From: American Institute of Physics
Posted: Wednesday, May 4, 2005
FYI The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News Number 63: May 3, 2005
Senators Support Higher Funding for DOE Office of Science
More than two-thirds of U.S. senators have signed a letter recommending an increase of 3.2% in the FY 2006 DOE Office of Science budget. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) were joined by 66 of their colleagues in signing a letter to Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) and the subcommittee's Ranking Member Harry Reid (D-NV) advocating a $3.715 billion budget for the Office of Science.
This strong demonstration of bipartisan support for the Office of Science comes at a key time. Appropriators will wrap up their hearings in the next few weeks and will then start drafting their FY 2006 budget bills. Setting the stage for this year's budget cycle was a Bush Administration request of a 3.8% reduction in the Office of Science's budget to $3.463 billion for the fiscal year that begins on October 1. This amount is less than the FY 2004 budget (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/016.html.)
Many members of the American Physical Society, as well as other constituents, contacted their senators about the importance of the research supported by the Office of Science and encouraged them to sign this letter. Senator Domenici and Senator Reid are important friends of science; this letter demonstrates that a large majority of senators feel likewise.
The full text of the letter is at http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/047.html. It declares, "There is no room for complacency about maintaining the United States' current strength and technological leadership." The letter concludes, "Sustained investment in science and technology must be at the core of America's strategy to successfully compete. We are acutely aware of the tight constraints on the available budgetary resources. Still we believe we must reaffirm the centrality and importance of our basic research investments. We urge you to increase the funding for the Office of Science to ensure that America remains at the forefront of scientific capability, thereby enhancing our ability to shape and improve our nation's and the world's future."
Fifty-five senators signed a similar letter last year. The following 68 senators signed the current Alexander-Bingaman letter. The action taken by these senators, in a tight budget year, will be very important in coming weeks. Constituents take notice: thanks are in order (www.senate.gov).
Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
The American Institute of Physics
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