ASPET members are urgently reminded to contact Members of Congress to avoid mandatory across-the-board budget cuts to nondefense discretionary programs like the NIH. To help you with this effort, the recently formed Non-Defense Discretionary Coalition has developed a toolkit to help you make your voices heard.
The toolkit includes a short video presentation to help you understand the current debate and the consequences of inaction; tips on participating in a “Town Hall” meeting; writing editorials for local papers and engaging lawmakers through social media; and frequently asked questions about this process known as “sequestration.”
Members of Congress have already heard from many groups and individuals opposing cuts to defense spending. It is critical that Congress hear from rank and file scientists who are their constituents about the impact sequestration would have on the NIH community. In July, ASPET cosigned a letter suggesting a balanced approach to deficit cutting. Visit http://www.aspet.org/PolicyUpdatesNews.aspx for more background information on the impact of sequestration. As we mentioned in our previous update (August 1) many ASPET members have assumed that Congress would never make steep cuts to the NIH, but sequestration is now law and will take effect in January 2013 unless a legislative remedy prevents that from happening.