Policy Analysis

APS Response to Trump’s Cut to Science

The APS Office of Public Affairs (OPA) has taken effective steps to oppose President Trump’s budget proposals by advocating to congressional offices and by working with Society members to write op-eds, engage on social media and meet with congressional staff. So far this year, APS members have contacted more than 335 congressional offices and received assurances from numerous officials that they will reject the proposed cuts.

Trump released his proposal for a fiscal year 2018 budget on May 23, and it contains deep cuts to federal research. The APS opposes the proposal and urges Congress to reject the cuts to research, including to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards & Technology, National Institutes of Health, and Environmental Protection Agency.

The detailed cuts, ranging from the DOE Office of Science to the Every Student Succeeds Act – which includes resources for training high-quality science teachers – jeopardize the country’s standing as a global leader.

"Sustained, robust investments across all the federal science agencies are essential for the United States to compete in an increasingly global economy, strengthen its national security, improve education, and prepare a 21st century workforce,” said Laura Greene, APS president and chief scientist at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

"The president made his proposal, but it’s up to Congress to determine the budget," said Greene. Referring to Congress' rejection of Trump's proposal for fiscal year 2017, she added, “Congress has already shown that it recognizes the crucial role that science plays in U.S. competitiveness."

APS members underscored the importance of scientific research and infrastructure in recent op-eds published in the Auburn Daily Journal in California and the Ithaca Journal in New York. Another APS member stressed the importance of STEM education in a piece that appeared in the St. Louis Dispatch.

Additionally, APS OPA has worked with individual APS Units to develop targeted emails or social media posts asking members of Congress to reject proposed cuts to science in the fiscal year 2018 budget. The Units include Forum on Education, Forum on Graduate Student Affairs, Forum on Early Career Scientists, Division of Nuclear Physics, Topical Group on Hadronic Physics and others. As a result of APS OPA’s concerted activities, more than 1,000 APS members have contacted more than 335 members of Congress (including more than 100 in-person meetings) to reject proposed funding cuts to science.

And those efforts have paid off: Members of Congress rejected proposed science cuts in the fiscal year 2017 budget, and many have pledged to do the same in the fiscal year 2018 budget.

To learn about key issues that APS OPA advocates for and to take action on them, visit the Advocacy Dashboard.

To stay informed on current science policy issues and ways to take action, sign up for APS OPA’s video newsletter, Signal Boost.