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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Joins Call to End Sequestration

    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach

    The AAMC joined more than 2,500 national, state, and local organizations in a Sept. 10 letter calling on Congress to avoid the impending fiscal crisis and end sequestration.

    The letter was organized by NDD United, which represents organizations interested in non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending, ranging from education and public health to infrastructure and law enforcement. 

    The letter demands Congress raise the spending caps and end sequestration through a bipartisan budget deal before Oct. 1. Noting that there is “bipartisan agreement that sequestration is bad policy and ultimately hurts our nation,” the letter says, “It’s time to end the era of austerity.”

    The letter urges Congress “to replace sequestration with a balanced approach to deficit reduction that takes into account the deep cuts NDD has already incurred since 2010.” 

    The letter also asks the sequestration relief be equally balanced between non-defense discretionary and defense programs, as was done in the 2013 Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA, P.L. 113-67) negotiated by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)

    Meanwhile, Congress returned to Washington Sept. 8 with less than 10 legislative days left to agree to a stop-gap funding measure to avert a government shutdown after Sept. 30.

    Although both the House and Senate Appropriations Committee proposed significant increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in their respective Labor-HHS spending bills, all 12 regular appropriations bills are caught in partisan wrangling over the overall spending cap, and efforts by conservatives to stop federal funding for Planned Parenthood.