Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., authored a report criticizing the foundation's spending on projects that also include $1.5 million to build a laundry-folding robot and a $300,000 study on whether Facebook's FarmVille game promotes personal relationships, ABC News reported Friday.
"What it says to me is, they have too much money if they're going to spend money on things like that," Coburn said of the Arlington, Va., based foundation.
"We have 12 different agencies doing pure research, and we're duplicating and we're not sharing the information across and it's siloed," he said.
The National Science Foundation responded to the report with a statement saying its projects "have advanced the frontiers of science and engineering, improved Americans' lives and provided the foundations for countless new industries and jobs."
Agency officials noted their projects have assisted in the creation of barcodes as well as Web site Google.