Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today released the following statement in response to President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal.
“The significant cuts to discretionary programs in the administration’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget are a mistake. The cuts would begin to cede American strength in science and innovation to our global competitors, slow the search for cures, and make it more challenging for students to access higher education and climb the economic ladder. For decades, the United States has built sustained economic growth through investments in higher education and research. Investing in people and prioritizing innovation has been a recipe for success.
“The American people understand this, which is why a recently released poll showed that 86 percent of voters say we need more funding for research in science and technology to keep us safe, prosperous, and healthy. Yet this budget would defy that support and need by slashing key research agencies such as NIH and NSF. For American families hoping and praying for cures and treatments to the most devastating and debilitating diseases and illnesses, this budget fails to deliver. And it would also limit the nation’s ability to identify new scientific and technological breakthroughs that have powered our economy throughout history.
“On education, this budget would slash funding for an array of programs that help low-income students afford college. The U.S. should be looking for ways to expand college access, not shrinking programs that enable such opportunities. A college education should be equally available to students from all backgrounds regardless of their family income. Yet this budget proposal would eliminate or significantly reduce a number of programs students depend on to access higher education such as Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, Federal Work Study, and in-school interest subsidies on undergraduate loans. The proposal would also jeopardize the Pell Grant program’s long-term ability to support future students. While a lot more work needs to be done, these federal programs help level the playing field and broaden access to higher education.
“Simply put, this budget proposal is misguided and turns its back on many programs and initiatives that are key to the future success of our nation. We urge Congress to build off its recent work to boost education and research by rejecting this proposal, lifting the budget caps, and continuing to grow investments in these key areas. Our nation’s future success depends on it.”