8 February 2013
AGU Science Policy Alert Special Alert
In less than three weeks sequestration will go into effect, causing deleterious impact on the scientific community. It will forestall or interrupt contracts with government agencies, shut down or delay research, monitoring, and forecasting, affect grant availability, and jeopardize jobs. On Monday, 11 February, organizations and individuals are joining together in a day of action to speak out against sequestration. As an AGU member, we encourage you to contact your legislator and convey the detrimental impacts of sequestration to science research and development and the U.S. economy.
Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, caps were put on discretionary spending resulting in $1 trillion in cuts, and directing an additional $1.2 trillion in budgetary savings over ten years. At the end of 2012, Congress passed a temporary delay to sequestration, until 1 March. In addition to the delay a $12 billion cut to discretionary spending, to be divided over 2013 and 2014, was agreed upon.
Sequestration will implement across-the-board cuts to every federal agency program. The non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculates the new sequester deal would mandate an across-the board funding reduction of 5.1 percent for non-defense discretionary programs, which includes all science grants and programs funded by federal agencies. These across-the-board cuts would be indiscriminate and impact the essential missions of science agencies. Research is a long-term investment in our future, and deep cuts today deprive the innovators of tomorrow of the tools and knowledge they will need to keep the U.S. competitive in the global economy.
Now is the time to contact your legislators, informing them of the value of investing in science research and why further cuts to research and development must be avoided. Send emails, make phone calls, and usesocial media to get out the message. Give examples and stories of how the consequences of across-the-board cuts would jeopardize public safety, impact your state or district, or hamper our economic prosperity. More information and examples are available on the AGU website.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact AGU Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also encourage you to set a calendar reminder to take action on Monday!