As we go to press there is still no resolution on the spending bills that fund the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the FDA; Congress and the Administration have not come to terms. Along with other stakeholders, we are working hard to assure that these valuable agencies don’t have to work in the public’s interest with one hand tied behind their backs, unable to effectively plan for the months ahead, a moment longer. Too many patients are waiting for answers. The best resolution is for the current, 115th, Congress, which will likely be in session for most of this month, to get the job finished. (See more details elsewhere in this newsletter.)
In January, Washington will welcome the 116th Congress. The mid-term elections determined that there will be at least 100 new members of the Congress – that means 100 potential new champions for medical and health research! I strongly encourage every recipient of this newsletter to email the representative elected from your district last month (new or incumbent) to offer congratulations on their election and urge support for speeding medical progress. Consider handwriting a personal note and attaching it to the email. Take the time to make a meaningful connection. Elected officials respond to their constituents; be a constituent whose voice is heard.
I end this newsletter with a heartfelt salute to the young scientists across the nation who participated in our Civic Engagement Initiative last fall. Your energy and innovative approaches to connecting to community and candidates for office were palpable, and I think you made a difference. Thank you for your science and for your advocacy. The nation’s future looks brighter for your commitment!