FASEB SUBMITS TESTIMONY ON FISCAL YEAR 2014 FUNDING RECOMMENDATIONS Created by on 03/20/2013
Congress has begun the process of determining the budgets for each federal agency for fiscal year (FY) 2014, which begins on October 1, 2013. The House Appropriations Committee held several hearings with various agencies and is also soliciting testimony from stakeholder organizations. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has submitted written statements to the appropriations subcommittees that have jurisdiction over the following federal science agencies.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
On March 15, 2013, FASEB submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies recommending a budget of no less than $32 billion for NIH in FY 2014 to prevent further loss of capacity, protect the nation’s prior investment, and ensure a sustainable research program. FASEB’s testimony noted that the broad program of research supported by NIH is essential for advancing the understanding of basic biological functions, reducing human suffering, and protecting the nation against new and re-emerging disease threats. Further, exciting new NIH initiatives are poised to accelerate progress in the search for cures. To not fully capitalize on these scientific opportunities would be tragic and abdicate our competitive edge that has already eroded due to the rising costs of research and the loss of purchasing power caused by years of flat budgets. Increasing the NIH budget to $32 billion would provide an additional $1.4 billion, relative to the funding level of the first half of FY 2013, and could support 1,700 additional investigators while still maintaining other critical areas of the NIH portfolio.
National Science Foundation (NSF)
FASEB President Judith S. Bond, PhD, delivered oral testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, recommending a minimum funding level of $7.4 billion for NSF in FY 2014 (see related story in this newsletter).
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE SC)
On March 26, 2013, FASEB submitted written testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies urging an appropriation of at least $5.1 billion for the DOE SC in FY 2014. As the lead federal agency supporting fundamental energy research and the nation’s largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences, DOE SC funds and manages ten world-class national laboratories. Research and development programs located at the national laboratories provide over 26,000 researchers with access to particle accelerators, advanced light sources, super computers, and other state-of-the-art instrumentation. Much of this investigator-initiated research is in the biological sciences. FASEB points out that despite growing demand for access to the user facilities, DOE SC funding has not grown.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
FASEB recommended a minimum funding level of $325 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) at the USDA in testimony submitted to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. AFRI is the premier competitive grants program of the USDA, supporting research, extension, and education projects at public, land grant universities, and private institutions nationwide. FASEB’s testimony emphasized the potential for agricultural research to help meet growing global food demands, which are expected to double by 2050.