sequestration

Dear Research Advocate, The two-month reprieve from sequestration agreed to as part of the ’€œdeal’€ to avert the fiscal cliff is a partial victory for all who worked hard to save research, giving us much-needed additional time to make our case. We need be smart in using that time well, because the delay was paid for through a combination of new revenue and spending cuts that could further drain the pool of dollars used to fund research. The fact that many conservative members of Congress expressed outrage that the fiscal cliff deal didn’€™t include larger spending cuts underscores this point. The debt ceiling will need to be raised within the next two months, adding fuel to the fire. And...
Dear Research Advocate, Progress toward a deal to avert the fiscal cliff seems now to have been reversed, with talk today of reintroducing aspects of the Ryan budget ’€” more severe than sequestration. Holidays or not, this is no time to let up on our individual and collective advocacy for research. Reps. Fudge (D-OH) and Stivers (R-OH) are leading a bipartisan sign-on letter , urging Congress to take into account the critical importance of NIH in any deficit reduction plan. Take action and urge your representatives to sign on! For those of you in Ohio, if you would like to thank Reps. Fudge and Stivers for their efforts, you may obtain their contact information here . In addition to...
Dear Research Advocate, As our nation edges toward the fiscal cliff, the White House and House Republican leadership have been trading offers. The most recent Republican plan includes additional cuts to discretionary spending ’€” another $300 billion. These newly proposed discretionary cuts are significantly less than the across-the-board approach of sequestration, but suggest that ’€” absent a strong shift in the winds ’€” more discretionary spending cuts will be part of any final, compromise plan. It is highly unlikely that any final plan will be hammered out until next year; the president indicated as much in remarks he made Tuesday. The best guess is that policy makers will coalesce...
On October 31 st , the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported new cases of fungal meningitis in Indiana, Maryland, Michigan and Virginia, bringing the total to 368 cases in the recent outbreak . This form of meningitis, which has been linked to contaminated steroid injections, is a serious disease that infects the brain and spinal cord. In the face of this tragedy, public health agencies and professionals have coordinated an excellent emergency response to the outbreak. The CDC responded quickly, identifying possible sources of contamination, tracking cases and communicating updates to the nation. CDC experts and local public health workers have been working day and night to...
Pending Budget Cuts will Further Jeopardize Global Leadership in Research and Innovation WASHINGTON, DC ’€”October 25, 2012’€”Biomedical and health research and development (R&D) spending from all sources declined by more than $4 billion or 3% between FY10 and FY11 according to Research!America’€™s 2011 U.S. Investment in Health Research report. This represents the first drop in overall spending since Research!America began compiling the data in 2002. The decline follows an uptick in research funding attributed to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which allocated $10.4 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over two fiscal years (2009-2010). The overall...
Dear Research Advocate, Nine times. That’€™s how often the word ’€œresearch’€ was used in Monday’€™s third and final presidential debate. Clearly, both candidates recognize the importance of research and the role it plays in keeping our nation competitive. The election and decision-making around deficit reduction will put this rhetoric to the test. I was thankful for the opportunity to contribute to an article in Nature on the outlook for research and the candidates’€™ sometimes competing, sometimes intersecting visions for our nation. Many indicators point to the need for a ’€œgrand bargain’€ to avoid the fiscal cliff we have talked so much about. Rumors have it that informal talks are...
Dear Research Advocate, The first presidential debate gave us little to go on regarding research for health. Americans are dying to know more ’€“ many, quite literally dying ’€“ about what either presidential candidate would do to speed up medical progress in the face of Alzheimer’€™s disease, Parkinson’€™s disease, ALS and the host of other disabling and deadly health threats that breed suffering, compromise independence and drive spiraling health care costs. Add to that the pivotal role medical innovation plays in our economy, and Americans absolutely deserve to know whether candidates will champion or shortchange it. All of us must say to candidates: Tell us what you will do, share your...
Dear Research Advocate, To call attention to the unintended consequences of the sequester, we held a press briefing today in partnership with United for Medical Research. Two Members of Congress who are still in town, Reps. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA), spoke about the high priority the nation must place on NIH and about the usefulness of data from a new national public opinion poll showing that 51% of Americans say that across-the-board cuts are not the right way to reduce the deficit. To see more poll results for use in your advocacy, click here . Other speakers this morning spoke about what’€™s at stake for everyone who cares about the research enterprise: patient hopes for...
Dear Research Advocate, Congress is back in Washington but still in campaign mode, making its decisions with the election very much in mind. A 6-month continuing resolution (C.R.) is expected to pass momentarily. The C.R. would put off appropriations decision-making until the new Congress has gotten under way, flat-funding the government through March of next year at fiscal 2012 levels. The atmosphere of fiscal uncertainty for the agencies that fund research, and everyone seeking that funding, is in fact demoralizing in the extreme. Compounding the problem is that the C.R. does nothing to address the looming problem of sequestration, which is scheduled to take effect on January 2, 2013. The...
Dear Research Advocate, As the political conventions get underway, we have further evidence that voters want candidates to make research for health a prominent issue, now and after the election. Our latest national public opinion poll, conducted a week ago, shows voters want to elect candidates who value and highly prioritize the importance of medical progress. Among the highlights: 90% say it’€™s important for candidates to address medical research; 59% say elected officials in Washington are not paying enough attention to combating deadly diseases, so much so that 63% say the next president should announce initiatives promoting medical progress in his ’€œfirst 100 days in office.’€ And...

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Sidebar Quote

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