The letter from former NSF Directors and Chairs of NSB is on point:
The NSF, the National Science Board, and the Congress have regularly examined the merit review process and adjusted it, periodically, after widespread consultation with all parties concerned. One of the more recent changes was to elevate the importance of assessing the broader impacts of the proposed project on a par with assessing the scientific and technical merit. We believe this approach serves to strengthen the merit-based decision making process the Foundation uses for individual research projects.
Pressure Builds on Congress to Kill NSF Bill – ScienceInsider.