FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 19, 2018
Contact: Ted Bordelon
GOP Government Shutdown Poses Short and Long Term Threats to Science
314 Action President Slams GOP for Pending Impact of Shutdown on Research and Testing at the NIH, EPA, NASA and Other Agencies
(Washington, D.C.) -- President Trump and Senate Republicans are threatening to shut the government down over their radical proposals for immigration reform. Their extremism will cost American taxpayers billions and cause both immediate and lasting damage to federal scientific efforts.
“The GOP has a long history of hostage-taking and government shutdowns to achieve their radical political goals” said Shaughnessy Naughton, President of 314 Action, “and the President has been spoiling for this fight since last spring, when he tweeted that ’Our country needs a good shutdown.’ The fact that this Administration is centering the fight around DACA is yet another a slap in the face to the American scientific community. We are feeling the impact of the President’s short-sighted immigration policies, which are already depressing the number of skilled workers from foreign countries who are seeking work in the U.S.”
The short-term impact of the shutdown on science is also stark.
During the 2013 shutdown, the disruption for federal employees cost $2.5 billion ---6.6-million lost work days for civilian federal employees. 98% of National Science Foundation, nearly 3/4 of NIH 2/3 of CDC employees were declared non-essential and told to stay home from work. No one has calculated the cost of the shutdown for the thousands of small businesses who work with federal agencies.
In addition, the 2013 Republican shutdown:
Prevented hundreds of patients from enrolling in clinical trials at NIH.
Forced cutbacks in the CDC’s flu monitoring program as well as programs for tracking outbreaks of influenza, hepatitis, salmonella, measles, and other potentially deadly diseases
Delayed FDA approval of medical products, devices, and drugs.
Disrupted Arctic research by NASA and the NSF.
Stopped Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) work related to recalls of products that could cause injuries.
Halted EPA inspections at about 1200 hazardous waste facilities, chemical facilities, and drinking water systems.
Forced NASA to suspend tests for instruments that would go on the James Webb Space Telescope at a cost of roughly $1 million per day.
Forced the National Science Foundation Antarctic research program to cancel research projects at their facilities, compromising vital research in glaciology, ecology, and astrophysics.
The devastating impacts of a shutdown on U.S. scientific efforts will repeat these consequences and put handcuffs on U.S. scientists again.
Shaughnessy Naughton, Founder and President of 314 Action, released the following statement:
“Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress will be quick to blame Democrats if a shutdown happens -- but this is a disaster of their own making. The GOP controls the White House, and they are the majority party in both the House and the Senate. Once again, it’s party over country -- and science.”
314 Action is the largest and only resource specifically created for scientists and STEM professionals seeking assistance running for office. 314 Action is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) that was founded by members of the STEM community, grassroots supporters and political activists. Formed in July 2016, 314 Action has over 400,000 active members and donors across the United States. 314 Action is concerned that STEM education in the United States is falling further and further behind the rest of the world, that our political leaders continue to deny scientific facts and that Congress fails to fully fund scientific research so we can solve pressing issues. For more information, visit 314action.org