2 August 2019
This week, the United States Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2019, which was signed by President Trump. On behalf of the global AGU community of 60,000 Earth and space scientists, I’d like to thank the champions for science on Capitol Hill, as well as the leadership in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, for passing a budget that puts non-defense spending, which includes funding for science, on an equal footing with defense spending. In addition, AGU commends the Trump Administration for signing this budget agreement into law.
Science is essential to our society—it provides important observations, data, research, and innovations that help grow our economy, bolster public health and safety, and contribute to our national security. Their hard work and diligence in passing this critical budget agreement is a much-needed step in allowing stable funding for scientific agencies.
The science conducted—and funded—by federal agencies is integral to every corner of our country. Scientific research helps our communities prepare for and respond to natural hazards, address the far-reaching effects of climate change, understand our universe, and take the lead in developing new technologies for emerging markets, helping ensure a more resilient country for all. This budget agreement provides much-needed stability to federal science agencies, allowing programs to plan for the next big leaps in scientific research and development.
In the absence of this most recent budget agreement, scientific agencies in the U.S. would have been hobbled at a time when other countries are ramping up their science funding. Many of the challenges we collectively face, like climate change, take no sides and know no borders. Thus, a robust and thriving scientific enterprise not only benefits Americans but people across the globe. Increased funding contributes to the U.S. remaining a competitive leader in science, thereby fostering more international cooperation to ensure a more sustainable future that will help improve lives everywhere.
That’s why AGU is appreciative of the work of our members, particularly those who took the time to meet with or send a message to their legislators urging support for this budget deal. We hope that you will keep up the fight and continue to engage your policy makers, especially in the Senate as they work on appropriations bills in September, about the importance of science in our daily lives.
During the month of August, legislators will be back in their home states and districts to meet with and hear directly from their constituents. This is a pivotal opportunity to have your voices heard on the value of science, research, and innovation. AGU encourages members of our community to take action by attending a town hall or coffee hour, visiting a representative’s district office, or inviting policy makers to visit your institution to see science in action and understand how it benefits society.
It’s crucial that we maintain this support for federal scientific agencies and the critical information and observations they provide. Working together, we can all help keep up the momentum for funding for Earth and space science moving forward.