ASBMB urges lawmakers to pass appropriations bill for FY2023

Dec. 13, 2022

With the looming deadline of federal funds set to expire on Dec. 16, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology urges policymakers to enact a full budget for fiscal year 2023 despite challenges during negotiations.

The federal government has been operating under a continuing resolution since FY22 appropriations expired on Oct. 1. As we’ve said before, continuing resolutions freeze federal funds that are necessary for scientific research and have devastating consequences for the U.S. research enterprise. Under a CR, federally funded labs are forced to operate under constrained budgets, and funding decisions are unnecessarily delayed. These constraints and delays interrupt scientific productivity and the training of the next generation of scientists in ways that reverberate negatively across the U.S. research enterprise for years as laboratories close and trainees are forced to transition to other careers.

Federally funded scientists already face financial challenges, including inflation and the rising cost of conducting research. Under a CR, these challenges are exacerbated. Grant budgets are cut and federal agencies are forced to withhold funding decisions. Sustainable and predictable federal funding is essential to the U.S. research enterprise as a whole and for federally funded investigators specifically to run their labs, train students and publish scientific findings.

Breakthrough discoveries and medical treatments are built on the foundational discoveries of basic scientific research. The ASBMB strongly recommends robust investments in pursuit of these fundamental discoveries through a significant increase to National Institutes of Health’s base budget and an increase to the National Science Foundation budget separate from the funds allocated to the new Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships. These increases will support vital research across the country and the growth of the U.S. scientific research enterprise. The U.S. must continue to support science, the people who conduct science and the innovation pipeline at large.

In addition to setting the priorities for the coming year, the omnibus must set parameters establishing the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health and fund the landmark CHIPS and Science Act at authorized levels. The ASBMB urges policymakers to include H.R. 5585; ARPA-H must be separate from the NIH to ensure both agencies’ success in leading the U.S. research enterprise and enabling sufficient independence of each agency in order to appropriately support the missions and aims of NIH and ARPA-H.

The programs and efforts outlined in the CHIPS and Science Act are long overdue and will make significant impacts on improving STEM education, expanding the STEM workforce and ensuring the full U.S. talent pool can succeed in STEM.

The scientific community needs sustained and predictable funding to continue the vital scientific research that ultimately fuels the bioeconomy and leads to improved treatment and health outcomes for Americans. Congress must quickly assemble an omnibus for FY23 to pass appropriations and set fiscal priorities across the federal government.