September 17, 2012
In response to the budget sequestration report released on Friday, September 14, 2012 by the White House Office of Management and Budget, Dr. Susan Stafford, president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, expressed concern for the nation's scientific and educational systems if indiscriminate, across the board budget cuts are implemented in January 2013.
"Sequestration is bad for our nation's scientific research and development enterprise. These arbitrary cuts to federal research programs will slow innovation, hinder economic growth, and do nothing to help prepare the next generation for good paying jobs," said Stafford. "Today's report from the Office of Management and Budget illustrates the negative impacts on our scientific research programs if budget sequestration occurs in January. The answer to our fiscal and budget challenges is not reckless budget cuts that will hurt environmental monitoring programs or slow medical research. New economic opportunities are born from research. As someone who has managed scientific research programs, I have to say that it is unwise to carelessly cut on-going research and science education programs. We must take a long-term, balanced, and responsible approach to rebuilding our fiscal house."
Based on the report released today, the National Science Foundation would be cut by at least $585 million, the United States Geological Survey by at least $88 million, and the National Institutes of Health by at least $2.5 billion. Other research programs that would be cut include food and energy research at the Departments of Agriculture and Energy, as well as research and monitoring programs within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Fish and Wildlife Service.
"Lawmakers need to act soon. A balanced and responsible approach is needed to deal with our fiscal challenges," said Stafford. "Idly standing by while we fall off a fiscal cliff is not acceptable."