Created by on 12/18/2012 12:00:00 AM

On December 4th, 14 members of the Board of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) went to Capitol Hill to urge their Senators and Representatives to work with President Barack Obama to stop sequestration from taking effect in January 2013. Representing 12 states from the east to the west coasts, as well as the Midwest, the FASEB leadership participated in more than 30 meetings with their elected officials. The year-end Capitol Hill Day was a continuation of FASEB’s ongoing advocacy to educate Congress about the devastating impact of sequestration on biomedical and scientific research.
FASEB Board members came to Washington with examples of how the projected eight to ten percent cut in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will affect research at local universities and institutions. Dr. Thomas O. Baldwin, the former Dean of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of California-Riverside mentioned that he had personally laid off 40 people during his tenure due to state budget cuts and flat funding for NIH. Others noted that funding for research is not the cause of the nation’s debt and that federal investment is essential to support the kind of research needed to develop new treatments for debilitating and costly illnesses. It was also noted that the research enterprise helps keep our nation globally competitive and promotes economic growth and job creation. Copies of the FASEB sequestration analysis and the new NIH state and district factsheets were left with each office that was visited.
FASEB Board members learned that there is almost unanimous agreement in Congress that sequestration should not be implemented, even though there is no consensus on an alternative plan to reduce the deficit. The congressional aides thanked the researchers for sharing information about how states and districts would be impacted by the mandatory budget cuts. Some staffers were also aware that funding for the science agencies has been stagnant for the last several years. 
Although the Capitol Hill Day was productive, more outreach is necessary. Congress has not yet reached a deal to stop sequestration. FASEB encourages everyone in the research community to contact their members of Congress to urge them to continue – not cut – essential funding for research. Visit the FASEB Legislative Action Center to send an email to your elected officials today!
FASEB President Dr. Judith S. Bond and FASEB President-Elect Dr. Margaret K. Offerman on Capitol Hill on December 4th.


FASEB Vice-President for Science Policy, Dr. Joseph R. Haywood (left), Dr. Laura McCabe, Michigan State University, FASEB Board member Dr. Maurice Manning, University of Toledo College of Medicine, and FASEB Immediate Past President Dr. Joseph C. LaManna (right) on their way to a meeting in the Hart Senate Office Building.

Dr. Tyrone Spady (left), FASEB Office of Public Affairs and FASEB Board members Dr. Patricia Morris, Rockefeller University and Dr. Jay C. Dunlap (right), Geisel School of Medicine/Dartmouth Medical School participated in the Capitol Hill Day.