The ASBMB debuts first episode of “Pipettes and Politics”
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has released a science policy podcast titled “Pipettes and Politics.” Hosted by the public affairs department, the podcast discusses politics and policies that affect the science community. The first episode considers the ramifications of the U.S. House of Representatives’ tax proposal to eliminate tuition waivers for graduate students. Listen here.
National Science Board addresses skilled technical workforce issue
ASBMB Science Policy Analyst Andre Porter summarizes the meeting of the National Science Board of the National Science Foundation. The board committed to investigate the NSF’s role in developing a skilled technical workforce and reviewed the Directorate for Engineering’s programs and activities. Read more here.
GOP tax reform bills move forward
The U.S. House passed a sweeping tax reform bill that would enact $1.5 trillion in tax cuts. Thirteen Republicans and all Democrats opposed the bill, which contains language to eliminate tuition waivers for graduate students, increasing their tax liability threefold in some cases. The U.S. Senate Finance Committee approved the Senate version of the tax plan, which does not include the elimination of tuition waivers. The Senate plans a floor vote on their bill after Thanksgiving. Read more here.
House passes $692 billion defense bill
The House passed the National Defense Authorization Act, a $692 billion compromise bill funding U.S. military operations. Because the funding level blows past the budget caps, Republicans must work with Democrats to get 60 votes to raise the caps. The bill includes a provision that would allow the Pentagon rather than the FDA to sign off on unapproved medical devices and drugs for emergency use in the field. Read more here.