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Fiscal Cliff Deal Delays Across-the-Board Cuts; FY13 Budget Uncertain; FY14 Request Due

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 signed into law by President Obama early this year averted tax increases for most Americans but delayed the across-the-board budget cuts for two months. This means ASA members should continue to communicate to their U.S. Senators and Representative the importance of the budgets for the NIH, NSF and the federal statistical agencies, which 2012 ASA President asked all ASA members in the U.S. to do last month. This is especially true for statisticians now represented by freshman lawmakers.

For details of the deal as it relates to science, see this Science magazine Jeffrey Mervis piece, Sequestration Takes Aim at Federal Science Spending, the January 2 entry of the AAAS Status of FY 2013 Appropriations page, or the American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News January 9 update, No Resolution in Sight. Briefly, the deal reduces the across-the-board cuts in FY 2013 by $24 billion while allowing an additional $12 billion be cut over this year and next. The Mervis piece notes, "U.S. scientists more time to make the case to Congress that academic research should be protected from such deep cuts because it's essential for reviving the economy."

In addition to addressing the across-board-cuts, Congress will also have to decide the budgets for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2013. The Federal Government is currently running on a six-month continuing resolution that will expire at the end of March. As reported by the American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News, OMB yesterday issued a memo on the FY 2013 Budget Uncertainty.

For the new budget year (FY14), that budget request would typically be presented by the Administration the first Monday of February but it is now not expected until at least March.

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