Urge Congress to Prevent the Sequestration

Recently, ASA joined more than 3,500 organizations in a letter to Congress urging them to immediately end the sequestration budget cuts. If the sequestration cuts occur on March 1, 2013, federal agencies like, the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, and National Institute of Justice will immediately have to cut their budgets by more than 5 percent. This would drastically reduce the number of research grants available and limit the quality and dissemination of federal statistics. Sociology will suffer along with the U.S. economy.

What can you do?

As a scientist and a citizen, you can contact your members of Congress to let them know that you support federal programs that are important to the social and behavioral sciences.

Members of Congress can be reached by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or online at http://www.house.gov and http://www.senate.gov. In addition visit their local offices or venues in which they are meeting the public while the Congress is in recess. Please make your voice heard.

Your message can be simple. Something like:

As your constituent and a sociologist, I am deeply concerned about the impact of the upcoming budget sequestration will have on social and behavioral science programs supported by the federal government. These programs are crucial to our nation’s economic heath and infrastructure.

I urge you to work toward a balanced bipartisan agreement that ensures predictable and sustainable support for nondefense discretionary programs. Additionally, I urge you to come together to forge a long-term solution to our current fiscal crisis.

As you know, on March 1, 2013, sequestration will go into effect unless legislative action is taken. As a result domestic programs will be cut by more than 5 percent. These potential cuts will devastate scientific research—the “seed corn” of our economy.

In addition, the sequestration will drastically impact the data collection done at the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Institute of Justice, and the National Center for Health Statistics. Data that are needed to help our local, city, and state governments make informed decisions about how to distribute resources based on need, address community disparities, and fight crime.

I understand that our country’s fiscal house must be put in order. Social science research can help you confront those issues with empirical data, and it helps educate the young to confront challenges of the future. Drastically cutting programs that impact the future of our country and especially its young will not help us out of our fiscal situation.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing your response.