As you may know, the United States Congress is not in session throughout most of the month of August. During this time, Members of Congress return to their districts and states to reconnect with constituents and attend local events—including fairs, back-to-school programs, and town hall meetings. In the past, we have heard that members of the Population Association of America (PAA) and Association of Population Centers (APC) have interacted with their own U.S. Representative and Senators during this “August recess” period in their communities. If you have the opportunity to see or meet with your U.S. Representative and/or U.S. Senators next month, we wanted to suggest some messages you could consider sharing, reflecting priorities the PAA and APC Government and Public Affairs Committee has been tracking.
Complete Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations
Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 begins on October 1, 2022. Before adjourning in August, the U.S. House of Representatives hopes to pass most of its 12 proposed FY 2023 appropriations bills in order to keep the federal government fully funded when the current fiscal year ends. Due to an impasse on negotiations regarding defense and nondefense spending, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has not reported out any of its FY 2023 bills. (See latest PAA blog for update on FY 2023.)
The current stalemate increases the chances that Congress and the White House will need to agree to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government open and fully operational. In February, the last time a long-term CR was necessary, we communicated our concerns regarding the adverse effects stop gap spending has on the population sciences.
Please consider urging your member of Congress to return in September with a renewed commitment to completing all FY 2023 appropriations bills and avoiding the need for a long-term CR. In addition to the examples we shared in our letter earlier this year, offer your own, if possible, of how CRs have negatively impacted you, your research, colleagues, and/or students.
Consider the Science Behind Limiting Access to Reproductive Health Services
In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling in. Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, Congress is taking several actions such as holding high-profile committee hearings, debating floor amendments, and
considering legislation. While PAA and APC are not engaged in the details of these debates, we did issue a statement prior to the Dobbs ruling to inform policymakers about major related scientific findings from the population research community. Many policymakers are eager to hear from a wide range of stakeholders on the implications of the Dobbs ruling. If you are asked and want to share our statement, it is posted on the PAA website.
Thank you for considering the opportunity to raise these issues in the event you interact with your U.S. Representative and/U.S. Senators during the upcoming district work period. If you have any questions or have information you would like to share, please contact Mary Jo Hoeksema, Director, PAA/APC Government and Public Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dr. Sonalde Desai, Population Association of America President
Dr. Sara R, Curran, Association of Population Centers President