In recent years, nondefense discretionary spending (NDD) – a budget category that includes virtually all federal spending outside of defense and entitlements, and virtually all nondefense R&D – has been a particular target for severe budget cuts, most notably in the FY 2013 House Budget Resolution. Last week, approximately 3,000 organizations from across the public interest spectrum – including AAAS – sent a letter to Congress asking for a responsible deficit reduction approach that does not include further cuts to NDD. Over the past few years, NDD programs for science, environment, health, transportation, education, housing, public safety, and other areas have been cut by an average of 10 percent. Last year’s Budget Control Act is expected to cut NDD spending by a further 7 percent over the next decade, and the looming across-the-board sequestration will cut into these programs even further. Several proposals have emerged that would shift the onus of sequestration entirely onto nondefense discretionary spending, which would have severe consequences for the nation’s research enterprise, as prior AAAS assessments have found. The letter asks Congress to achieve a balanced approach to cutting the deficit, without subjecting science and other nondefense programs to even deeper cuts than have already taken place.