APA cosponsors report on adverse effects of sequester

Coalition urges Congress to repeal automatic budget cuts.

Many organizations including the American Psychological Association (APA) have been lobbying Congress for many months to overturn the provision of the Budget Control Act that requires automatic across-the-board cuts to reduce the federal deficit. The issue has proved stubbornly resistant to advocacy pressure. In an effort to raise the volume on the sequestration issue while the House-Senate conference committee is meeting, the NDD United Coalition has produced a report that tells stories of people whom the sequester has harmed. APA has cosponsored the report, called “Faces of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Have Made Us Sicker, Poorer and Less Secure" (PDF, 12.61MB).

NDD United is a coalition of 3,200 national, state and local organizations working to educate Congress about the effects of budget cuts to the non-defense discretionary accounts. These accounts include scientific research, education, public safety, public health and other non-defense programs that are subject to annual appropriations by Congress. These programs have borne the brunt of the automatic spending cuts that have occurred since 2011, because Congress voted last year to exempt defense accounts from a portion of the cuts they were scheduled to sustain.

In a news release for a Nov. 13 congressional briefing about the “Faces of Austerity” report, APA Executive Director for Science Steven Breckler said, “Because of sequestration, the National Institutes of Health funded 640 fewer grants during fiscal year 2013, and all continuing grants sustained significant budget cuts. The National Science Foundation estimated it has funded 1,000 fewer grants. We know these cuts are creating havoc in labs across the country. Cuts aimed at agencies that we know to be job creators and generators of knowledge are particularly hard to justify.”   

For more information contact Pat Kobor.