Dear Research Advocate, Earlier this week, Congress passed a long-awaited legislative package containing FY21 funding and COVID-19 emergency dollars. However, President Trump has publicly criticized the bill and of this writing, it’s unclear whether he will sign it or seek changes. The current Continuing Resolution keeping the federal government open expires on December 28, 2020. Needless to say, we are closely monitoring the situation. Let’s look at the bill Congress approved: For FY21, it contains increases over the prior year of over $1 billion for NIH, $200 million for NSF, $125 million for the CDC, and $42 million for the FDA. Unfortunately, the Agency for Healthcare Research and...
Dear Research Advocate, Even as the death toll rises and hospitals are overwhelmed, we can feel optimistic as the first COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized by the FDA is being delivered into the arms of Americans. Some recipients have cried in relief and gratitude. I like thinking about this vaccine metaphorically as a “double shot” – to protect against COVID-19 and as a booster shot in the arm for science. The vaccine truly brings home the value of science. Leading at the FDA : Science has delivered and so has the FDA. We hosted Dr. Peter Marks, the director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) on Monday to discuss the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the...
Since our founding more than 30 years ago, a key strategy tool in Research!America's advocacy for science and medical research has been influencing public opinion. As President Abraham Lincoln said, “…public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” Over our 28 years of commissioning surveys, Research!America has asked a wide variety of questions about the importance of scientists informing the public and elected officials about their research and its impacts. In August 2020, our survey asked: "How important is it for scientists to inform the public about their research and its impact on society?" In response, 8 in 10 Americans...
Dear Research Advocate, Last days of 2020 : The deadline for finalizing FY21 legislation and for a supplemental spending bill will almost certainly be delayed until December 18. Delays like these are difficult to countenance. However, the important point is Congress and the White House are now trying to complete FY21 appropriations and the supplemental when they could instead abdicate by passing a long-term CR and – literally for some and figuratively for others – just call it quits. Advocates can’t call it quits either. While two major points of contention reportedly remain – liability protections for business and state and local funding support – there is no way to know for certain what...
Dear Research Advocate, Lame-Duck Session : Congressional lame-duck sessions can be busy, and the current one is no exception. The appropriations front remains quite fluid – while there were some signs that lawmakers would be able to move an FY21 omnibus funding package before the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on December 11, we are once again hearing that another short term CR may be necessary. Meanwhile, after weeks of inaction, there has been movement on the COVID-19 supplemental front. A group of bipartisan lawmakers this week released a $908 billion relief proposal as the basis for renewed negotiations. Will FY21 appropriations and the supplemental finally move forward?...

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