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STAC Statement on Consequences of Congressional Inaction on FY24 Appropriations at NASA

February 12, 2024

The Science and Technology Action Committee (STAC), a nonpartisan alliance of nonprofit, academic, foundation and business leaders advocating for greater focus and funding of science and technology, issued the following statement after NASA announced layoffs due to congressional inaction on FY24 appropriations.

The layoffs announced this week by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) show that congressional inaction has serious consequences for science and technology innovation in the U.S. The inability of Congress to pass its FY24 appropriations bills and uncertainty surrounding the continued gridlock on the Hill has resulted in NASA JPL needing to lay off nearly 600 workers.

Other countries are eager — and increasingly capable — of filling the void the U.S. is creating by continually underfunding critical science and technology policies that fuel the discoveries and advances we depend on for everything from our national and economic security to our treasured way of life.

It is absolutely critical that the U.S. maintain its competitive edge and global leadership in innovation. But in order to do that, Congress must end the monthslong impasse that is tearing down the science and technology infrastructure we should instead be building up.

We strongly urge lawmakers to invest in a future where new research development and technological advancements are created here at home — a priority both sides of the aisle can agree on.

The Science & Technology Action Committee (STAC) is a group of 25 non-profit, academic, foundation, and corporate leaders working to dramatically strengthen U.S. science and technology. The Committee is co-chaired by: Bill Novelli, Professor Emeritus and founder of Business for Impact at Georgetown University and former CEO of AARP, Sudip Parikh, CEO, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Executive Publisher of the Science Family of Journals, Mary Woolley, President & CEO of Research!America, and Keith Yamamoto, Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy at UCSF and President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).