The American Institute of Biological Sciences has produced a report that explains the fiscal cliff, budget sequestration, and other forthcoming fiscal problems that have the potential to negatively impact federal investments in research and science education.

Under current law, $6.8 trillion in deficit reduction will occur over the next decade through increased taxes and spending cuts.  The increasingly discussed ‘fiscal cliff’ refers to this abrupt and significant change to the federal budget that will occur in January 2013. If Congress and the President fail to reach an agreement to forestall the fiscal cliff, government spending will automatically be cut in January, and tax rates will rise for many Americans.

One aspect of the fiscal cliff that is of particular concern is $1.2 trillion in defense and non-defense spending reductions set to occur over the next decade.  This budget sequestration will start in 2013.  Non-defense agencies, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of the Interior, and others, will lose about 8.2 percent of their funding next year.  Defense programs, including various research and development programs, will be subject to a 9.4 percent reduction.  These cuts will likely cause layoffs of federal employees, cuts to external grants and contracts, and reduced government services.

Download a free copy of the report to learn more: http://www.aibs.org/public-policy/resources/AIBS_Sequestration_Report.pdf.