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Category: Senate

What $15 billion could do for the research community ?>

What $15 billion could do for the research community

  As the new administration gets settled and sets its priorities, President Donald Trump and Congress presumably will be assessing how taxpayer dollars can be best utilized. In the coming month, Trump will begin to not only introduce a budget for the upcoming fiscal year but also push for specific initiatives that will require some level of funding to accomplish. The U.S. has a number of issues that require an intense look. Health care and job creation are among those…

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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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ASBMB Congressional Briefing: A Continuing Resolution’s Impact on Research ?>

ASBMB Congressional Briefing: A Continuing Resolution’s Impact on Research

  The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology held a congressional briefing Tuesday about the effects that a long-term continuing resolution would have on the biomedical research community. Speakers included Harry Stein, director of fiscal policy at the Center for American Progress; Thomas Baldwin, president-elect of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology and professor at the University of California, Riverside; and James Brown, executive director of the STEM Education Coalition. Here are the highlights: Stein described a…

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House and Senate approve continuing resolution ?>

House and Senate approve continuing resolution

  Yesterday, both chambers of Congress approved a short-term continuing resolution spending bill (HR 5325) that will keep the federal government funded through Dec. 9. The resolution will fund federal agencies at the top-line, fiscal 2017 level of $1.067 trillion, reduced by 0.5 percent to comply with spending cap regulations. The Senate first approved the continuing resolution, which includes $1.1 billion in emergency funding to contend with the Zika virus. Of this $1.1 billion, more than $150 million will be…

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New bills aimed to solve the health funding crisis ?>

New bills aimed to solve the health funding crisis

  Lawmakers introduced three bills, one to the House and two to the Senate, aimed at solving aspects of the health funding crisis brought on by the Zika pandemic. Below is a brief synopsis of each bill. 1) On Sept. 8, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., introduced a bill to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Senate bill 3302 sets up a permanent emergency healthcare fund of $2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director…

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Continuing resolution: Preventing a government shutdown ?>

Continuing resolution: Preventing a government shutdown

  Congress returned to work last week after its summer recess. In the next month, Congress’ main priority will be to approve funding for the federal government in fiscal 2017. Congress’ inability to pass the 12 separate annual appropriation spending bills has resulted in it needing to approve a temporary spending bill, or continuing resolution, before the Sept. 30 deadline to prevent a government shutdown. A continuing resolution is a short-term way for Congress to continue funding federal agencies without…

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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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Senate moves to increase NIH budget ?>

Senate moves to increase NIH budget

On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) voted 29-1 to approve a bill that proposes a $2 billion increase in funding at the National Institutes of Health, putting the agencies budget at $34 billion.  The Labor, Health and Human Services and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for fiscal 2017 now will move to the full Senate for a vote. “This bill sets priorities for federal programs that support the health and well-being of Americans,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss. …

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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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