On March 2, PAA and APC leaders travelled to Capitol Hill to meet with Congressional Staff and deliver critical request in advance of the Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations deliberations. PAA immediate pas president John Casterline, APC President Kate Cagney and Government and Public Affairs Committee (GPAC) Chair Vida Maralani represented the organizations in meetings with key staff covering the appropriations subcommittees in both the House and Senate that fund important agencies such as the National Institute of Health (NH), the National Science Foundation (NSP) and the Census Bureau.
The trio brought examples of compelling research findings emanating from federally-funded population research at their respective institutions, which illustrated no only the value of the federal investment in the social sciences, but also in data produced by the federal statistical agencies.
Although the focus of six out of the seven meetings centered on funding requests. The group also had an opportunity to meet with staff from the House Science Committee, which has jurisdiction over NSF. The committee is planning to hold hearings on a possible reauthorization on NSF in the coming months.
“I find PAA-related Hill visits to be one of the most useful things I do professionally,” noted Vida Maralani. “Meeting face-to-face with congressional staff is invaluable—both to help them understand the breadth and relevance of population research and to connect it to federal support for grants and statistical agencies. These conversations are about specific and important funding priorities—and with so many competing priorities, we have to make our case.”