There’s a detailed Federal budget proposal out this week, covering the Trump administration’s plans for the 2018 fiscal year. Have you called Congress about it? You should.
Detailed breakdowns have identified cruel cuts to the social safety net and a multi-trillion-dollar arithmetic error that make excellent reasons to oppose the plan all on their own. But there’s also piles of bad news for science:
- Cuts of up to 18% of the NIH budget, at least partially via a cap on the “indirect costs” that fund basic infrastructure and administration for research institutions
- A 12% cut to the Interior Department, mostly in its funding for land acquisition
- The 31% reduction in the EPA’s budget we’ve had previewed already
- A 21% cut to the USDA
- 14% cut from Federal education funding
- Total zeroing out of support for museums through the Institute of Museum and Library Services
We’ve also, for the first time, got a concrete proposal for the National Science Foundation’s budget — more than 11% lower than what it had in 2016 — to the lowest it’s been, in inflation un-adjusted dollars, since 2008. The spending plan NSF has prepared with that number in mind would reduce funding for graduate research fellowships, EPSCoR support for institutions in states that otherwise receive less NSF funding, and the research at undergraduate institutions (RUI) program, among others.
As we saw with the Trump proposal for continuing funding in 2017, this will almost certainly not pass Congress in its current state; but Congress can use every bit of encouragement we give it. Call!