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Congress should reject the White House’s proposed budget cuts for science.
The Trump administration has suggested dramatic funding cuts for science in its fiscal year 2018 budget, which would begin October 1, 2017. This proposal includes a 17% cut for the Department of Energy's Office of Science, an 11% cut for the National Science Foundation, and a 15% cut for R&D at the National Institute of Standards & Technology (see Table 18-1 on page 203 of the Analytical Perspectives document ). These agencies fund a great deal of U.S. Physics research. APS is against these proposed cuts. The House and Senate now have to respond to this proposal while developing their own budget plans.
Instead of these cuts, APS believes federal research funding should be increased by 4% real growth to not only make up for losses due to inflation but also to allow for greater innovation.
It is also important to look for additional avenues for federal research investment. The Trump administration is proposing an initiative to rebuild the nation's infrastructure. APS believes that science infrastructure should be included, which would involve investments for scientific labs and facilities both at national labs and universities. APS Unit Leaders discussed this issue on Capitol Hill during the APS Congressional Visits Day on January 25 and found strong bipartisan interest.
At this time, APS is asking its members to focus on the message of asking Congress to reject the proposed budget cuts, prioritizing that above the other two "asks."
Insert your lawmaker's Twitter handle in the sample tweets below. The "." at the beginning makes it more public. Find your elected officials by clicking the button the the left. If you know who your officials are, view Congress on Twitter.
.@[twitter_handle] I urge Congress to reject the President's proposed budget cuts for science #voice4physics
Slashing budgets for DOE Science (-17%), NSF (-11%), NIST R&D (-15%) damages innovation & the economy @[twitterhandle] #voice4physics
Every 1% decrease in R&D = 0.13% decrease in GDP (ITIF 2012 report). @[twitterhandle], reject the WH's science budget cuts #voice4physics
.@senatordoe I urge Congress to reject the President's proposed budget cuts for science #voice4physics
Sample script of a conversation:
Staffer: Hello, _________'s office.
You: Hi. My name is ____ and I live in ______. I'd like to speak with someone in the office about federal research funding.
Staffer: (May or may not ask you for your address at this time to confirm you are a constituent) Sure, let me see if that person is available. --Pause-- I’m sorry, that person isn't available now. Can I take a message?
Yes. I’m calling about federal funding for science research. I would like [elected official's name] to reject the proposed cuts to the federal research budget in the President's FY18 request. Slashing budgets for the Department of Energy's Office of Science, National Science Foundation, and National Institute of Standards & Technology would damage innovation and the economy. A 2012 report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation found that every 1% decrease in R&D investment leads to a 0.13% decrease in GDP. [Insert details of your personal story here if you wish].
Staffer: Thank you, I’ll relay your message to [your elected official]. (If he/she hadn’t asked before, he/she will ask you for your address to confirm that you are a constituent.)
You: Thank you.