Butterfield and Colleagues Press Congress to Support Scientific Research and Education


WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) was joined by 94 of his democratic colleagues in authoring a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee supporting full funding of the National Science Foundation (NSF) at $7.626 billion for FY 2014.  In the letter, the Members stressed the importance of the NSF as the only federal agency responsible for supporting education and research across science and engineering fields—a mission that is essential to developing a workforce qualified to meet global demand.

Butterfield said, “Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations are vital to the prosperity and innovation of the American workforce.  STEM professionals complete the research and unlock the mysteries that allow us to live longer and more prosperous lives.  As technological advances continue, STEM professions will remain in demand.  However, sadly, Americans are not well-positioned to take advantage of these opportunities.  This is a problem that we must address, and fully funding the NSF is the way to do it.”

The complete letter follows.

 

The Honorable Frank Wolf

Chairman

Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

233 Cannon House Office Building

Washington D.C. 20515

 

The Honorable Chaka Fattah

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

2301 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Chairman Wolf and Ranking Member Fattah:

We write to urge you to include $7.626 billion in funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the FY2014 Commerce, Justice, and Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

The United States faces a daunting challenge if we are to continue to compete globally in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related industries.  More than 20 countries are currently outperforming American students on international science assessments and graduating a higher percentage of students in science and engineering fields.  Funding from the NSF is one of our country’s most important workforce development initiatives.  According to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, STEM jobs in the U.S. are predicted to increase to 8.55 million in 2018, or 17 percent greater than in 2008.  To meet these demands we must produce approximately one million more STEM professionals over the next ten years.  The NSF is the only federal agency specifically responsible for supporting essential education and research across all science and engineering fields—a role that is vital to cultivating a workforce capable of keeping pace with global demand. 

Funding from the NSF supports one fifth of all federally funded basic research at colleges and universities throughout the United States.  The NSF awards the majority of its budget on a competitive basis to small groups of researchers at public and private institutions of higher learning through approximately 11,000 new grant awards per year. 

Awards from the NSF helps enable faculty and students to access the resources they need and support the necessary infrastructure and tools to address some of our society’s most pressing concerns.  In many cases, the basic research facilitated by the NSF is expanded upon and applied commercially by U.S. companies.  The applications of NSF research have helped many businesses create jobs by developing new products from advanced radar systems and next generation high definition videoconferencing to more efficient and affordable solar energy materials and genetically engineered tissues for medical procedures.

We must remain committed to strengthening our workforce and competing with countries that are investing their resources in STEM education and innovation.  We urge you to fund the NSF at the requested $7.626 billion funding level to ensure that we continue to develop a reliable pipeline of STEM talent so that the United States remains globally competitive. 

Thank you very much.

Very truly yours,

 

Rep. G. K. Butterfield

Rep. Rob Andrews

Rep. Joyce Beatty

Rep. Ami Bera

Rep. Sanford Bishop

Rep. Earl Blumenauer

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici

Rep. Bruce Braley

Rep. Lois Capps

Rep. Tony Cárdenas

Rep. Andre Carson

Rep. Joaquin Castro

Rep. Donna Christensen

Rep. Judy Chu

Rep. David Cicilline

Rep. Yvette Clarke

Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay

Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver

Rep. Steve Cohen

Rep. John Conyers

Rep. Jim Costa

Rep. Elijah Cummings

Rep. Danny Davis

Rep. Peter DeFazio

Rep. Rosa DeLauro

Rep. Suzan DelBene

Rep. John Dingell

Rep. Mike Doyle

Rep. Donna Edwards

Rep. Keith Ellison

Rep. Elliot Engel

Rep. Bill Enyart

Rep. Anna Eshoo

Rep. Bill Foster

Rep. Marcia Fudge

Rep. Peter Gallego

Rep. John Garamendi

Rep. Al Green

Rep. Janice Hahn

Rep. Alcee Hastings

Rep. Denny Heck

Rep. Rubén Hinojosa

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton

Rep. Rush Holt

Rep. Jared Huffman

Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

Rep. Bill Keating

Rep. Derek Kilmer

Rep. Ron Kind

Rep. Ann Kuster

Rep. Jim Langevin

Rep. Sandy Levin

Rep. John Lewis

Rep. Daniel Lipinski

Rep. Dave Loeback

Rep. Zoe Lofgren

Rep. Ben Lujan

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham

Rep. Stephen Lynch

Rep. Ed Markey

Rep. Jim McDermott

Rep. Jim McGovern

Rep. Mike McIntyre

Rep. Gregory Meeks

Rep. Gwen Moore

Rep. Jim Moran

Rep. Patrick Murphy

Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Rep. Rick Nolan

Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr.

Rep. Donald Payne, Jr.

Rep. Scott Peters

Rep. Mark Pocan

Rep. Jared Polis

Rep. David Price

Rep. Charles Rangel

Rep. Cedric Richmond

Rep. Bobby Rush

Rep. Jan Schakowsky

Rep. Bobby Scott

Rep. Terri Sewell

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema

Rep. Louise Slaughter

Rep. Jackie Speier

Rep. Mark Takano

Rep. Bennie Thompson

Rep. John Tierney

Rep. Paul Tonko

Rep. Chris Van Hollen

Rep. Mel Watt

Rep. Henry Waxman

Rep. Pete Welch

Rep. Frederica Wilson