"The National Science Foundation (NSF) was created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (P.L.81-507). The NSF has the broad mission of supporting science and engineering in general and funding basic research across many disciplines. [...] On November 18, 2011, President Barack Obama signed into law the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Appropriations Act, FY2012, P.L. 112-55. The law provides, among other things, funding for the NSF. The law provides a total of $7,033.1 million for the NSF in FY2012, $733.9 million below the Administration's request, and $173.2 million above the FY2011 enacted level. The Research and Related Activities (R&RA) account is funded at $5,719.0 million in FY2012, $534.5 million below the requested level and $155.1 million above the FY2011 enacted level. R&RA funds research projects, research facilities, and education and training activities. R&RA is also a source of funding for the acquisition and development of research instrumentation at U.S. colleges and universities, disaster research teams, Partnerships for Innovation, and the Science and Technology Policy Institute."
CRS Report for Congress, 95-307