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Category: House of Representatives

What we’re watching for ?>

What we’re watching for

The 115th Congress has begun its legislative work, and we’re five days into the presidency of Donald Trump.  To say that Washington, D.C., is active in these early days of 2017 is an understatement. The focus of political leaders is not – shockingly – how to handle biomedical research and science policy over the next couple of years.  The spotlight is focused on the future of the Affordable Care Act, who is going to pay for a southern border war,…

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Legislation update: The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act ?>

Legislation update: The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act

  On Saturday, the U.S. Senate passed the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. This bill authorizes programs at the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. These programs include federal science, development and STEM programs. Below is a summary of sections of note: Title I: Maximizing investments in basic research Sec. 101. Reaffirms merit-based peer review. Reaffirms that NSF’s merit-based review process for grant applications is the appropriate process…

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Appropriations update: 2017 sequestration report ?>

Appropriations update: 2017 sequestration report

  Congress reconvened Tuesday and will remain in session for four weeks. We expect that lawmakers will pass a continuing resolution to fund the government at least into December. If, by the off chance, lawmakers do not pass a continuing resolution and instead proceed to resolve their differences to pass an actual appropriations bill, we recommend that they take a close look at the fiscal 2017 OMB Sequestration Update Report. Last month, the Office of Management and Budget released a…

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Appropriations Update – House making progress ?>

Appropriations Update – House making progress

Last month, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal 2017 appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services and Related Agencies, the spending bill that provides annual funding for the National Institutes of Health.  Don’t remember the details from that bill?  You can click here for our coverage, but the bottom line is the Senate approved a $2 billion increase to the NIH for the upcoming fiscal year. NEXT STEPS:  The bill awaits debate and a vote by the full…

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Highlights from committee U.S. Senate hearing: Leveraging the U.S. science and technology enterprise ?>

Highlights from committee U.S. Senate hearing: Leveraging the U.S. science and technology enterprise

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing last week to discuss the future of U.S. research and development investments.  The hearing centered on how funded research can translate into innovations in industry and in turn, the economy. The committee brought in expert witnesses from academia, the private sector and a government advisory board to testify and provide insight on possible strategies that the committee can utilize in drafting new legislation to leverage U.S. investments in the…

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House appropriators talk National Science Foundation funding ?>

House appropriators talk National Science Foundation funding

Earlier this week, we provided you with a summary of the budget hearing with National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins.  Today, we bring you last week’s hearing featuring National Science Foundation Director France Córdova.  What we learned U.S. House appropriators are struggling with balancing science funding and deficit spending. Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Chairman Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, in his opening remarks voiced support for science agencies but opposition to President Barack Obama’s…

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House appropriators hear from NIH director on FY17 budget request ?>

House appropriators hear from NIH director on FY17 budget request

It’s appropriations season on Capitol Hill, and committees are hearing testimony from agency heads justifying their fiscal year 2017 budget requests.  Later this week, we’ll provide a review of the National Science Foundation hearing, but today let’s look at the National Institutes of Health hearing highlights. What we learned U.S. House appropriators really like the NIH … and want to give it more money. Labor Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla) opened the hearing expressing…

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Legislative Update – Appropriations and the Senate innovation agenda ?>

Legislative Update – Appropriations and the Senate innovation agenda

As discussed last week, the appropriations process continues to progress behind closed doors. However, some details are emerging. All appropriations subcommittees have received their 302(b) allocations, and those allocations have been described to me by congressional staff as “fair.” The allocation for the Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations subcommittee, which funds the National Institutes of Health, is said to be “generous.” The original allocation for L-HHS had been below the fiscal year 2015 level, but it seems the Bipartisan…

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Passage of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015 – What it really means ?>

Passage of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015 – What it really means

Here in the policy office of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, we’ve received e-mails, phone calls and tweets asking if the new federal budget agreement will lead to an increase in the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation budgets. The answer is this: We don’t know. Before jumping into the details of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement, let’s first briefly go through the federal budget process. There are three phases. First, Congress determines how much money…

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Advocacy Spotlight: Jarod Rollins ?>

Advocacy Spotlight: Jarod Rollins

ASBMB’s Advocate Spotlight will highlight the efforts of science advocates to share the importance of biomedical research. If you know someone telling the story of science to legislators to advance science policy, email smartin@asbmb.org, so that we can consider them. Jarod Rollins is a postdoctoral fellow at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.