ASPET Legislative Alert: How you can help restore funding to NIH

Posted: March 13, 2013 in Events, Funding

New APSET (American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics) Legislative Alert. Note, you do not have to be an ASEPT member to access their alert services.


Dear ASPET Member:

As you are well aware, sequestration became law on March 1, resulting in across-the-board cuts to NIH and virtually all federal programs and agencies. There remains some hope that Congress could amend the law to help restore some of the $1.5 billion cuts planned for NIH.

There are two immediate ways in which you might help with restoring funding to NIH.

The first course of action is to call or email your Senate offices — now — to support a Senate amendment offered by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) that would help restore some of the NIH funding lost to sequester. It is anticipated but not yet certain that the amendment will be offered this Thursday, March 14. Therefore it is critical your call or email your Senate offices no later than close of business on March 13 and leave a message asking them to support the Harkin amendment providing additional funds to the NIH. Senate contact information can be found at:

To distill what is happening quickly and easily, Senator Harkin will offer an amendment to a previous bill that will allocate spending levels within the Senate CR. The Harkin amendment would provide NIH a $211 million increase but not change the sequestration, with the result that NIH would still be cut by $1.3 billion rather than $1.5 billion, a modest improvement but one that is needed. If this amendment is offered and passed, it could provide some momentum to further remedy a difficult situation.

Second, it is important to make the public aware of what is happening at your institution. Write letters to the editor and opinion pieces for your local daily newspaper. Point out the specific impact that sequestration has on your institution and its impact on the future of biomedical science, especially as it impacts the future of research: graduate students, postdocs, and young investigators. In visits to Capitol Hill during the past two weeks, one of the themes that appears to have real impact with Congressional Members and their staffs is how many of these young, aspiring biomedical researchers are planning to leave the enterprise or are considering or have moved overseas to pursue their careers in science. The AAMC has tips on addressing sequestration that might be helpful and provide some background for you:

James S. Bernstein
Director, Government & Public Affairs
American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics


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