From: Bob Detrick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Leslie Linn <[log in to unmask]>
Date: 20 April 2015 at 10:21:12 MST
Subject: Draft America COMPETES Act in House
To: Leslie Linn <[log in to unmask]>

Dear Colleagues,

Last week, the Republicans on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee introduced their reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act.  The bill authorizes research spending for the NSF, National Institutes of Standards (NIST), and Department of Energy (DOE).  Jeff Mervis and David Malahoff from Science have written a good piece on this draft legislation ( 

While the bill has some good points (e.g. it directs the National Academies to study the administrative burden on federally-support research organizations, including a requirement to solicit views from the academic community), it is particularly worrisome that it breaks with tradition and authorities spending at NSF down to the directorate level.  More specifically it authorizes signifiant increases for four NSF directorates (biology, computing, engineering, and math and physical sciences) while slashing spending for geosciences (by $165 million), social, behavioral, and economic sciences (by $141 million) and education (by $100 million). Percentage-wise this would translate into an 8% cut for GEO from FY15 budget levels and a 45% cut for SBE.  Also impacted would be the prestigious 60-year old National Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the longstanding EPSCoR program to help build research capacity in states that traditionally receive fewer federal research dollars.

The bill is being marked up in committee on Wednesday, and now is the time to contact your elected officials on the House Science Committee to let them know about the importance of federally-sponsored research in the geosciences to the nation.  IRIS is working with other major geoscience consortia, and a number of research institutions and universities, to carry this message to the House Science Committee, but we need you to help too.  Make your voice heard!



Dr. Robert S. Detrick, President
Incorporated Institutions for Seismology
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