for our national defense, and maintaining global competitiveness. Congress continued its longstanding support for fundamental scientific research with the passage and enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017. Likewise, past bipartisan and bicameral efforts, such as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 that raised the Budget Control Act (BCA) caps for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 demonstrated your commitment to the nation’s scientific and innovation enterprise. This two-year reprieve from BCA spending caps resulted in steady and growing federal investments in many areas of scientific research, including: agricultural research, defense, education, energy, medicine, space science, the physical sciences, and engineering. We call on you to reaffirm your commitment to scientific research by crafting a budget agreement that raises the spending caps for defense and non-defense discretionary programs.

Two years ago, more than 500 organizations from all 50 states representing American industry, education, science, and engineering endorsed the statement Innovation: An American Imperative. This clarion call-to-action urged Congress to enact policies and make investments to ensure that the United States would remain a global innovation leader. As a nation, we are competing against China, South Korea, and various European countries to be at the forefront of scientific discovery, technology development, and the leader in innovative ideas and concepts. While the United States has been holding overall federal funding flat, competitor nations are making long-term investments in scientific research. Simply put, for the United States to remain a global leader in science and innovation, we must make federal investment in science a national priority. Robust investments in federally-funded research are only possible if there is a bipartisan budget agreement that increases the spending caps for defense and non-defense discretionary programs.

We encourage you to take this opportunity to act decisively in favor of American innovation, so that our nation’s economic health, national security, and global competitiveness will be assured for future generations.

Senate Committee on the Budget
Senate Committee on Appropriations
House Committee on the Budget
House Committee on Appropriations