Multisociety Letter to Congress Re FY 2017-2018 R&D Budget

April 6, 2017

Senator Mitch McConnell        
Senate Majority Leader         
U.S. Senate                    

Senator Charles Schumer
Senate Minority Leader
U.S. Senate

The Honorable Paul Ryan       
Speaker of the House          
U.S. House of Representatives        

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Leader
U.S. House of Representatives

Dear Congressional Leaders:

The undersigned U.S. business, science and engineering, medical and health, and higher education organizations urge you to swiftly complete the FY 2017 appropriations process with robust investments in 
scientific research. 

Our nation’s research enterprise is among the most powerful engines for American prosperity. One of the  consistent areas of bipartisan agreement over the past 70 years has been the importance of the federal 
government’s role in supporting research and innovation. We urge you to prioritize these investments and reject the Administration-proposed cuts to science as you work to complete FY 2017 appropriations and 
as you begin to craft the FY 2018 funding bills. We ask you to consider the following in your deliberations:

America’s research and development (R&D) enterprise has made our nation the world’s preeminent, most effective, and sought-after partner for innovation. It is among the most powerful  engines of American prosperity, producing value far beyond the sum of its individual agencies. History confirms that a secure, prosperous, and competitive future is found in research across all fields of science and engineering: 

  • American physical and life sciences leadership has helped us better understand ourselves and our world, enabling us to improve and lengthen Americans’ lives, enhance public health, advance food safety and security, and enhance quality of life.
  • Environmental, agricultural and Earth sciences research has allowed state leaders and managers, business owners, and farmers to have access to the best available science for critical decisionmaking that impacts our energy and transportation infrastructure, agriculture sector, and water resources management. 
  • Defense research has improved the effectiveness of our armed forces and our awareness of growing threats around the world, and saved lives on the battlefield and once soldiers are home. 
  • Social and behavioral science research has been critical to respond effectively to disasters; enhance intelligence analysis; understand decision-making and its impact on public health and business investments; improve international relations, and effectively educate the STEM workforce. 
  • Math and computer science research has made the Internet economy possible and improved cybersecurity. 
  • Material and engineering sciences have improved energy sources, space exploration, bridges and roads, and enabled countless technologies and products now essential to modern lives. 

U.S. investments in science R&D have created millions of jobs in public and private sectors, enhanced state economies, and generated commercial growth. According to a leading report conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, although scientists and engineers only account for four percent of the nation’s workforce, they help create jobs for the other 96 percent of the population. Scientists’ discoveries and insights extend beyond the research laboratory, impacting and employing people in many other sectors, from designers to builders to salespeople to consumers.

Decreased investment would have significant impacts on our country’s long-term competitiveness and lead to an American innovation deficit. Many countries are increasing their investments in scientific research, recognizing that it will be a key foundation for 21st century economic growth and global competitiveness. For the period 2000-2013, China’s average annual R&D investment growth shot up 17%; South Korea grew 8.3%; Russia 8.2%; Singapore 6.8%; and Germany 3.2%. This compares to 2% growth in the U.S. over that period. Without sustained commitment, this high-functioning engine is at real risk of stalling, harming the well-being of future generations. Once stalled, that process cannot be easily reversed. Attempting to rebuild our world-leading science and engineering enterprise would be expensive and slow, and face new competition from other rising leaders. 

We urge America to support its research and innovation infrastructure. This will enable institutions to continue investing in skilled workers and high-technology tools; focus today’s scientists on creating tomorrow’s discoveries; support and prepare the world’s finest future scientists through quality STEM education from K-12 through graduate school; and communicate a clear, hopeful path for today’s emerging, diverse young scientists and engineers who will realize tomorrow’s breakthroughs and applications.

For many decades, the American people and our economy have reaped the enormous benefits of federally-supported research. It is time again for the bipartisan foresight of U.S. policymakers to prevail in support of research. For FY 2017, we urge you to avoid a year-long continuing resolution and  complete the appropriations process, declining the recently proposed cuts from the Administration. For FY 2018, we urge you to reject the Administration’s proposed cuts to research investments and negotiate increased discretionary spending caps for next year and beyond that will permit sufficient federal research investments and sustain our nation’s status as the world’s innovation leader.

Thank you for considering our views.


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Acoustical Society of America
Alabama Academy of Science
American Academy of Forensic Sciences
American Anthropological Association
American Association for Dental Research
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association of Anatomists
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
American Association of Colleges of Nursing 
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
American Association of Geographers
American Association of Immunologists
American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine
American Association of Physicists in Medicine
American Association of Physics Teachers
American Astronomical Society
American Chemical Society
American College of Physicians
American College of Rheumatology
American College of Sports Medicine
American Dairy Science Association
American Dental Association
American Dental Education Association
American Educational Research Association
American Forests
American Geophysical Union
American Geosciences Institute
American Heart Association
American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
American Institute of Physics
American Lung Association
American Mathematical Society
American Meteorological Society
American Nuclear Society
American Physical Society
American Physiological Society
American Political Science Association
American Psychological Association
American Seed Trade Association
American Society for Cell Biology
American Society for Engineering Education
American Society for Horticultural Science
American Society for Microbiology
American Society for Nutrition
American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
American Society for Reproductive Medicine
American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
American Society of Agronomy
American Society of Animal Science
American Society of Civil Engineers
American Society of Hematology 
American Society of Nephrology
American Society of Plant Biologists
American Sociological Association
American Statistical Association
American Thoracic Society
American Veterinary Medical Association
American Water Resources Association
Animal Behavior Society
Aquatic Plant Management Society
Arctic Research Consortium of the United States
Association for Clinical and Translational Science
Association for Computing Machinery
Association for Psychological Science
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Association for Women Geoscientists
Association for Women in Mathematics
Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries
Association of American Universities
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
Association of Departments of Family Medicine
Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors
Association of Independent Research Institutes
Association of Minority Health Professions Schools
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
AVS Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces, & Processing
Behavior Genetics Association
Binghamton University, State University of New York
Biophysical Society
Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
Boston University
Botanical Society of America
Brandeis University
California Institute of Technology
Case Western Reserve University
Clinical Immunology Society
Coalition for Clinical and Translational Science
Coalition for National Security Research (CNSR)
Coalition for the Life Sciences
Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation
Cognitive Science Society
College of Biological Sciences
College of the Atlantic
Colon Cancer Alliance 
Columbia University in the City of New York
Computing Research Association
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Consortium of Social Science Associations
Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. 
Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics
Council on Undergraduate Research
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
Crop Science Society of America
CropLife America
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Digestive Disease National Coalition
Duke University
Dystonia Medical Research Foundation
Ecological Society of America
Entomological Society of America
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Florida International University
Florida State University
Foundation for Science and Disability
Friends of National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
GBS|CIDP Foundation International
Geological Society of America
Georgia Institute of Technology
Graduate Women in Science
Harvard University
Hepatitis Foundation International
History of Science Society
HIV Medicine Association
Houston Wilderness
Idaho Academy of Science and Engineering
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology
Indiana University
Infectious Diseases Society of America
INFORMS, The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-USA)
Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
Institute of Mathematical Statistics
International Association of STM Publishers (STM)
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
International Society for Developmental Psychobiology
International Society for Educational Planning 
International Society for Stem Cell Research
Interstitial Cystitis Association
John Wiley & Sons
Kansas Academy of Science
Kent State University
Kentucky Academy of Science
Law and Society Association
Linguistic Society of America
LORD Corporation
Lymphoma Research Foundation
Mathematical Association of America
Medical Library Association
Meharry Medical College
Michigan State University
Michigan Technological University
Microscopy Society of America
Morehouse School of Medicine
Mycobacterial Diseases of Animals - Multistate Initiative
National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Alopecia Areata Foundation
National Association for the Advancement of Animal Science
National Association of Biology Teachers
National Association of Federal Veterinarians
National Association of Geoscience Teachers
National Association of Marine Laboratories
National Association of Plant Breeders
National Center for Women & Information Technology
National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research
National Council for Science and the Environment
National Ground Water Association
National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals
National Pancreas Foundation
National Postdoctoral Association
NephCure Kidney International
New York University
NorCal CarciNET Community
North American Primary Care Research Group
North Central Regional Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors
North Central Weed Science Society
Northeastern Weed Science Society
Northern Illinois University
Northwestern University
Ohio University 
Oklahoma Academy of Science
Oregon State University
Paleontological Society
Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association
Penn State University
Phycological Society of America
Pollinator Partnership
Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division/Association of American Publishers
Prostate Cancer Foundation
Psychonomic Society
PsySiP: Psychology of Science in Policy
Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Purdue University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rochester Academy of Science, Rochester, New York
Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory
Rural & Agriculture Council of America
SACNAS - Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in 
Scleroderma Foundation
Seismological Society of America
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society
Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation
Sleep Research Society
Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology
Society For Biomaterials
Society for Computers in Psychology
Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Society for Mathematical Psychology
Society for Neuroscience
Society for Psychophysiological Research
Society for Range Management
Society for Text and Discourse
Society for the Study of Evolution
Society of Behavioral Medicine
Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Society of Teachers of Family Medicine
Society of Toxicology
Soil Science Society of America
Southern Weed Science Society
SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics
Stanford University
Stony Brook University 
Taskforce on American Innovation
The Clinical Research Forum
The Industrial Research Institute
The Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA)
The Marfan Foundation
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
The Oceanography Society
The Ohio State University
The Optical Society (OSA)
The Science Coalition
The University of Toledo
The Wildlife Society
Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine
U.S. Council on Competitiveness
U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
University of California San Diego
University of California Santa Cruz
University of California System
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Riverside
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Cincinnati
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Delaware
University of Kansas
University of Maine
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
University of Minnesota Extension
University of Missouri System
University of Nebraska
University of New Hampshire
University of New Mexico
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Rochester
University of Southern California
University of Tennessee
University of Virginia
University of Wisconsin-Madison
US Dairy Forage Research Center Research and Industry Committee
Vanderbilt University
Virginia Tech
Washington University in St. Louis 
Water Environment Federation
Wayne State University
Weed Science Society of America
West Virginia University
Western Society of Weed Science
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

CC: Appropriations Chairs/Ranking Members, Appropriations Subcommittee Chairs