Sen. Flake responds to APA advocate about federal research funding

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced the release of his latest “wastebook” at a Washington press conference on Jan. 10, 2017.   The document – titled “Porkemon Go" – lists what Flake believes to be examples of wasteful government spending, including federally funded research projects. 

At the press conference, Pat Kobor of the American Psychological Association’s Science Government Relations Office, raised the concern that such wastebooks misrepresent the research supported by the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies.  Together, Kobor’s comments and Flake’s response (see video) capture much of the current debate surrounding wastebooks – a debate that may become more heated as Congress and the new administration proceed with budget deliberations this year.

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Here comes a new Congress – What can psychology expect?

Legislation on budget, Affordable Care Act repeal, and more on tap

Members of the 115th Congress were sworn in on January 3, 2017, and lost no time getting to work. There are seven new senators, including five Democrats and two Republicans (48 Democrats and 52 Republicans in total). The House will welcome 55 new members-- 26 Democrats and 29 Republicans (194 Democrats, 241 Republicans, total). Typically the beginning of a new Congress involves the approval of caucus rules, organization of committees, planning of hearings and introduction of legislation. The highest-profile bills will be the lower-numbered bills -- S. 1 is a budget bill that would kickstart repeal of the Affordable Care Act (more on that effort below). While we don’t yet know what H.R. 1 will be, we do know about some of the legislation that is coming our way.

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Showing Capitol Hill the importance of the National Institutes of Health

Showing Capitol Hill the importance of the National Institutes of Health

 On September 21-22, 2016, I took part in the 2016 Rally for Medical Research in Washington, DC on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA). The Rally for Medical Research is an annual advocacy event in which researchers, clinicians, patients and survivors from all over the country, representing about 300 different institutions and advocacy organizations, gather on Capitol Hill to speak with their members of Congress about importance of funding for research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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Psychological scientists featured in COSSA series on “wasteful” research

The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), of which APA is a founding member, has begun publishing a series of articles that gives scientists whose research has been the subject of a political attack a chance to answer back.  COSSA’s blog, “Why Social Science?” includes interviews with psychologists Kimberley Phillips of Trinity University and Lisa Neff of the University of Texas-Austin

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