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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 on our Member Action page. 

Latest News

  • 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.

  • Congress Approves Continuing Appropriations Act. On September 28 the House and Senate passed a continuing resolution extending FY 16 funding levels until December 9, 10 weeks beyond the end of the fiscal year. President Obama signed the legislation (H.R. 5325) the next day, approving a small across-the-board cut to accommodate budget caps and additional funding for research on the Zika virus and flood relief. Passage of the continuing resolution extends the time for Congress to complete work on earlier appropriations bills, including those affecting funding programs for political science and other academic research.
     
  • House Appropriations Committee Passes International Education Spending Bill.  On July 14, 2016, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY17 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill. The bill includes $7.1 million for Fulbright-Hays, which is the same as the FY16 enacted level and $4.9 million over the FY17 budget request. The bill also includes $65.1 million in Title VI funding, which is the same as the FY16 enacted level and the same as the FY17 budget request. Learn more here.
  • Senate Commerce Committee Passes NSF Reauthorization. The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, bipartisan legislation which reauthorizes the National Science Foundation, was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on June 29, 2016. The legislation, introduced by Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI), includes a four percent increase in NSF authorization from FY 2017 ($7.51 billion) to FY 2018 ($7.81 billion). The bill also includes language supporting the NSF’s merit review process. The Consortium of Social Science Associations has published a detailed analysis of the bill, available here.
  • Senate Bill Threatens Grave Cuts to Fulbright-Hays. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY17 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill on June 9, 2016. The bill includes a $4.89 million cut to Fulbright-Hays that would result in no new grant competitions in the next year. The reduction in funding represents a 69% cut compared to FY16 as enacted. The bill includes flat funding for Title VI. Learn more and access an action alert here.
  • House Appropriations Committee Passes NSF Spending Bill. On May 24, 2016, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY17 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The legislation funds NSF at $7.4 billion, a decrease of $57 million compared to FY16 as enacted. NSF’s Research and Related Activities account is increased by $46 million above FY16 as enacted. Report language for the bill includes positive language in support of research “across all scientific disciplines” and does not mention any directorates for specific funding levels or cuts, as some past bills have. Read more about FY17 funding developments here.

  • Senate Appropriations Committee Passes NSF Spending Bill. On April 19, 2016, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies approved a FY17 spending bill which includes $7.509 billion for NSF. This figure represents roughly flat funding compared to FY16 levels as enacted. On April 21, 2016, the full Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill. 

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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