Mary Woolley

Dear Research Advocate, Earlier today, the Senate passed legislation, known as a Continuing Resolution or “CR,” extending government funding to midnight November 21, 2019. The President is expected to sign the legislation before the end of Fiscal Year 2019, September 30. That means Congress has seven-plus additional weeks to reach an agreement. The problem is that CRs stall progress, and one CR is more than enough! We are launching a campaign to urge Congress to reach a bipartisan agreement by or before November 21st that will ensure robust scientific, health, and medical research funding for all of Fiscal Year 2020. Visit our action page and send an email and/or Tweet to make the case for...
Dear Research Advocate, This week was chock-full of federal appropriations activity bearing on the future of research, and ultimately, the future of health. While agency funding for Fiscal Year 2020 is far from resolved, some very positive and not-so-positive steps were taken by Congress. First, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its long-awaited Labor/HHS bill. The exciting headline is that NIH received a vital $3 billion increase, which, if enacted, would bring its total funding to $42.08 billion. The CDC, meanwhile, would receive an increase of only $180 million for a total budget of $7.46 billion. This increase is woefully insufficient to enable CDC’s 24/7 vigilance and...
Dear Research Advocate, There was great excitement among advocates this week when rumors began swirling that the Senate “Labor HHS” bill may include a $3B increase for NIH. However, it is unclear whether this funding level will hold and what the bill provides for other key health and research priorities. On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee postponed consideration of two funding bills, including Labor-HHS. Congressional Leaders may seek passage of a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) that prevents a government shutdown but freezes the federal government in place while the House and Senate try to finalize FY20 funding. While a CR is better than a government shutdown on October...
Dear Research Advocate, I’m writing early this week to remind those of you who won’t be joining us in person that you can join our National Research Forum tomorrow, Thursday, via livestream. See more information at the end of this letter. Political theater isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I have always enjoyed it, from the Greeks to Hamilton. A remarkable, multiple-award-winning play, “What the Constitution Means to Me” will open soon at the Kennedy Center after a successful run on Broadway, and will soon head to the West Coast. I highly recommend it. Written several years ago by Heidi Schreck, who is also the lead, the work brings out the good news – and the complicated and ever-evolving...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Robert Shalett, Research!America’s Director of Communications. 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. Our survey data indicates that the public thinks it is important for scientists to discuss their research and its impact. But that is only part of it. Effective advocacy campaigns require focused, sustained effort. This is why your voice is needed right now. As my colleague Ellie mentioned last week, the hard-fought lifting...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Ellie Dehoney, Research!America’s Vice President of Policy and Advocacy. Ten years ago this month, Dr. Francis Collins became the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health. The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, of which Research!America is a member, sent a letter to Dr. Collins congratulating and thanking him for his remarkable service, achievements and impact. Our latest web resource highlights the history, progress, and promise of the groundbreaking research NIH conducts and supports. Funding for NIH and our nation’s other science agencies hinges on timely congressional action, and on you. Don’t wait to advocate. Hard-won...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Jenny Luray, Research!America’s Senior Advisor. 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. Ninety percent believe it is important for the U.S. to be a leader in science and technology research. These survey results reveal a not-to-be missed opportunity for candidates to highlight the value of science and...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Ellie Dehoney, Research!America’s Vice President of Policy and Advocacy. Gun violence is a fact of our lives, a relentless public health and safety threat punctuated by two horrific mass murders over the past seven days. The current appropriations process provides an opportunity to address one of the challenges impeding efforts to address this threat: gaps in the research needed to test assumptions and craft evidence-based solutions. Earlier this summer, the House passed $50 million for CDC and NIH-funded gun violence research as part of its Fiscal Year 2020 Labor-H appropriations bill. However, the fate of this funding is uncertain. Use...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Jenny Luray, Research!America’s Senior Advisor. Before traveling home for the August district work period, the House finally passed legislation to raise the budget caps by a vote of 284 - 149. Monday evening brought the welcome announcement that the White House and congressional leadership had reached a bipartisan, bicameral budget deal . The deal lifts the caps, increasing federal spending levels in FY2020 and FY2021, and also raises the debt ceiling. Specifically, the deal increases non-defense discretionary spending by $27 billion in FY20 and $2.5 billion in FY21. It prevents a $55 billion cut from occurring and instead bolsters the...
Dear Research Advocate, For the remainder of the summer, we will have a series of guest authors writing Mary’s Weekly Letter. This week’s author is Mike Coburn, Research!America’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. 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. Research!America sent a letter to Congressional leaders and the White House urging swift action. While news reports indicate the Administration is...

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana