Under the 2011 Budget Control Act, Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) defense spending must be cut by $71 billion and non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending by $55 billion relative to the current federal budget. Unless Congress passes and the president signs a bill raising the FY20 budget caps, cuts to science agency budgets are inevitable. On March 19, 2019, Research!America, together with 20 partner organizations from across the science spectrum, launched a targeted advocacy campaign to urge Congress to secure a bipartisan deal to raise these budget caps and make the case that science agencies need and deserve increased funding.
Through a targeted web page and action page, Research!America offers advocates a range of opportunities to make their voices heard. Advocates can send messages to their congressional delegations, spread the word using social media, sign a petition, or use a provided script to call their congressional offices. Research!America also ran print and digital ads in targeted media markets the week of April 8-12 2019. As of April 29, 2019, over 359 emails have been sent, and Research!America tweets about #RaiseTheCaps earned over 75,000 impressions over 28 days.
Raise the Caps partners have supported this effort through outreach to their networks, social media, and other advocacy efforts. Mary Woolley penned a blog post for The American Society of Human Genetics, and the American Physical Society secured an op-ed placement for a piece written by a member and graduate student. And on May 2, Research!American and Raise the Caps partners sent a letter to House and Senate Leadership today emphasizing the need for a bipartisan agreement to raise the budget caps.
As reported in this month’s Federal Policy Update, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader Mitch McConnell have agreed to begin talks on a deal to raise the budget caps for defense and non-defense spending. Leader McConnell has said reaching a deal will be his top legislative priority after the April recess, but that may be easier said than done.
The drumbeat of support must continue. Please contact us if you are interested in joining this movement as a partner, and take action by visiting www.researchamerica.org/raise-the-caps today!