FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                 

ASBMB leader: Increases in funding for science proposed in Obama’s FY12 budget
represent a good start, but greater and sustained investment is needed

BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 14, 2011 – On the heels of the release today of President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget, Suzanne Pfeffer, president of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, issued a statement in support of the president’s proposed increase in federal funding for research and called for “sustained increases above inflationary indexes.”

“The scientific community and ASBMB understand the president and Congress are facing difficult funding decisions and that some programs will need to be cut, but others, such as those involving biomedical research, cannot sustain continued, stop-start and inconsistent funding,” Pfeffer said.

Earlier in the day, Obama outlined his federal spending priorities for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, signaling the beginning of what is sure to be one of the most hotly debated budget negotiations in recent history, as the president and Congress face off over how to rein in spending, reduce the federal deficit and jump-start the economy. 

The president’s FY12 budget request includes a $1.05 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health over the FY10 level.  Last week, U.S. House Republicans fired the opening salvo by announcing their plans for funding the federal government for the remainder of FY11.  Federal agencies have been operating on a continuing resolution, which will expire March 5, that is funding them at FY10 levels until a new budget can be enacted. 

Honoring campaign promises that swept the GOP into the House majority, House Appropriations Committee chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., on Friday announced $100 billion in spending cuts for the remainder of FY11, including $1.6 billion in reductions at the National Institutes of Health and $359 million in cuts at the National Science Foundation. 

Pfeffer emphasized that the American biomedical research enterprise can play a critical role in creating new high-tech, high-paying jobs while helping to keep America a global leader in innovation. But, she said, “it cannot be done without a reliable and robust federal investment.”

She continued, “It’s important to remember that the president’s proposed increases, while valued by the entire scientific community, do not adequately provide a pathway for growth. Considering inflation, these amounts barely sustain our critical enterprise. To show a commitment and develop a plan for growth within the scientific enterprise, we must see increases above inflationary indexes.”

For more information about ASBMB’s public policy activities, contact Director of Public Affairs Benjamin Corb at 301-634-7111 or bcorb@asbmb.org.

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About the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The ASBMB is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with more than 12,000 members worldwide. Most members teach and conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research in various government laboratories, at nonprofit research institutions and in industry. The Society’s student members attend undergraduate or graduate institutions.  For more information about ASBMB, visit www.asbmb.org.

 

 

 




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