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AAU Statement on FY17 Defense Appropriations Bill Approved By House Of Representatives


Following is a statement by Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman on the FY17 appropriations bill (H.R. 1301) approved by the House on March 8.

AAU thanks the House for passing H.R. 1301, the Defense Appropriations Act of 2017. We are pleased to see funding increases provided for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Defense Education Program (NDEP). The additional funds for DARPA will enhance its ability to invest in high-risk, high-reward research benefitting our warfighters. The increase for NDEP will provide significant STEM education resources to help produce the scientists and engineers needed to supply the future DOD workforce.

While we appreciate that the appropriation for basic (6.1) Department of Defense research exceeds the previous administration’s request, it falls below the FY16 enacted level. This research is critical to developing the technologies, treatments, and innovation that help maintain our nation’s military strength. We encourage Congress, in FY18 and beyond, to provide steady and sustained growth for Defense basic research.

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Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities comprises 62 distinguished institutions that continually advance society through education, research, and discovery. Our universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for academic research, are improving human life and wellbeing through research, and are educating tomorrow’s visionary leaders and global citizens. AAU members collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of research universities to society.