Alternate stimulus bill suggests cutting NSF funds
The stimulus bill that was passed by the House of Representatives last week includes $3 billion for the National Science Foundation, among other large sums set aside for NOAA and the USGS. The bill is having trouble gaining support in the Senate, however, because many lawmakers believe that the bill includes too many long-term projects that would do little to immediately boost the nation’s economy.
Another bill, put forth by Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME), looks to cut the stimulus package by as much as $200 billion, stripping out spending that in their opinion would not provide an immediate boost to the economy. According to The New York Times, proponents of the Nelson-Collins bill look to cut $1 billion from the $1.4 billion earmarked for NSF in the current Senate stimulus bill.
The events of the next several days are likely to predict the near-term funding situations for NSF and other government agencies that fund ecological research. A call to your senators today, asking them to support the science funding in the current stimulus bill, would be judicious. You can look up senators’ phone numbers quickly here.