In President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last month, he argued that government support for research and development to fund innovation is a necessary and critical investment that must be made, even in the face of a rising national debt. A coalition of biomedical researchers support his vision on science. The 2012 budget President Obama sent to Congress earlier this month seeks an increase in funding for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and in basic science at other agencies, while making cuts and freezes in many other areas of government.
Congress and the White House are clashing over the federal budget. Congress is considering serious cuts in funding for all public broadcasting. Since January, three bills have been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to cut or eliminate the $430 million currently allocated for the Corporation For Public Broadcasting (CBP). Pending a vote in congress this week, the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), considered by the public to be the second-best use of taxpayer dollars (outranked only by defense spending ), could cease to exist.
This week, Congress is working to reconcile biomedical research funding differences in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. According to ProPublica, the Senate bill would spend substantially more on biomedical research than the House bill (10 billion vs. 900 million USD).
It is imperative that you urge your congressional members to support biomedical research as a critical driver of our economy. Here’s why: the biotechnology industry is a major driver of the U.S. economy and has been for the past 30 years . Federal granting agencies have “shovel-ready” projects that will promote economic growth today — those research projects will help fight disease and improve the quality of life for everyone in America tomorrow.