While President Obama’s next budget won’t be unveiled until Feb. 2016, the administration is already working on a plan to better allocate resources. In a July 9 memo, administration officials outlined their multi-agency science and technology priorities for fiscal 2017.
Most of the AVMA’s top federal budget priorities are housed within the Agriculture spending bill. These include the: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program, National Animal Health Laboratory Network, Veterinary Services Grant Program and agricultural research funding. Other AVMA priorities, such as the National Institutes of Health, are included in the Health and Human Services’ spending bill and in Homeland Security’s spending bill, as is the case for the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility. The AVMA will begin advocating for fiscal 2017 federal spending shortly after President Obama releases his budget in February.
According to the memo, the administration said that agencies that conduct multi-agency research and development and demonstrate interagency coordination are more likely to receive budget priority in fiscal 2017. The administration instructed the agencies to align their budget submissions with key research and development priorities in areas such as:
- innovation in life sciences, biology and neuroscience (e.g., food security, antibiotic resistance, bio-surveillance, diagnostic);
- global climate change;
- clean energy;
- earth observations (e.g., data instrumental to services that protect human life, property, the economy and national security, and advance understanding the Earth as a system);
- advanced manufacturing (e.g., nanotechnology, robotics, genome, cyberphysical systems);
- national and homeland security (e.g., intelligence gathering, development of innovative security capabilities);
- information technology and high-performance computing (e.g., devising protection for U.S. systems against cyberattacks);
- ocean and arctic issues (e.g., ecosystem-based management, resource management, conservation); and
- research and development for informed policymaking and management (e.g., natural resource management protecting health and the environment, global health security needs to prevent, detect and respond to emerging infectious diseases).
The agencies were also encouraged to consult with each other during the budget planning process to coordinate resources, maximize impact and avoid inappropriate duplication.
How well each agency fares in the president’s fiscal 2017 budget depends largely on how well they follow the guidance in the letter. The president’s budget will inform Congress of the administration’s priorities with regard to how much he believes should be spent on programs that are important to animal health and welfare, food safety, agriculture research, education, health care, national defense, energy, etc.