CONTACT: Jim Sliwa
WASHINGTON, DC – January 17, 2014 – The American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the largest single life sciences Society with 39,000 members, commends Congress on the passage of the omnibus spending bill funding the federal government through the rest of the fiscal year 2014. The passage of this bill represents a step in the right direction although funding for life sciences research is far from ideal, given the abundance of scientific opportunities and programs that cannot be funded and pursued.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, HR 3547, recognizes that basic research and public health programs are a national priority and the bill provides some needed increases which begin to reinvest in the federal agencies and programs of the NIH, NSF, CDC, DOE Science Office, FDA, USDA research, and other research funding agencies that have lost ground in this constrained budget environment.
“The additional resources provided by the Bipartisan Budget Act, the agreement which set discretionary funding at $1.1 trillion, a 2.6 percent increase from the sequester-reduced level of FY 2013, will help to partially rollback and eliminate some of the harmful sequestration cuts for research, but federal funding for research remains too low, even without adjusting for purchasing power lost over the past decade,” says ASM President Jeff F. Miller of the University of California, Los Angeles. “We are encouraged that stability has been returned to the budget process for FY 2014, and we urge Congress and the Administration to build on bipartisan efforts to restore regular order to the appropriations process for the future, to continue work to find a permanent replacement to sequestration under the Budget Control Act and to increase funding for innovative research and programs essential for public health.” The ASM urges Congress and the Administration to provide additional increased investments that will enable the scientific progress that is needed to improve the health, security, and economic well-being of the American public.
The ASM Office of Public Affairs tracks federal agency research and public health budgets and provides summary information to reflect the outcome of the appropriations process as it unfolds throughout the year and maintains a web page dedicated to the appropriations process at http://www.asm.org/RD-FY2014.
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The ASM is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. Its mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.