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Advocacy for Political Science

The American Political Science Association (APSA) Advocacy Program advances the discipline of political science by educating policy makers and the citizenry about political science scholarship and education. We seek to increase federal support for basic and applied political science research and to promote independent peer review. Our activities address funding priorities across the discipline. The APSA is a member of the Consortium of Social Science Associations, the National Humanities Alliance, the Coalition for International Education, and the Coalition for National Science Funding.

Get Involved

APSA members play a key role in informing policymakers and the public about political science research and education.  APSA provides a variety of resources to assist our members in their outreach activities.

  • Are you the recipient of NSF or NEH funding? Let your representatives know! See APSA’s template here. 
  • Sign up for action alerts from COSSA and the NHA, and join their annual advocacy days. APSA members receive discounts on registration. Contact [email protected] for more information.  
  • Learn other ways to advocate for political science and respond to current action alerts on our Member Action page. 

Latest News

  • House and Senate Appropriations Committees Approve NSF Funding. The House bill provides 7.34 billion dollars for the National Science Foundation, a $133 million decrease from the current fiscal year. The bill (H.R. 3267)  holds flat the allocated budget for research and related activities at $6 billion. The Senate legislation (S.1662) allocates the NSF $7.31 billion for FY18, a 2.2 percent overall decrease from the current fiscal year. The Senate bill includes a 1.9 percent cut to funding for research and related activities. Overall, the both committees approved funding for the NSF at a higher level than the presidential budget request, which included $5.4 billion for research. 
  • House Appropriations Bill Includes No Funding for Fulbright-Hays. The House Appropriations Committee approved appropriations legislation for the Department of Education and other agencies (H.R. 3358) on July 19. The bill eliminates funding for the Fulbright-Hays program and includes flat funding for Title VI programs. 
  • FY18 Presidential Budget Includes Severe Cuts to Programs that Support Political Science Research and Education. The White House “proposes to begin shutting down the National Endowment for the Humanities” in 2018 and requests no funds for the Title VI and Fulbright-Hays international education programs at the Department of Education. The budget request includes cuts of over 10 percent to the National Science Foundation. The budget request follows an earlier budget blueprint, released in March, that outlined the elimination of funding for the NEH and broad cuts to other programs. APSA's statement on the presidential budget request is available here
  • FY17 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Signed into Law. On May 5, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into law the omnibus appropriations package for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year. As detailed below, H.R. 244 provides small increases for the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities and flat funding for international education and foreign language programs.
  • Congress Introduces Omnibus Spending Package for Remainder of FY17. Senate and House appropriations committees presented an omnibus spending package for the remainder of FY17 on April 30. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 244, also known as the HIRE Vets Act) proposes small increases for the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities and flat funding for international education and foreign language programs. The bill funds the NSF at $7.5 billion, an increase of $8.7 million over the FY2016 enacted amount. The National Endowment for the Humanities would receive a smaller increase of nearly $2 million, to bring the total budget to $150 million. Notably, the compromise legislation includes flat funding for international education and foreign language programs at the Department of Education. The FY17 budget request and the original Senate legislation proposed a significant cut to the Fulbright-Hays program.       
  • House, Senate Pass Week-Long Continuing Resolution. On April 28, both chambers of Congress approved a continuing resolution (H.J.Res.99), extending until May 5 current funding levels for the federal government. The 114th Congress passed two continuing resolutions in September and December 2016, enacting a small across-the-board cut to agencies’ budgets to accommodate spending caps. The new week-long resolution anticipates the passage of an omnibus spending bill for the remainder of FY17. 
  • Administration Proposes Late Cuts for FY 2017 Budget. On March 24, the White House shared a document with Congressional appropriations committees proposing nearly $18 billion in spending cuts for the remainder of the fiscal year. The proposal includes a $350 million cut to the National Science Foundation’s research and related activities account, a $140 million reduction for international education programs sponsored by the Department of State, and a $15 million reduction for the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH). The administration’s budget proposal eliminates funding for the NEH for FY 2018. According to a March 28 Politico article, lawmakers are reluctant to make drastic cuts in the final five months of the fiscal year. To avoid government shutdown, Congress must pass spending legislation for the remainder of the fiscal year before the continuing resolution expires April 28. 
  • White House Budget Request Includes Elimination of NEH and Reductions for International Education Programs. The administration's budget blueprint, released March 16, calls for the elimination of funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, as well as eliminating or cutting funds for other programs. The NEH provides funding for political science research and other scholarly activities, including education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. APSA’s statement on the potential impact of the proposed budget is available here
  • White House Budget Considers Elimination of NEH. The new administration has prepared a list of programs targeted for elimination in the upcoming budget proposal, according to the New York Times. The list includes the National Endowment for Humanities and several other programs. The NEH provides funding for political science research and other scholarly activities, including education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The National Humanities Alliance has issued an action alert in response to this news. 

  • Congress Passes Continuing Resolution. On December 9, Congress passed a continuing resolution that extends funding for the government at FY16 funding levels through April 28, 2017. The following day, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 2028, the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, into law. The legislation follows an earlier continuing resolution passed in late September and leaves work on finalizing FY 2017 appropriations—including funding for programs that support political science and other academic research—to the incoming Congress.

  • Congress Passes American Innovation and Competitiveness Act.  On December 10, the Senate passed the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act  (S.3084), which addresses support for federal science research. The House of Representatives passed the bill under suspension of the rules during a pro forma session on December 16. President Barack Obama signed S.3084 into law on January 6, 2017. The compromise bill follows a previous version in the Senate and a bill in the House that would have authorized appropriations for the National Science Foundation. The earlier version of S. 3084 that passed the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in June included a four percent increase in NSF authorizations from FY 2017 ($7.51 billion) to FY 2018 ($7.81 billion). The bill also included language supporting the NSF’s merit review process. In contrast, the America COMPETES Act ( H.R. 1806), which passed the House in May 2015, included directorate-specific authorization levels, with heavy cuts to the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences directorate. The compromise bill that passed this December did not include authorization levels. It retained language supporting the NSF merit review process. Authorization for the NSF expired in 2013.

Watch The Senate

Watch the House

Senate Passes American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. On December 10, the Senate approved the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (S.3084), which addresses support for federal science research.  The compromise bill follows a previous version in the Senate and a bill in the House that would have authorized appropriations for the National Science Foundation. The earlier version of S. 3084 that passed the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in June included a four percent increase in NSF authorizations from FY 2017 ($7.51 billion) to FY 2018 ($7.81 billion). The bill also included language supporting the NSF’s merit review process. In contrast, the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 1806), which passed the House in May 2015, included directorate-specific authorization levels that would have resulted in significant cuts for the social and behavioral sciences. The compromise bill passed by the Senate on December 10, after the House had concluded its last legislative session, did not include authorization levels.  Authorization for the NSF expired in 2013. Bills to reauthorize the organization could be taken up again by the next Congress.
Senate Passes American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. On December 10, the Senate approved the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (S.3084), which addresses support for federal science research.  The compromise bill follows a previous version in the Senate and a bill in the House that would have authorized appropriations for the National Science Foundation. The earlier version of S. 3084 that passed the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in June included a four percent increase in NSF authorizations from FY 2017 ($7.51 billion) to FY 2018 ($7.81 billion). The bill also included language supporting the NSF’s merit review process. In contrast, the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 1806), which passed the House in May 2015, included directorate-specific authorization levels that would have resulted in significant cuts for the social and behavioral sciences. The compromise bill passed by the Senate on December 10, after the House had concluded its last legislative session, did not include authorization levels.  Authorization for the NSF expired in 2013. Bills to reauthorize the organization could be taken up again by the next Congress.
American Political Science Association
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