ASM Calls on Congress to Reject the President’s FY 2021 Budget Request
As microbiologists and other public health professionals seek to address pressing concerns such as novel coronavirus and Ebola, the federal government should be looking to boost our research ecosystem and public health infrastructure. Instead, the President's FY 2021 budget proposal does the opposite by undermining our nation's public health infrastructure and scientific research capacity, and jeopardizing our global leadership in science and innovation.
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) calls on Congress to reject the proposed cuts and enact funding levels in FY 2021 that allow us to seize the tremendous opportunities in science and innovation and address our pressing public health needs. Only by investing robustly in agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Energy Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, can we achieve our goals to improve the health and well-being of all Americans and people around the globe.
Last year, the President and Congress came together to enact a budget agreement that lifted the unworkable and impractical budget caps placed on defense and nondefense discretionary spending by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The President's proposal fails to abide by this agreement and, if enacted, would steer us in the wrong direction. Even laudable proposals outlined in this request, such as the Initiative to End the HIV Epidemic in America, support for the Executive Order on influenza vaccine development, and a significant boost in funding for basic and applied research through USDA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, cannot be adequately executed if the agencies they are housed in are weakened by a significant reduction in resources.
We are confident that if Congress can work in a bipartisan manner to develop and enact FY 2021 funding bills on time, we can continue to effectively build on the investments we have made in science, research, and public health over the past few years. By doing so, the United States can meet the 21st century challenges we face in agriculture, biodefense, energy, global health, and infectious disease prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment for the benefit of all.
The American Society for Microbiology is one of the largest professional societies dedicated to the life sciences and is composed of 30,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.
ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.