The across-the-board budget cut of 5 percent to nondefense and defense discretionary federal funding, known as sequestration, took effect on March 1, 2013, as required by statute. The ASM continues along with other organizations and scientific societies, to inform policymakers through briefings, letters and visits, of the negative impacts these cuts and other budget shortfalls will have on research and public health programs. The ASM is urging Congress and the White House to work together to restore funding lost through sequestration in fiscal year (FY) 2013 and to increase funding for federally funded research in FY 2014.
The negative impacts of sequestration cuts are having a serious effect. For example, the NIH reported that approximately 700 fewer competitive research project grants will be awarded while the CDC has stated that cuts will reduce support to state, local and international health programs, with devastating consequences to the health and security of our nation. Continued cuts to basic life sciences research funded by the NIH, NSF and DOE will compromise the country’s position as a leader in innovation in biomedical, biotechnology, energy and environmental research and will affect research training and the next generation of scientists who will experience difficulty in sustaining a career in research.
Please send a message to your Congressional delegation during the August recess to communicate the vital importance of the Nation’s investment in research and public health. Click on the ASM’s Legislative Action Center and use the editable text to send a message to Congress. Adequate federal funding must be sustained for critical programs that are essential for health, security, agriculture, environmental quality, and sustained economic growth. Please also consider adding your own experiences with sequestration cuts to make the message more impactful.
Additionally, you may consider scheduling a personal meeting with your member of Congress or their staff. The following is a link to “Taking the Message to Congress” a document which has been developed to assist you in effectively communicating with Congress.
Jo Handelsman, Ph.D., President, ASM
Ronald M. Atlas, Ph.D., Chair, Public and Scientific Affairs Board