APS Notes President’s FY’17 Aspirational Budget for Science

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 10, 2016 – APS acknowledges that President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget lays out an ambitious plan to boost scientific research funding, the foundation of myriad technologies and industries that underpin our economy. The Society also understands that the President’s budget is an aspirational one, a spending plan that solidifies his legacy as a strong science supporter.

However, the budget, which calls for a mandatory spending mechanism to pay for some of those programs, would likely fall flat within a Congress not interested in supporting additional spending beyond an agreement struck between the White House and lawmakers last year.

The reality is that science agencies would have to contend with flat budgets within NASA, the National Science Foundation, and even a cut to the Department of Defense. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office Science is the only agency that would see a real increase at 4.5 percent over the fiscal year 2016 enacted budget. As our nation grapples with budget cuts and spending plans that barely keep pace with inflation, our global counterparts are ramping up spending on research and development.

We can’t expect to keep the next generation of scientists in America when other nations make them more attractive offers to study abroad. We need to make science a priority with the budget, and that means supporting robust, sustained budgets that will keep the nation on a path of jobs and prosperity.

Contact: Tawanda W. Johnson, APS, tjohnson@aps.org, (202) 662-8702

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The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents more than 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world.