WASHINGTON – The Science Coalition (TSC) issued the following statement after the House Committee on Appropriations approved a $30 million increase in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):
“Researchers at America’s universities rely on critical grant funding from AFRI to conduct their work. Specifically, this federal investment is responsible for helping university research partners make advancements in food production and safety, improve human nutrition, mitigate climate change, and stimulate rural economies. Maintaining and building on the progress these researchers have made requires predictable, robust, and increased funding.
“It is for these reasons that we urge members of the House of Representatives, including our Champions of Science, to vote in favor of this legislation when it comes to the chamber for final passage later this month. Further, securing House approval is especially important as Congress and the administration discuss the need to raise the budget caps before the start of the new fiscal year.”
If a budget deal is not reached by October 1, indiscriminate spending cuts totaling more than an estimated $5.1 billion – including $36 million for AFRI – could be slashed from core federal research agencies, severely limiting the government’s ability to invest in future discoveries.
A recent nationwide poll conducted by The Science Coalition found the American public overwhelmingly supports federal investment in fundamental research, and a majority of voters believe scientific investment should increase.
About the Science Coalition
Established in 1994, The Science Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of more than 50 of the nation’s leading public and private research universities. It is dedicated to sustaining the federal government’s investment in basic scientific research as a means to stimulate the economy, spur innovation, and drive America’s global competitiveness.