November 2, 2015

The Honorable Harold Rogers
2406 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Nita Lowey
2365 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Thad Cochran
113 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Barbara Mikulski
503 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

On behalf of the undersigned coalitions, which represent over 500 combined member organizations--incorporating the voices of industry, scientists, and higher education in the United States--we applaud Congress for taking the first step toward averting the harmful impacts of sequester-level discretionary spending caps and a year-long continuing resolution on the American scientific enterprise. As you allocate the additional funding made available under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, we urge you to make strong investments in America's innovation ecosystem one of your highest priorities by increasing federal research funding by at least 5.2 percent above FY 2015 levels--the same level of increase to discretionary spending.

We encourage you to build upon the bipartisan commitment already evident in FY 2016 appropriations bills, and enact legislation that provides real growth for federal investments in research and development across the board. Our recommendation echoes that of over 300 organizations from all fifty states representing American industry, higher education, science, and engineering, and a group of senior corporate leaders who recently endorsed the statement Innovation: An American Imperative (see attached). This statement urges Congress to enact policies and make investments that ensure the United States remains the global innovation leader.

Sequestration and the failure of federal research and development funding to keep pace with inflation in recent years are eroding our nation's capacity to innovate. Federal agencies' ability to fund cutting-edge research and recruit and retain scientific talent for intramural research has suffered and so has our nation's ability to capitalize on discoveries that could benefit society in ways not yet realized. While the U.S. has been holding overall federal research funding flat, other nations such as China and South Korea and a number of European countries have been making long term commitments to robust investments in research. If we continue on our current path, we risk creating an innovation deficit, as other countries work to create an innovation dividend.

We urge you to take this opportunity to act decisively in favor of American innovation so that our nation's economic, health, and national security will prosper for many years in the future.


Dustin Todd
Co-Chair, Task Force on American Innovation

Nick Saab and Mike Fox
Co-Chairs, Coalition for Aerospace and Science

Jennifer Greenamoyer
Co-chair, Coalition for National Security Research

Paul Doucette
Co-Chair, Energy Sciences Coalition

Sam Rankin
Chair, Coalition for National Science Funding

Jon Groteboer
President, The Science Coalition

Jennifer Poulakidas
Co-President, United for Medical Research

Juliane Baron
Chair, Friends of the Institute for Education Sciences

Karl Anderson, Meghan O'Brien, and Juli Obudzinski
Co-chairs, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Coalition

R. Thomas Van Arsdall
Executive Director, National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research

Alison Mize and Robert Gropp
Co-Chairs, Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition

Robert Gropp
Chair, U.S. Geological Survey Coalition

David Moore
Executive Director, Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research

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