Legislative History

On March 13, 2013 Senator Coburn (R-OK) introduced an amendment (SA 65) to H.R. 933 (Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013). The amendment would have eliminated funding for the political science program at the National Science Foundation, and redirected NSF funds to cancer research at NIH. On Tuesday, March 19, Coburn modified the amendment by removing the provision to redirect funds and to dramatically restrict funding of political science research to that which promotes "national security or the economic interests of the United States" only. On Wednesday, March 20, the modified amendment was adopted by the Senate by a voice vote.  

August  2012: Political Science at NSF Safe

According to COSSA, sensing that Congress will be unable to pass all of the appropriations bills by the end of this fiscal year, September 30. Congressional leaders have agreed to pass a 6-month continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded through March. Typically, CRs provide funding for existing federal programs at current or reduced levels. It is expected that the CR will not include any amendments, such as the one introduced to affect NSF funding for political science.

This moves the debate regarding appropriations into the next Congress. Any amendments regarding NSF funding for political science research would need to be reintroduced. APSA will monitor the debate on the CR and future appropriations and update the membership as appropriate.

Further Delays to NSF Appropriations Bill

CQ reported that S. 2323 (Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill) will be delayed for the Senate's consideration. As the article notes, the Senate is behind schedule and the National Weather Service budget scandal has complicated matters further. Indications are that S. 2323 will be brought to the floor mid-August.

APSA will continue to keep members informed of the Senate's actions.

 House Appropriations Committee to Markup NEH Funding Bill. June 26, 2012

On June 26, the House appropriations committee is scheduled to consider an FY 2013 spending bill that includes funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). They will consider the bill marked up last week by the subcommittee, which provided $132 million for the agency in FY 2013. The subcommittee's mark represents a decrease of $14 million, or 9.6%, from the FY 2012 level of $146 million.

NEH provides grants and opportunities to various disciplines including political science research and activities. APSA encourages its members to support NEH and ask Congress to keep the president's proposed funding level.

Messages to Congress Update, June 14, 2012

Nearly 1,000 messages were sent to Congress from concerned individuals asking Congress to support independent, peer-reviewed scientific research and oppose any threat to NSF's funding of political science research. Last week, Michael Brintnall, APSA executive director, asked members to write their Senators and Representatives.

In order to thwart an amendment attacking NSF, we need to be proactive. Write your Senators and Representatives today and ask them to support NSF and political science research.

 Amendment Attacking NSF and Political Science Funding Likely, June 6, 2012

APSA executive director Michael Brintnall sent the membership a letter yesterday (6/5/12) encouraging members to contact their senators. We have learned that an amendment attacking NSF and political science is likely to be offered when the appropriations bill (S. 2323) is up for debate in the Senate.

By having members and concerned groups send their senators a message now, we hope that we can preempt and dissuade this amendment from being introduced.

Possible Delay to NSF Appropriations Bill, May 30, 2012

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) has asked that Senate debate of the S. 2323 (Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill) be postponed until after Congress investigates events surrounding the National Weather Service's management of its funds. This is the same bill that includes appropriations for the National Science Foundation. We will continue to keep the membership informed about the Senate's actions on S.2323.

 Flake Amendment to Prohibit NSF Funding of Political Science Passes HouseMay 10, 2012

The House of Representatives passed an amendment (HR 5326) to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act to prohibit NSF political science funding. The amendment passed by a roll call vote, 218 to 208. The vote divided along party lines; five Democrats voted in support and 27 Republicans vote in opposition to the amendment.

Flake Amendment Threatens Political Science NSF Funding, May 9, 2012

Senator Coburn attempts to eliminate Political Science from NSFUpdated Nov. 6, 2009