November 13, 2013

APA Urges End to Sequestration

Decries eroding investments in scientific research, public health, education

WASHINGTON — The American Psychological Association (APA), as part of NDD United, joined with 3,200 other organizations to call on Congress today to overturn sequestration.

“Because of sequestration, the National Institutes of Health funded 640 fewer grants during fiscal year 2013, and all continuing grants sustained significant budget cuts,” said Steven J. Breckler, PhD, APA’s executive director for science. “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.”

APA is a co-sponsor of the NDD United report, “Faces of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Have Made Us Sicker, Poorer, and Less Secure,” (PDF, 12.62MB) which details many adverse impacts of the automatic budget cuts on programs that Americans across the economic spectrum depend on.

“The ‘Faces of Austerity’ report details how budget cuts are affecting education, scientific research and services to disadvantaged populations, all areas of concern to APA’s membership,” Breckler added.

“In FY 2013, sequestration cut $2.3 billion from discretionary education programs and $414 million from Head Start. These are funds that school districts and local governments are unable to replace. Congress has to move to a more rational budget process to avoid cutting the very programs that build a competitive workforce and support lower income families.”

NDD United is an alliance of more than 3,200 national, state and local organizations working to stop more harsh cuts to core government functions. NDD stands for nondefense discretionary programs, which are core services government provides for the benefit of everyone — including medical research, public health, infrastructure and education.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes more than 134,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.