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House and Senate Pass NSF Reauthorization Bills



May 7, 2007

Both houses of congress have now passed legislation reauthorizing the National Science Foundation, and calling for increased funding for the NSF each year. The house sets growth at 7% annually. The senate almost doubles that pace.

Both bills call for increases for Education and Human Resources (EHR) at NSF. The house sets it at 7% annually. The senate has specific language that states:
Equitable Distribution of New Funds- Within the amounts authorized to be appropriated by section 4001, there are authorized to be appropriated for the education and human resources programs of the National Science Foundation, for fiscal year 2008, $1,050,000,000, and, for each of the fiscal years 2009 through 2011, an amount equal to $1,050,000,000 increased for each such fiscal year by an amount equal to the percentage increase in the appropriation for the National Science Foundation for such fiscal year above the amount appropriated to the National Science Foundation for fiscal year 2008.
This language is significant because it is specific to appropriations for EHR. The bills for reauthorization only set guidelines for appropriations. For example, even though the authorization language calls for a 7% increase, the appropriators don't have to set a 7% increase. The senate language above means that if the appropriators increase the NSF budget by only 4%, EHR also has to receive an increase of 4%. If this language survives the conference it will be a major victory for EHR at NSF. The language has made it into the Senate bill due to the work of NSTA and the STEM coalition in DC.

For more detailed information, see the NSTA legislative update on this issue:
NSTA Legislative Update: April 27, 2007

Links to House and Senate Legislation:

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology:
"10,000 Teachers, 10 Million Minds" Science and Math Scholarship Act (H.R.362)

National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2007 (H.R.1867)
U.S. Senate:
America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science) Act (S. 761)