Under current law, federal programs face devastating across-the-board budget cuts this January. Unless Congress and the President act now, non-defense discretionary programs, such as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of the Interior, and face mandatory 7.8 percent budget cuts in January 2013. Defense and security programs would be cut by 10 percent.

The impact of these cuts could be:

  • A loss of about 31,000 jobs in the life, physical, and social sciences, according to a report, “The Economic Impact of the Budget Control Act of 2011 on DOD and non-DOD Agencies,” prepared by Dr. Stephen S. Fuller of George Mason University.
  • The National Science Foundation could lose $538 million, an amount comparable to three-quarters of the budget for the Biological Sciences Directorate. The proposal success rate could drop from 22 percent to 16 percent, according to ResearchAmerica!.
  • The National Institutes of Health would likely fund 700 fewer grants as a result of a $2.4 billion cut, according to a report, “Under Threat: Sequestration’s Impact on Nondefense Jobs and Services,” prepared by Senator Tom Harkin, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies.
  • The United States Geological Survey would likely be required to layoff employees, as most of the agency’s budget is spent on personnel.

Please take a few moments now to send a letter to your members of Congress and the President asking them to do their jobs and prevent budget sequestration.

The American Institute of Biological Sciences has prepared a report about aspects of the fiscal cliff and budget sequestration.  Download a copy at www.aibs.org/public-policy/resources/AIBS_Sequestration_Report.pdf.