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RESEARCH & DEFENSE GROUPS: Budget caps risk national security and medical research priorities

October 21, 2015

Joint Statement by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Defense Industrial Association, Research!America and United for Medical Research urging Congress to raise budget caps restraining vital investments in national security and medical research.

Arlington, Va. — Today the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Defense Industrial Association, Research!America and United for Medical Research joined to send Congress a letter urging all of America’s elected representatives in the House and Senate to work together to move forward with responsible funding of our national security and medical research priorities.  The letter states “We must base spending priorities on current and future threats and opportunities, or American security, prosperity, and global leadership will be compromised.  Among these priorities are preserving global stability, defending our homeland and fighting diseases that rob Americans of life, health, independence and time.”

“The aerospace and defense industry provides the equipment that keeps our economy moving and protects our warfighters in harm’s way,” said AIA President and CEO LTG David F. Melcher, U.S. Army (Ret.). “That is why the Federal Reserve’s recent revision downward of U.S. annual industrial production, based on a deeper than previously reported downturn in the output of defense and space equipment, is both relevant and alarming.  Our industry is feeling the bite of budget caps imposed under the Budget Control Act.”

“Medical research is vital to the health of our citizens and our economy,” said American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network President Chris Hansen on behalf of United for Medical Research.  “To truly gain control over federal health spending, we must prevent and stop the diseases that engender it.  We need more medical research.”

“At a time when global threats are advancing, not receding, and the United States has more than 200,000 young men and women serving in more than 130 countries, in nearly 60 named operations, we must remain industrially strong  and able to deter malicious and destabilizing adversaries,” said National Defense Industrial Association President and CEO Gen. Craig R. McKinley, USAF (Ret.). “The irony of cuts to the discretionary budget is that they will have no meaningful impact on the U.S. debt and deficit, which are driven by imbalances between the revenues we collect and our spending on entitlements. So we will materially harm our national security strength without getting our fiscal house in order. That outcome is the worst of all worlds.”

“The NIH has nearly 25 percent less purchasing power today than in 2003, representing lost opportunities for advancing research to combat our most vexing diseases and threatening America’s global leadership in the life sciences,” said Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley. “Before we lose any more ground, Congress must take steps to ensure that the NIH budget catches up from the past decade of neglect.”

Read the full text of the letter here.

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Aerospace Industries Association

Dan Stohr

(703) 358-1078 office

(703) 517-8173 mobile

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)

Alissa Crispino

(202) 661-5772 office

(240) 498-7233 mobile

United for Medical Research

Jim Manley

(202) 255-3736

National Defense Industrial Association

Rene Bardorf

(703) 247-9473



Anna Briseno

(571) 482-2737


AIA: Founded in 1919 shortly after the birth of flight, the Aerospace Industries Association is the most authoritative and influential trade association representing the nation’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft systems, space systems, aircraft engines, homeland and cybersecurity systems, materiel and related components, equipment services and information technology.

United for Medical Research is a coalition of leading research institutions, patient advocates, medical professional organizations, and biomedical companies united in support of robust funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Learn more at

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is America’s leading Defense Industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. NDIA members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training and support for warfighters and first responders through its divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations and events.

Research!America is the nation’s largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, Research!America is supported by member organizations representing 125 million Americans. Visit