government shutdown

Dear Research Advocate: The impact of the partial government shutdown – now entering its second month – continues to reverberate across the U.S., causing individual suffering and squandering progress at the expense of us all. Research!America signed on to two letters highlighting ways this shutdown is affecting the critical roles of FDA and NSF , not to mention the individuals impacted by their life-saving work. A picture (or graphic) is worth a thousand words: we have been using visuals via Twitter to make the case for ending the shutdown. I hope you’ll retweet and add your own voice to the conversation here . As we continue to push for a resolution to the shutdown, we must also work to...
Dear Research Advocate, The partial government shutdown continues, now at day 27. There are too many furloughed workers struggling to make ends meet, our nation’s parks and monuments are being ruined, research support by NSF has been put on hold, and drug approvals have slowed at FDA. For a run-down on the broadscale impact, see this USA Today article quoting ASBMB’s Ben Corb, and for a closer look at the toll the shutdown is taking on research, check out this article discussing the impact at the University of Wisconsin, emblematic of so many campuses nationwide. As a temporary patch, agency leaders have called back thousands of employees to work without pay. At the FDA, Commissioner Scott...
Dear Research Advocate: The government remains in a partial shutdown that began on December 22, taking a mounting toll on 800,000 federal workers, including those at FDA and NSF. The Alliance for a Stronger FDA has put together a “ Shutdown Toolkit ” detailing how this ongoing impasse is affecting us all. In a similar vein, the Coalition for National Science Funding has been sharing stories on social media that focus on how the shutdown is impacting NSF-funded research and programs, stifling discovery and sending a message of ‘no public confidence’ to aspiring young scientists. Clearly, the effects of the shutdown on research are multiple, disruptive and counterproductive. This New York...
Dear Research Advocate: The government is now in its sixth day of a partial shutdown that has left agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Science Foundation (NSF) without the necessary resources to conduct their critical, multi-faceted work. Negotiations between the Congress and the White House reportedly remain at a stalemate. Last year, when the House and Senate voted to end a weeklong shutdown, Senate Majority Leader McConnell said he hoped everyone could remember that "brinksmanship and hostage-taking do not work. They make bipartisan progress harder – not easier – to achieve." Let’s face it: no one is heeding that lesson now. The path that will truly...
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: After 16 costly, wasteful days, the government has been funded through January 15 at post-sequestration, FY13 levels ’€” hardly adequate for providing the solutions the American public awaits. A bicameral, bipartisan budget committee has been charged to develop a long-term deficit reduction plan by December 13. If these marching orders sound familiar, they should: We’€™ve been down this road before, only this time sequestration isn’€™t the threat at the end, it’€™s embedded in the negotiations. As tempting as it is to give in to brinksmanship fatigue and just tune out the process, advocates must seize the opportunity to make sure our issue remains front and center,...
Dear Research Advocate: After 16 costly, wasteful days, the government has been funded through January 15 at post-sequestration, FY13 levels ’€” hardly adequate for providing the solutions the American public awaits. A bicameral, bipartisan budget committee has been charged to develop a long-term deficit reduction plan by December 13. If these marching orders sound familiar, they should: We’€™ve been down this road before, only this time sequestration isn’€™t the threat at the end, it’€™s embedded in the negotiations. As tempting as it is to give in to brinksmanship fatigue and just tune out the process, advocates must seize the opportunity to make sure our issue remains front and center,...
Dear Research Advocate: What does the current political impasse in Washington have in common with deadly or disabling diseases? They will not cure themselves, and the harm escalates until the “patient” gets expert treatment. There is no place for miracle cures or wishful thinking. The solution isn’€™t what a given individual or party wants it to be, it’€™s what solves the problem. Right now, it’€™s by no means clear what or who will solve the problems ’€” which now include the debt ceiling as well as the lack of funding to run the government. Fasten your seat belts for more turbulence between now and October 17th. You may have heard that the House passed a bill yesterday to fund NIH, along...
Dear Research Advocate: What does the current political impasse in Washington have in common with deadly or disabling diseases? They will not cure themselves, and the harm escalates until the “patient” gets expert treatment. There is no place for miracle cures or wishful thinking. The solution isn’€™t what a given individual or party wants it to be, it’€™s what solves the problem. Right now, it’€™s by no means clear what or who will solve the problems ’€” which now include the debt ceiling as well as the lack of funding to run the government. Fasten your seat belts for more turbulence between now and October 17th. You may have heard that the House passed a bill yesterday to fund NIH, along...

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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