Friday Action Item: The budget proposal

“Let us beat our swords into ploughshares,” a sculpture at the United Nations Headquarters in New York that is precisely the opposite of the Trump Administration’s proposed Federal budget — which, yes, would cut the US contribution to the United Nations. (Flickr: United Nations Photo)

On Fridays while the current administration is in office we’re posting small, concrete things you can do to help make things better. Got a suggestion for an Action Item? E-mail us!

If you so much as glanced at Science Twitter in the last 48 hours, you know that the administration has released an outline of its proposed Federal budget for the next fiscal year, and it’s catastrophic. To pay for an utterly unnecessary $54 billion funding boost to the world’s biggest military and still come in smaller than the previous year, the proposal includes unprecedented cuts to agencies and programs that affect us all — it slashes international development and diplomatic work at the State Department, it would entirely eliminate the foundational cultural and educational work of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and, as though striving for cartoonish callousness, cuts all funds to the Meals on Wheels food-assistance program. Damage to scientific agencies would include a 21% cut from the USDA, 12% from the Department of the Interior, 20% from NIH, and 31% from the EPA. (There’s no specific number for NSF, which may or may not be comforting.)

The good news is, this is all only a proposal. Congress, not the President, defines the final budget, and members of Congress in both parties are raising objections to the proposal already. Scuttlebutt on Twitter is that many of them are aware that the entire budget proposal is a non-starter, but they can use all the spine-stiffening we can give them. You know the drill, I trust.

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About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy Yoder is an Assistant Professor of Biology at California State University, Northridge. He also blogs at Denim and Tweed, and tweets under the handle @jbyoder.

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