sequestration

Dear Research Advocate: As I’€™m sure you’€™ve heard, the Joint Budget Committee released a two-year budget agreement Tuesday night. The package involves $63 billion in partial sequestration relief over two years, offset by fees (not taxes!) and a wide variety of cost-sharing arrangements, AKA ’€œpay fors.’€ While it remains unclear whether user fees will be subjected to any sequester in 2014 and 2015, the already-sequestered FDA user fees are locked up and cannot be used to accelerate medical advances. This is a missed opportunity that patients can’€™t afford. While not a perfect deal in many respects, the House is expected to approve the Murray-Ryan budget deal within moments, and the...
December 11, 2013 The budget deal moves the needle in the right direction but not far enough. We’re gratified medical research and other non-defense discretionary programs will get a modicum of relief from sequestration’s bitter pill but it’€™s not enough to meet the expectations of patients waiting for new treatments and cures. The budget deal also fails to address tax and entitlement reform, the main contributors to our deficit. Until policy makers tackle those issues head-on, we will continue to fund medical innovation at levels far below what’s necessary to maintain our competitive edge.
To protect medical and health research, policy makers must eliminate sequestration. This remains Research!America’€™s top-line message, because it is sequestration that poses the greatest threat to all discretionary funding, including medical and health research conducted by NIH, CDC, FDA, NSF, AHRQ, DOD ’€¦ and the list goes on. Advocates for medical and health research have made a huge impact over the years on funding and policies supportive of medical and health research, including playing a key role in reducing sequestration in 2013. We are asking you to weigh in again to help address sequestration in FY14 and FY15. On Wednesday, the co-chairs of the committee charged with establishing...
Dear Research Advocate: Research!America, in partnership with the American Society of Hematology, released a new poll on Tuesday, revealing strong feelings about the consequences of recent fiscal debacles. A majority (57%) of Americans, across party lines, believe that the government shutdown in October caused significant harm to programs like medical research, defense and education, programs that Americans value. It is not difficult to connect the dots between fiscal dysfunction and the future of our nation: More Americans than ever believe that our nation’€™s global leadership in science, technology and research will soon be a thing of the past,with 73% saying we will lose global...
New National Poll Reveals Many Respondents Predict China will Surpass U.S. in Science and Innovation by 2020 ALEXANDRIA, Va.’€”December 3, 2013’€”Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Americans say it’€™s likely there will be another government shutdown in the months ahead as Congress continues to debate deficit and budget issues, according to a new national public opinion poll commissioned by Research!America and the American Society of Hematology. This sentiment is shared across party affiliations: Democrats (66%), Republicans (65%) and Independents (65%). There is also consensus across party lines that government dysfunction has consequences. A majority of Americans (57%) say the shutdown in...
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday I learned that China is offering to pay full freight for students from developing countries who are interested in receiving their university degree in China. China is also, as you know, investing hand over fist in research and development, life science research in particular. Juxtapose China’€™s science, STEM education and science-diplomacy policies with U.S.policies: we don’€™t seem to have them! And contrast their funding strategy with ours: we’€™re disinvesting while they’€™re planning to outspend us within the next five years. So why does it matter where science is pursued? Why does it matter if the U.S. focuses on other priorities for awhile or forever...
Dear Research Advocate: NIH Director Francis Collins was recently interviewed for a Wall Street Journal article that would reinvigorate even the weariest research advocate. Dr. Collins captured the legacy and unprecedented potential of research for health, as well as the counterintuitive neglect of it, in a truly compelling manner. Dr. Collins made similarly captivating comments yesterday at the Washington Ideas Forum: “We’€™re going from the envy of the world,” he said, “to the puzzle of the world. Other nations are mystified that we have stopped following our own playbook ’€” the one they are using now to drive their economy and improve health and quality of life for their own populations...
Dear Research Advocate: It has been a week since the Budget Conference Committee’€™s first meeting. The next public meeting is scheduled for November 13. Staffs are at work, and various Members are talking. There are no concrete signs of progress. What I keep coming back to is the failure of our nation’€™s decision makers to recognize and act on the reality that the priorities of Americans are reflected in both discretionary and entitlement programs. The persistence of sequestration underscores Congress’€™ inability to make decisions and choose priorities. The sequestration era has run its course, dealing Congress record lows in terms of public support; it’€™s past time to end the era and...
Letter to the editor by Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley published in the Philadelphia Inquirer. By visiting a University of Pennsylvania research facility last week, Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) underscored his commitment to making research and innovation an immutable national priority (“Scientists reeling from budget cuts,” Oct. 24). Adequately supported, research will allow us to overcome major health threats and drive the economy. Americans have taken notice that research support is waning and, in addition, say they are concerned that officials in Washington are not paying enough attention to deadly diseases, polling done for our nonprofit advocacy alliance, Research!America...
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday, the Budget Conference Committee, chaired by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI-01), met for the first time. The committee only has until December 13 to accomplish its task of producing at least a short-term budget. Expectations are modest considering the short timeline, the House and Senate recess schedules, and the number of issues declared “off the table.” There is some talk of replacing sequestration, at least for the remainder of FY14, with selected cuts. In order to assure that research is not cut and in fact is prioritized for an increase, many stakeholders must speak up. It is essential that our issue is discussed as a priority every...

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You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter