ESA Submits Testimony to Key House Appropriations Subcommittees

In March 2014, ESA submitted written testimony to relevant House Appropriations subcommittees with jurisdiction over agencies and programs important to the entomological sciences.  As part of the regular congressional process for determining the funding levels of federal agencies in fiscal year (FY) 2015, the appropriations subcommittees solicit input from public witnesses and stakeholder organizations.  The written testimony helps inform the subcommittees’ deliberations as they begin to consider appropriations for programs within their portfolios.  Thus far, ESA has provided testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittees on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS); and Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS).

In the written statement to the Agriculture Subcommittee, ESA urges increased investment in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in FY 2015, including $360 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.  It also supports increased funding in FY 2015 for the Agricultural Research Service, including $189 million for the Crop Protection program and its Area-wide Management of Agricultural Pests projects.  The testimony highlights how important contributions of entomology to areas such as pest management and pollinator health help to address challenges related to food security and food safety.

ESA’s statement to the LHHS Subcommittee requests a robust FY 2015 appropriation for the National Institutes of Health, emphasizing the particular importance of insect-borne disease research within the agency’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  ESA also recommends that the subcommittee provide funding increases for the core infectious diseases budget and the global health budget within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to fund scientific activities related to insect-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease and malaria.  The testimony to the LHHS Subcommittee highlights the need for vector-borne disease programs to incorporate the entomological sciences as part of a comprehensive approach to addressing vector-borne diseases.

In its statement to the CJS Subcommittee, ESA recommends funding the National Science Foundation at a level of $7.5 billion in FY 2015 and urges strong support for the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO).  The testimony describes the important role of NSF in supporting fundamental biological research and explains how BIO’s support of entomological research studies and biological collections enable scientific discoveries that contribute to our understanding of environmental and evolutionary biology, physiological and developmental systems, and molecular and cellular mechanisms.        

ESA will be submitting testimony to Senate appropriations subcommittees in the coming weeks, and on April 10, ESA Past President Rob Wiedenmann will testify in person before the House Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee in support of programs within the Environmental Protection Agency and the Forest Service.