Omnibus Bill Provides Stability for Science Funding, But Not Progress

Failure to Restore Pre-sequester Investment Levels for all Programs, Combined with Years of Underfunding, Continues to Pose a Serious Threat

16 January 2014

Washington, D.C.—The following statement is attributable to American Geophysical Union (AGU) Executive Director/CEO Christine McEntee.

“When Congress recently passed the omnibus funding bill they laid the foundation for recommitting the U.S. to its role as an international leader in scientific innovation. They also positioned some critical programs to recover from the debilitating impacts of sequestration.

Every day, millions of Americans, including businesses all the way from Wall Street to Main Street, rely on federally-supported science programs. From advanced tornado warnings that protect families and communities across the country to federal grants that birth new companies and industries, resulting in the creation of countless jobs and revenue sources, scientific research and development plays a critical role in supporting the health of our economy and protecting the safety of the American public.

While this new funding bill will allow science-related agencies to focus on their important work for the next ten months . . . without having to worry when the next economic crisis might force cutbacks and delays, or shutdown their programs altogether . . . . we cannot ignore that fact that many areas, including the Earth and space sciences, are still woefully underfunded. In many cases, funding remains below pre-sequester levels, which will have a significant negative impact on research, including new research projects through the National Science Foundation and programs for monitoring and addressing the impacts of climate and land use change.

This bipartisan effort is certainly a step in the right direction; however, if we hope to reap the economic and societal benefits scientific innovation can offer, we must view it as the starting line, not the finish line.”

The American Geophysical Union is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing more than 62,000 members in 144 countries. Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, YouTube, and our other social media channels.

AGU Contact:

Joan Buhrman: 202-777-7509, 571-213-3812 (c) [email protected]