WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the House Science Committee today introduced legislation that would place the National Science Foundation (NSF) on a track to double the agency’s budget in five years. The bill, H.R. 4664, authorizes a 15 percent increase for NSF for each of the next three years. A summary of the bill is attached.

Co-sponsors of the bill include: Science Committee Chairman and Ranking Member Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) and Ralph M. Hall (D-TX), Research Subcommittee Chairman and Ranking Member Nick Smith (R-MI) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Environment, Technology, and Standards Subcommittee Chairman and Ranking Member Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and James Barcia (D-MI), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC), Rep. Constance Morella (R-MD), Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA), Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA), Rep. George Nethercutt (R-WA), Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA), Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), and Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD).

Chairman Boehlert today delivered the following statement at a press conference on the legislation:

“I’m delighted to be here today to unveil this landmark bill (H.R. 4664), which would put the National Science Foundation on the nbspk to double its budget within five years. Specifically, the bill would provide a 15 percent increase in the NSF budget next year, and in each of fiscal years 2004 and 2005.

“The thinking behind this bill is simple – but not simpleminded. NSF funds research that is of critical importance to the future of the nation’s economy – including such areas as Information Technology and Nanotechnology, which the Administration has emphasized in its budget proposal. NSF funds research that is of critical importance to the nation’s security – including work on such vital areas as cybersecurity. NSF funds research that is of critical importance to the nation’s health and well-being – including genomics research and climate change research. And last, but far from least, NSF funds research and educational activities that are of critical importance to the nation’s students; from the kindergarten classroom to the post-doctoral laboratory, NSF is the agency that ensures that we are improving math, science and engineering education.

“Those are all pretty solid arguments, I think, for rewarding NSF with more than praise. Recognition is nice, but success requires real money. This bill will help NSF get the real money it needs to succeed in all its tasks.

“Congress has quite properly committed to doubling the budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and I hope and expect we will complete that doubling this year as the President has requested.


“But NIH does not and cannot fund the full range of research activities the nation needs to remain prosperous – and healthy. NSF has the broadest research mission of any federal science agency and the clearest educational mission. It needs the funding that goes with that expansive – and expensive — mandate.

“In moving toward doubling, we are returning to the vision that Vannevar Bush laid out in the 1940s, when he proposed a science agency that would be the preeminent funder of science for the federal government, with responsibilities across many areas of inquiry and application. Fifty two years later, NSF is honorably attempting to fulfill that vision. We need to ensure that it succeeds.”

The bill, bill summary and web cast of the press conference can be found at the Science Committee website at http://www.house.gov/science

  • Summary of HR 4664: The National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002