Mary Woolley Weekly Advocacy Messages

I am pleased to repeat myself when I report that it’s been another science-heavy week on Capitol Hill...and most, but not all, of the news is good.

The House Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee considered the next draft of the 21st Century Cures legislation this morning. 

The Constitution gives Congress the power of the public purse.

Critical to Research!America’s mission is to encourage researchers to talk about their work. It is important for non-scientists to know how research and scientific discovery support all Americans  in our daily lives, from professional settings to at home. 

We are nearly a year out from the 2020 Presidential election and six months away from the Iowa caucuses. While candidates were meeting voters and sampling local treats at the Iowa State Fair, a new survey commissioned by Research!America and Science Debate was released, demonstrating a large majority of Iowans want presidential candidates to talk about science-related issues.

Earlier today, the Senate passed -- by a vote of 67-28, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 to raise the budget caps in Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021

Some long-awaited, promising news regarding the budget caps: congressional leaders and the White House have agreed in principle on a deal that would raise the discretionary budget caps

Members of Congress are back in town following the Fourth of July holiday, and talks are taking place between Congressional leaders and the Administration to resolve the issue of the budget. Complicating matters is the need for Congress to pass and the Administration to approve an increase in the debt limit.

“Not only is it important to ask questions and find the answers, as a scientist I felt obligated to communicate with the world what we were learning.” 

“June Gloom” is what the residents of Los Angeles call this past month’s weather.  I was in California last week at the invitation of UC Riverside, which has, in addition to a robust portfolio of federally funded research, an inspiring commitment to the community.  For the record, it wasn’t gloomy in Riverside, but then, the LA area is vast, and the overcast is closer to the ocean. There is a decent parallel here to the vastness of the landscape for support of research in Washington:  the House passed two “minibus” appropriations packages this month that include significant increases for federal agencies that support research. This week we issued a statement about the passage of the second minibus, which includes funding increases for the FDA and NSF. While the FDA number ($3.26B, an $180M increase) is a step in the right direction, we are working to ensure the Senate goes with the Administration’s higher request of $3.33B.

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