Statement by Research!America president and CEO Mary Woolley on Short-Term Funding Bill
The stopgap spending bill approved by Congress is a temporary fix to keep our government running but presents an ongoing challenge in ensuring our nation’s scientific enterprise has robust federal support to advance innovative research. Once again our elected officials have punted on decisions regarding spending levels for defense and non-defense programs, creating uncertainty for federal health and science agencies at a time when immediate actions are necessary to address major health threats including the opioid epidemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that life expectancy for the U.S. population has declined for a second year in a row, largely due to deaths linked to synthetic opioids. Unintentional injuries are now the third leading cause of death behind cardiovascular disease and cancer. We cannot allow political foot-dragging to override sound decision-making as it relates to the health and well-being of Americans. We urge Congress to negotiate a bipartisan budget deal that lifts spending caps for both defense and non-defense. Anything less will crush the hopes and expectations of Americans.