The House is out of session for August, Senate goes out August 10

What’s coming up in the fall?

August is often slow in the nation’s capital, with your members of Congress at home in their districts.  Meanwhile, we in the American Psychological Association’s Science Government Relations Office are getting ready for a busy fall. Here are a few upcoming events:

  • Comments on the National Institutes of Health Strategic Framework are due on August 16, 2015. We’d like to know what you think! See the APA Science Advocacy Blog for more info. 
  • On August 26, APA Science Government Relations staff and colleagues from the Friends of VA Medical Care and Health Research (FOVA) coalition will meet with analysts at the White House Office of Management and Budget to advocate for strong support for veterans research in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Administration budget proposal.
  • September 10 is “Raise the Caps Day.”  The NDD United Coalition (Non-defense Discretionary United) is speaking out for a long-term federal budget deal that eliminates sequestration and raises the budget caps. Regular blog readers will remember that the non-defense discretionary portion of the U.S. budget includes everything that isn’t defense related, or entitlements like Social Security, or interest on the national debt—so it includes non-defense scientific research.  As part of the NDD United Coalition, APA staff will help get the word out through social media and meetings on the Hill.
  • September 16-17 will see lots of advocacy activity related to the “Rally for Medical Research.” This large annual event will include a lobby day, Capitol Hill reception and rally in support of funding for research at NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. APA is one of the partnering organizations who will help recruit members to attend the rally and Hill Day. The two-day event will bring together nearly three hundred national organizations representing scientists, academic institutions, and patient advocacy groups.
  • On September 17 APA is cosponsoring the Golden Goose Awards presentation.  These awards demonstrate the critical importance of curiosity- driven research, and showcase research that if conducted today might draw comments because it “sounds silly.” Psychologists Walter Mischell, Phillip Peake and Yuichi Shoda are being honored for their work on the marshmallow test.
  • On September 22, the Coalition to Promote Research, which is co-chaired by staff from the APA Science Government Relations Office and the Consortium of Social Science Associations, will sponsor a briefing for congressional staff on Capitol Hill titled, “How Peer Review Selects the Best Science.” Richard Nakamura, PhD, Director of the NIH Center for Scientific Review will be among the experts addressing the group.
  • September is the last month in FY 2015. Congress must either pass thirteen appropriations bills separately or in some combination, or approve a Continuing Resolution to keep the status quo funding going, or adopt a more comprehensive budget and appropriations agreement. Without appropriated funds in some form, the U.S. government would have to shut down. Watch for opportunities to call or write your member of Congress in support of research and research-friendly funding policies.
  •  APA staff are helping plan a Friends of NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) briefing October 27 for congressional staff on college drinking. Speakers will be announced soon.