Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to the Coburn amendment (S. Amdt. 65) to the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Public Law 113-6)). It's good to hear from you.
I share your concerns about the proposed elimination of funding for the National Science Foundation's (NSF) political science program. As the Chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, I have long supported the funding of scientific research that advances our understanding of political science, including political systems around the world. NSF is one of the major sources of funding for all fields of basic science research. NSF fosters growth, innovation, and knowledge across this country and I am committed to robust funding for all of the agency's scientific initiatives.
Originally, Senator Coburn's amendment would have eliminated funding for the NSF political science program. An agreement between the Senator from Oklahoma and myself modified his amendment to allow for the continuation of political science research projects when the Director of NSF certifies that they promote the economic or national security interests of the United States. Furthermore, this provision will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Many of our nation's leading thinkers, including the late Nobel Prize winning political scientist Elinor Ostrom, rely heavily on NSF grants to conduct research essential to the breakthroughs that enrich so many lives. Knowing of your views on this issue will be helpful to me as the Senate continues to work on this issue.
Again, thanks for writing. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance to you in the future.
Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator