Action Alert: Ask your Members of Congress to restore funding for science


Dear ESA Member:

As you may know, President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget request sent to Congress would flat-fund or cut research accounts at several federal agencies for America’s scientific enterprise. There is a realistic opportunity to achieve budget increases for scientific research because Congress came to a two-year budget agreement Feb. 29 that suspends the debt ceiling for a year and raises the budget caps for two years for both defense and non-defense discretionary spending.

We are hearing from Hill staff that they are not receiving funding requests from individual scientist constituents. If you have reached out to your lawmaker: thank you. If you have not: please do.

The ecological community is facing many hurdles to see strong funding for science in FY19. Each of you has an important role as a constituent to let your Members of Congress know how and why strong federal funding for science benefits you, your state, and the nation.

We ask you to contact (email or call) your U.S. Representative and both of your U.S. Senators and request robust funding for FY19 appropriation bills for scientific research―especially for ecological research. Visit GovTrack to identify your Members of Congress.

Thanks for your consideration,

ESA Public Affairs Office

Here are some tips to develop a short, concise message.

Step 1. Start with a High-Level Talking Point

Example: Our nation’s research enterprise is among the most powerful engines for American prosperity.  We need robust FY 2019 funding for scientific research! One of the consistent areas of bipartisan agreement over the past 70 years has been the importance of the federal government’s role in supporting research and innovation.

Step 2. Share your personal story!

Briefly explain how federal funding has benefited your research and tell how your research contributes to addressing local, state, or federal issues of concern. Note that your work is supported by Agency XYZ and Program XYZ.

Highlight flat funding or drastic cuts proposed by the administration to key agencies important to you:

  • NSF: $7.47 billion, 0% increase
  • EPA: $6.14 billion, 24% decrease
  • DOE: Office of Science: $5.39 billion, 0% increase
  • NOAA: $4.56 billion, 20% decrease
  • USDA/AFRI: $375 million, 0%  increase
  • USDA/ARS: $1.21 billion, 5% decrease
  • USDA/USFS: $4.76 billion, 10% decrease
  • DOI/USFWS: $1.26 billion, 19% decrease
  • DOI/USGS: $860 million, 21% decrease
  • DOI/NPS: $2.73 billion, 7% decrease
  • DOI/BLM: $1.03 billion, 17% decrease

Visit ESA’s Federal Agency Budget Tracker for FY 2019 detailed budget information

Step 3. Say Thank You!

Thank your Member of Congress for their support for sustainable funding for our nation’s S&T agencies and ask them to continue sustainable, predictable funding and urge them to prioritize these investments and reject the administration-proposed cuts to science as they begin to craft the FY 2019 funding bills.

Visit GovTrack to identify your Member of Congress.