Weekly Letter

On Tuesday, the Administration notified the United Nations of its intent to withdraw the U.S. from the World Health Organization (WHO)

“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.

Dear Research Advocate,

Dear Research Advocate,

Dear Research Advocate:

Yesterday, the House Budget Committee approved (on a party-line vote, 19-17) legislation that would raise the fiscal year 2020 (FY20) non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending cap by $631 billion, a 5.7 percent increase over the 2019 cap, and raise the defense cap by $664 billion, a 2.6 percent increase. The House is expected to consider the legislation on the floor early next week.

The fact that legislation to raise the caps is being considered signals important progress. Our science-focused Raise the Caps campaign and other individual and collaborative advocacy efforts like that of NDD United are pushing hard for action, because -- as Senate Appropriations Chair, Richard Shelby (R- AL) warned earlier this week -- failing to act now puts us on the path to “stopgaps” (keep in mind that because of the budget caps, stopgap measures come with deep, across-the-board cuts!)

Dear Research Advocate:

Yesterday was the first day of spring and with it comes the hustle and bustle of appropriations season. Rumor has it House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) plans to begin marking up fiscal year (FY) 2020 legislation as soon as late April with a Defense/Labor-HHS mini package among the first bills. 

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