Update (6/1/15): The "CJS Appropriations Bill" (Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016; H.R. 2578) is scheduled to be debated by the House of Representatives this week. As opposed to America COMPETES, which sets policy-based funding guidelines for the NSF, H.R. 2578 sets explicit funding levels that must be followed by the NSF. Unfortunately, this bill includes language that would lead to cuts in the social sciences and geosciences; social science funding at NSF could be cut by 16% or more. Learn more and take action through this link provided by COSSA.

Update (5/21/15): "America COMPETES" was passed yesterday in the House 217-205, largely along party lines. The CJS appropriations bill (mentioned in the 5/15 update) was also passed through committee. Stay tuned for more updates as these bills move to the next stages of Congress.

Update (5/15/15): The House of Representatives is scheduled to discuss "America COMPETES" as soon as the week of May 18th. Hearing from their constituents is incredibly important for members of Congress who will vote on this issue. You can contact your Representative to share your thoughts through this tool provided by COSSA. COSSA has also posted a preliminary update on the appropriations bill for NSF (separate from America COMPETES, the reauthorization bill) which was introduced earlier this week. 

Update (4/24/15): "America COMPETES" was passed by the House Science Committee along party lines with minimal changes. More information about the hearing is available in this news update from COSSA. The bill will now move to the House floor, where every member of the House will have an opportunity to vote on this legislation. Thanks to Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson and everyone who has worked to save federal funding for the social sciences.


A new Congressional bill released this week would cut NSF funding for social science research by 45% and place restrictions on the NSF's ability to drive its own research agenda. Read more and find out how to take action below.

The "America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015" (H.R. 1806), introduced to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee by Chairman Lamar Smith, reduces funding for the NSF Social, Behavioral and Economic (SBE) Sciences Directorate by over $120 million, endangering many studies and student dissertation research grants in linguistics and the social sciences.

The bill would also take the step of creating specific authorization levels for NSF directorates, setting the potential for future NSF cuts targeted towards the social sciences. A 3-page analysis of the bill is available from the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA).

More information:

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The LSA joins COSSA, FABBS, and other academic organizations in opposing this bill. The LSA has joined over 140 organizations in co-signing a letter from the Coalition for National Science Funding in opposition to America COMPETES. We encourage interested members to contact their member of Congress to express their opposition to America COMPETES due to its drastic cuts to NSF social science funding and the setting of authorization levels by directorate. Support from those whose Congressional representative is a member of the House Science Committee is particularly helpful.

You can contact your member of Congress through POPVOX, either through the POPVOX site or through this widget provided by COSSA. If you wish to email or call your Representative directly, instructions on how to do so and some potential talking points are available from FABBS. We also welcome you to spread the word by sharing this information on social media, via email, etc.

Stay tuned for further updates, and thank you for helping to support linguistic research.