ASBMB statement on Biden’s budget request for FY24
March 14, 2023
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology supports the proposed funding increase for the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy in President Joe Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget request.
Biden has asked for an additional 18.61% for the NSF, increasing the agency’s budget to $11.31 billion, and an additional 13.6% for the DOE Office of Science, which funds biological and environmental research. The additional $8.8 billion for the DOE Office of Science would be transformational for scientific investments needed in clean energy, climate change, emerging technologies and more.
The Biden administration also has outlined its priority to invest in minority-serving institutions through the Department of Education by setting aside funds to expand institutional research and development capacity at historically Black colleges and universities, tribal colleges or universities and other MSIs. Supporting MSIs is vital to strengthen this country’s competitiveness in science and technology and to diversify the STEM workforce.
However, Biden’s request for the National Institutes of Health is disappointing.
NIH’s base budget would increase by only 1.7% to $48.26 billion. While NIH’s overall budget would be $51.1 billion, the majority of that increase ($2.5 billion) would be for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health.
Furthermore, the 1.7% base increase would not be evenly distributed among NIH Institutes, with the majority (19 institutes) receiving flat funding, including the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
This proposal would significantly crunch NIH funding at a time when the cost of conducting scientific research is rising. For example, under Biden’s budget, the NIGMS would have to reduce funding for research project grants to offset inflation. This means scientists will have to abandon their projects. The U.S. research enterprise needs reliable, sustained investments in scientific funding, and Biden’s proposed budget for NIH falls short.
Policymakers must do better to support this country’s thriving research ecosystem and to support the scientists who are dedicating their lives to research. Scientific research leads to breakthrough discoveries, new treatments for diseases and numerous other inventions that improve the lives of Americans. Robustly funding the pillars of the research community — the NIH, the NSF and the DOE to name a few — is key to supporting the nation’s bioeconomy.