ASBMB opposes anti-DEAI policy riders in FY24 appropriations

Feb. 15, 2024

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is extremely disappointed by the contentious policy riders in the Labor, Health and Human Services and Commerce, Justice and Science fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills. If enacted, the riders will prohibit funding for diversity-related programs and trainings, ultimately stripping away vital funding to federal science agencies intended to uphold equity throughout the federal government, and will block the final rule to prevent sex-discrimination and sex-based harassment at schools.

The U.S. scientific enterprise thrives when scientists from all backgrounds study and work in a positive, supportive work climate. Moreover, diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion (DEAI) policies make science more efficient. The U.S. institutions that lead the scientific community, such as the National Institutes of Health, must be given the tools they need to uphold and ensure equity and diversity.
These riders severely restrict key science agencies and will significantly damage the U.S.’s standing as the leader in science and technology:
  • A student sex discrimination rider would block the U.S. Department of Education from issuing a final rule to prevent sex discrimination and sex-based harassment at schools.
  • A fetal tissue rider would prohibit the NIH from using fetal tissue obtained from elective procedures in medical research.
  • An LGBTQ discrimination rider would prohibit implementation of the Biden administration’s executive order on gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination.
  • A DEAI rider would block policies or programs intended to promote diversity, equity, accessibility or inclusion derived from Executive Orders 13985, 14035 and 14091.
Our country’s diversity should be acknowledged and harnessed as the valuable resource that it is. We urge Congress to remove these riders and ensure that the nation continues to produce a strong and diverse scientific workforce.