In May 2012, political scientists learned of efforts by representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to eliminate political science funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) budget. The American Political Science Association (APSA) was caught off-guard, and concerned political scientists scrambled to contact their representatives and urge the amendment's defeat. Flake's initial effort to cut funds overall from the NSF was defeated, but a second measure, specifically to keep the NSF from funding political science, passed only hours later. This was the second time in three years that legislators targeted the NSF Political Science Program. Although these measures have been sponsored and widely supported by Republicans, some Democrats have supported these measures as well. This article examines the vote on the Flake Amendment to understand why individual representatives voted for or against cutting NSF funding for political science research.
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