Congress Potentially Tabling FY13 Budget Until March

Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that he has reached a deal with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to fund the federal government from the beginning of Fiscal Year 2013 on October 1st through the end of March 2013 at a level 0.4% above the current FY12 level.

The rare instance of bipartisanship essentially prevents another government shutdown debacle at the end of September and punts the final FY13 budget endgame to the next Congress and either President Obama or Governor Romney. Leaders in Congress bristled at the idea of another government shutdown showdown just a few weeks before the November election. Continue reading

AADR at the White House: “Advocacy Works”

Jon Carson (left) Director of the Office of Public Engagement, and Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President

Today, AADR joined with a couple dozen other organizations for a meeting at the White House with Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, and Jon Carson who heads the Office of Public Engagement. The meeting was organized by the Coalition for Health Funding (CHF), which consists of roughly 80 organizations including AADR. The session offered an opportunity for the groups to hear about the near-term policy goals and related strategy of the administration, as well as for the groups to discuss their advocacy efforts in support of sustained appropriations for the Health and Human Services (HHS) cluster.

Throughout the meeting it was made clear that President Obama is pushing for a balanced approach to deficit reduction, one that involves new revenues as well as targeted reductions in federal spending. Mr. Carson stated that “advocacy works,” when discussing the role that groups like CHF and individual associations play in the legislative process. As an example, he pointed to the recent debate over how to deal with a scheduled doubling of the interest rate on federal student loans. Advocacy organizations united to pressure elected officials to develop a proposal that would find the funds necessary to keep the student loan interest rate at its existing lower level and at the end of the day Congress acted accordingly. Continue reading

Summer on the Hill #4: PhDs Looking Outside of Research

Linked below is an article from the Washington Post that provides stories depicting the lack of research jobs for PhDs.  The article ties to the NIH’s recent Workforce Report that suggests diversifying the education and training of biomedical PhDs to include policy etc. Moreover, the article simply reiterates the need for increased funding for biomedical sciences and the need for advocacy action by the research community.

Washington Post Article

Rally to Restore Balance; Avoid Sequestration

If you’re in DC on July 25th, join us on Capitol Hill in an effort to sustain investments in the health of the American people.

What: Rally to Restore Balance; Avoid Sequestration
When: Wednesday, July 25 @ 2pm (please gather 1:45 pm or earlier)
Where: Upper Senate Park (Area 2)
Constitution and Delaware Avenues, adjacent to Russell Building
(for map, click here)
Featuring: The Honorable Tom Harkin, U.S. Senate

House Subcommittee Plans to Slash HHS and Education, Urge a “No” Vote

Contact Your House Member Today (click here). The House Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations has posted its bill for Fiscal Year 2013 and it’s being met with nearly uniform opposition from stakeholders in the communities impacted. Continue reading

Summer on the Hill #3: What We are Called to Do

Read the speech given by Donald Berwick, MD, MPP, to graduates at Harvard Medical School Class Day where he calls on graduates of medicine and dentistry to reach beyond the research and healing and to tackle broader issues in policy and advocacy. Written in the context of a moving and emotional experience in his life with a young troubled teen, this piece is sure to remind all of that which is bigger than each individual.

Nearly 3,000 Organizations Call for Budget Action

AADR joined with nearly 3,000 organizations in a letter calling on Congress to develop a “balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to NDD [non-defense discretionary] programs.” NDD programs include for a broad spectrum of federal government agencies and programs, including the National Institutes of Health. The NDD section of the budget has been consistently targeted for reductions over the past several months, despite the fact that it represents a small portion of the overall federal budget and is at historic lows.

NDD Community Letter to Congress

Interested in taking 5 minutes to send your own e-mail to Congress? If so, click the AADR Action Center.

NIDCR Would Like to Hear From You

NIDCR is preparing to select topical themes for development into Fiscal Year 2014 research initiatives. Input is requested from individuals/organizations and is due by Friday August 10th. AADR members are encourage to respond directly to NIDCR request (details provided below) and/or forward items for consideration in an AADR response to NIDCR. Members wishing to offer points for consideration in a reply on behalf of the membership may e-mail by July 27th. The “Dear Colleague” letter follows. Continue reading

OMB and OSTP Set FY14 S&T Priorities

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) have joined to issue science and technology priorities for Fiscal Year 2014. FY 2014 is a bit out of sight and mind for most research advocates given Continue reading

Summer on the Hill #2: Stand with Science

Students: Stand with Science, a student organization started by members of the Science Policy Initiative at MIT, is gathering student support for research funding. Thus far, over 10,000 students have signed on to their letter to Congress but they need more signatures and more representation on the hill. So please sign the letter, and contact your Representatives today, for when we join our colleagues in other research fields to advocate for science, our message becomes louder and our impact greater.