ASBMB statement on federal science agency funding in FY 2022 omnibus

March 10, 2022

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology commends Congress for the bipartisan, bicameral Consolidated Appropriations Act 2022 released earlier this week. We are grateful for the leadership of the House Appropriations Committee and the hard work of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education subcommittee ranking member Tom Cole, R-Okla., and subcommittee chair Patty Murray, D-Wash., in pushing for this omnibus bill.

Investing in scientific research and public health preparedness measures is a necessary priority for the U.S. as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Americans across the country, and passing the FY2022 spending bill is a monumental step in ensuring the continued investment in science. The American research enterprise has been operating under continuing resolutions for the past several months, and continuing resolutions not only damage scientific research but they prevent scientists from pushing forward important groundbreaking work on diseases. Continuing resolutions prevent researchers from accessing their full federal grant budgets, often resulting in challenges retaining trainees in their labs and challenges when renewing grants.

The 2021 omnibus will sustain funding at the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. However, each agency has received only a modest increase. We hope policymakers on Capitol Hill understand: Robust growth in foundational research is necessary to ensure that the U.S. is ready for the public health challenges of the 21st century and that the U.S. remains a global leader in science and technology. 

Notably, funds allocated in this omnibus bill to the Department of Education will allow for the largest increase in the maximum award amount for Pell Grant recipients in history and provide an injection of funds to support minority-serving institutions. We applaud this renewed investment at institutes of higher education, which will ensure that the U.S. supports the next generation of scientists.