“President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal calls for the kind of basic research and development investment that will prevent an innovation deficit and help ensure the United States maintains the world’s most innovative, dynamic and vibrant economy. Robust federal investment in basic research and development has long proven key to accelerating our economy’s productivity growth and much in President Obama’s final budget proposal would help build on that progress. Increasing research investments in clean energy and agriculture – areas with incredible need and potential – are just two examples of ways this budget proposal seeks to address global problems with U.S.-led research that can also yield real economic benefits to our economy.
“Election year politics should not foreclose progress in the year ahead. The recent $2 billion increase in NIH funding that was signed into law late last year demonstrated how both parties can work together to advance their shared goals and make smart investments in our future. The Obama administration’s proposed ‘cancer moonshot,’ an initiative to eventually cure cancer, similarly offers a serious commitment to unlocking the medical breakthroughs that would extend life expectancy and improve quality of life in the United States and throughout the world. Such proposals should not be immediately dismissed simply because there will be a new occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania a year from now.
“And just because it’s highly unlikely HEA reauthorization will take place this year doesn’t mean that meaningful higher education reform cannot happen. The president’s call for the reinstatement of year-round Pell is just one example. Year-round Pell grants help students graduate faster, with less debt, and join the workforce sooner – all of which contributes to student success and a healthy economy. Combined with full funding of the Pell grant program and indexing future increases to the rate of inflation, the president’s budget proposal seeks to broaden access and accelerate completion. These are shared goals that should be immune from party politics. We hope that’s the case in 2016.”