Give Your Members of Congress Feedback on Science Funding

27 January 2014
AGU Science Policy Alert 14-1

Senators and Representatives need to know when their actions are noticed and appreciated. Maintaining a dialogue with your member of Congress, even when there is no specific “ask,” is a great way to build relationships and amplify your voice in the future.

Last week, Congress passed and the president signed a bill that funds the entire Federal government through 30 September 2014. The $1.1 trillion bill is known as an “omnibus” because it is a collection of multiple spending bills wrapped into one.

The bill provides a welcome respite for scientists across the country who have seen their funding greatly reduced or cut entirely. Additionally, it provides the relief of not having to worry, for at least the next ten months, when the next political crisis might force cutbacks, delays, or shutdowns.

However, there are still areas in the Earth and space sciences that remain severely underfunded.

In coming up with their approach to long-term funding of the Federal government, the House and Senate have shown what is possible when both parties and chambers work together. It is important that you reinforce this message. Your Representative and Senators need to know that you follow how they vote on bills that impact science funding.

Use our online portal to contact your Members of Congress today! We’ve provided all the tools and important points necessary to make your voice heard.

Note: Federal government employees have some restrictions on meeting with members of Congress to discuss funding levels. Learn more

TALKING POINTS

Investing in scientific research creates jobs, supports the economy, and protects lives. Research is an investment in our future, and a lack of restored funding will only deprive the innovators of tomorrow of the tools and knowledge they need to keep the U.S. competitive in the global economy.

The bill includes funding for the National Weather Service to provide critical weather information to the public, and for various weather satellites essential to maintaining and improving weather forecasts and warnings.

The National Aeronautic and Space Administration will see a funding increase of over $750 million, allowing for developments to go forward that ensure the sustainability of America’s space agency. This enables the capacity for the United States to transport its own astronauts to the International Space Station and beyond to remain on-track.

Funding for the National Science Foundation targeted to programs that help strengthen U.S. innovation and economic competitiveness, including funding for an advanced manufacturing science initiative, and for research in cybersecurity and cyber-infrastructure.

Even though funding increased for many important programs, economic inflation still exists, meaning that increases aren’t as large or may even be decreases when compared with the funding levels of previous fiscal years.