In his State of the Union address last month, President Barack Obama reaffirmed the prioritization of science and technology in his plans for the nation’s future. The President’s new economic plan calls for maintaining a commitment to funding research and development that can improve our quality of life.
If the U.S. debt ceiling is not raised by Tuesday, August 2nd, the U.S. Treasury has warned that the country will not be able to pay all its obligations . The debt ceiling is the amount that the country may legally borrow. Congressional Republicans have demanded budget cuts as a condition to raising the debt ceiling and avoiding a default.
Proposals from both Democrats and Republicans amount to a budget reduction of more than $1 trillion in spending over the next ten years; that’s approximately $100 billion per year. Defense spending cuts are off the table, and it’s likely that social security, Medicare and Medicaid programs will also be left untouched. Cuts are expected to be made to the roughly $600-billion domestic discretionary budget.
Last week, I implored you to urge your congressional members to Support Biomedical Research in the Economic Stimulus Package. The message was clearly received as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which President Obama signed today, includes $10 billion USD for biomedical research into cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease. The stimulus bill also includes significant support for updating U.S. healthcare systems and over a billion dollars for evidence-based medicine research.