U.S. Government Reopens, Fight for Federal Research Funding to Heat Up
Date: October 17, 2013
Last night the U.S. Congress passed and the President signed a bill to raise the debt limit through February 7th and fund the U.S. government through January 15th. In addition, the bill establishes a formal Budget Conference Committee to develop a plan by December 13, 2013 to address a variety of budget-related issues which could include the unfinished FY 2014 appropriations bills, changes to entitlement programs, tax code reforms, and whether to replace sequestration cuts with other savings.
ASBMR members in the US, along with the broader scientific community, have a lot of work ahead of them over the next eight weeks. The Budget Conference Committee’s charge to resolve the FY 2014 spending bills provides an opportunity to fight for the funding increases that the Appropriations Committees recommended this summer for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the other agencies. This will not be an easy task and there will be tremendous pressure to retain the tight spending limits called for in the Budget Control Act. In addition, the Budget Conference Committee is likely our last chance to convince Congress to stop another round of sequestration cuts from being implemented. With more members of Congress speaking out against sequestration, we have a narrow window of opportunity to continue to make the case that the cuts are having an extremely harmful impact on the biomedical research and engineering communities. Stay tuned for what advocacy steps you can take over the next few months to help increase funding for biomedical research.