Dear OSA Members,
I wanted to update you with important news concerning U.S. federal investments in scientific research and development and ask you to share your views with Congressional members that represent you on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Last week, Congress and the President reached a two-year (fiscal year 2018, 2019) budget agreement, with the goal of avoiding a protracted government shutdown and returning the focus to the critical work done throughout the government. Science and engineering investments are part of that essential work.
The budget agreement includes $2 US billion in additional funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $20 US billion toward infrastructure, including rural broadband. Today, the US President delivered his fiscal year 2019 budget proposal to Congress. Key federal science agencies such as the National Science Foundation and Office of Science at Department of Energy would receive level funding equivalent to fiscal year 2017 and several others were severely cut such as NIST and ARPA-E. It is now up to Congress to determine the fiscal year 2019 spending levels through the appropriations process.
OSA supports prudent government spending. However, reducing the investment in NIST and scientific agencies would be a short-sighted decision. If you believe that science is critical for so many areas of society including the economy, for U.S. competitiveness and for advancing gains in medicine, energy, telecommunications, national defense, please contact your members of Congress to convey that message.
As a member of the scientific community, your voice matters. Congress does listen to its local constituency. Please take a moment to weigh in with your congressional delegation. There are several easy ways you can do this. You can visit the Take Action Site to send a pre-formatted letter directly to your House member and two Senators. You can also travel to Washington, DC for in-person meetings with your members of Congress through the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) Capitol Hill Day in Washington, DC on 24 – 25 April. Visit lightourfuture.org/cvd to learn more.
Thank you for making your voice heard and for supporting science!