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AAMC, Research Community Urge Biden to Fund Research Rescue

March 26, 2021

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Christa Wagner, Senior Legislative Analyst

The AAMC joined over 200 organizations in a March 24 community letter to President Joe Biden urging his support for supplemental funds for federal research agencies to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the research enterprise “in any relevant proposal that advances.”

Specifically, the letter urged support for funding levels proposed in the AAMC-supported Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act (H.R. 869, S. 289) [see Washington Highlights, Feb. 5]. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation aims to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the U.S. research enterprise by providing $25 billion in emergency relief to federal science agencies, including a proposed $10 billion investment in the National Institutes of Health.

In the letter, the organizations stated that additional funding is critical for restoring progress on research interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, better preparing the country for future threats, and supporting a stronger, more diverse STEM workforce.

“Whether the measure is societal progress, our nation’s ability to preempt and respond to threats like COVID-19, potential lives saved, or U.S. economic competitiveness, failing to shore up our weakened research infrastructure contravenes the best interests of the American people,” the letter said.

“Faster scientific progress creates jobs, fuels our economy, and saves lives. Funding the RISE Act would preserve and protect our nation’s research investments and repair the frayed career pipeline for the next generation of scientists,” the letter continued, noting the additional burden of the pandemic on women and underrepresented minorities in the STEM workforce.

The letter also urged federal agencies to provide uniform flexibilities to support research advancements and the research workforce in the interim as Congress and the administration work towards additional COVID-19 relief measures.

President Biden is expected to outline his administration’s next legislative proposal, an anticipated multitrillion-dollar plan focused on infrastructure, during the week of March 29.

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