Science policy news weekly update: December 16, 2016 ?>

Science policy news weekly update: December 16, 2016


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What’s new in Blotter news?

The ASBMB’s policy analyst, Andre Porter, gives a summary of President-elect Donald Trump’s choices for his Cabinet.

President-elect Trump’s Cabinet picks

The ASBMB’s policy fellow, Andrew Stothert, gives an overview of a piece of legislation that recently passed the U.S. Senate called The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act.

Legislation update: The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act


The Senate passed a short-term funding bill to keep the federal government funded at fiscal 2016 levels through April. Despite overwhelming support in the House, some Senate Democrats objected to the funding bill due to lack of funds for health benefits for retired coal miners. The bill includes $352 million to be allocated to the National Institutes of Health, authorized for use on programs associated with the 21st Century Cures Act. Additionally, the bill allocates $500 million to states to combat the opioid crisis.

Senate passes funding bill after Democrats back down (NPR)


U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., has been tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. If he is confirmed by the Senate, Price will have the ability to interpret laws and rewrite regulations and guidance as he sees fit, which will have major impact on how health-related policies are carried out. Despite support for Price being split among members of the scientific community, his appointment will give him the chance to directly influence areas of current health policy, including birth-control coverage, Medicare payment, Planned Parenthood funding and tobacco regulations.

5 quick ways a new HHS secretary could change health policy (Washington Post)


While political headlines have dominated the news lately in light of the Trump administration’s choices to lead the nation’s federal agencies, we do not yet know who Trump is considering for the director of the National Institutes of Health. After the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act last week, many in Congress and in the scientific community have called for Trump to retain current NIH Director Francis Collins. Collins has said that, if asked, he would remain as NIH director under Trump.

Republican asks Trump to keep NIH leader as Cures bill is signed (Washington Examiner)

NIH Director Francis Collins says he would remain in post under Trump (STAT)


As president, Barack Obama was known by his top science staffers as having “science nerdom.” This was due to his ability to always ask questions that get to the heart of the matter when meeting with heads of federal scientific agencies. This trait became a defining characteristic of the Obama presidency as he shaped policies on climate change, manufacturing, and combating infectious disease outbreaks, such as Ebloa and Zika. In the Trump administration, the value of science and scientific research still remains a mystery. This has been a source of worry and anxiety for many in the scientific community since his election in early November. Despite the uncertainty, senior adviser to Obama on science and technology John Holdren remains optimistic about the new administration, stressing that Trump’s scientific literacy will determine his success in science and technology policy.

Why a ‘science-savvy’ president matters (Business Insider)

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