Wednesday, 29 March 2017 10:56

ASM Urges Strong Support for Research and Public Health in the FY 2017 Agency Budgets

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) urges Congress to continue its traditionally strong support of the Nation’s science agencies as it negotiates an FY 2017 omnibus appropriations bill for the remainder of this budget year. We are alarmed by the deep cuts to research and public health programs included in the President’s recent recommendations that Congress severely curtail research and public health programs in FY 2017. The Administration’s new list of budget reductions include taking $1.2 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), $50 million from preparedness and response programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and $100 million from the CDC’s global and domestic HIV/AIDS programs. We are particularly concerned by the budget proposal to cut new NIH research grants; underfund CDC public health programs; reduce staffing at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and reduce R&D grants awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE).

Congress has recognized that sustaining U.S. leadership in science and technology and protecting the public health are absolutely dependent upon research and a skilled workforce. The President’s budget reductions, especially coming with less than six months left in fiscal year 2017 would have devastating and immediate consequences on the Nation’s public health and welfare. The Congress must reject the President’s requested FY 2017 cuts for research and public health programs, and instead work to strengthen science and public health programs that protect health and contribute to economic vitality and national security.