Senate appropriations committee recognizes the importance of innovation in the U.S.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, started the “Driving Innovation through Federal Investments” hearing saying that funding innovative research is of huge importance to the U.S. Supporting this statement, Mikulski pointed out that 138 pieces of written testimony, including one from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, were submitted prior to the hearing, demonstrating the…

A tight deadline for appropriations

With passage of the recent bipartisan budget agreement, members of the appropriations committees now get to work crafting bills that will fund federal agencies for the rest of fiscal 2014. However, the deadline to pass these bills is Jan. 15, which will leave legislators the task of deciding on and agreeing to spending levels for…

The appropriations process comes to a screeching halt

Yesterday, the U.S. House appropriations process broke down amid the strains of budgeting under sequestration. The House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill was pulled from the floor of the chamber before a final vote could take place. Support for the measure, which would have been the first nondefense discretionary spending bill debated by…

Smoke, mirrors and science funding

The summer is an eventful time for federal appropriations. Subcommittees review their agency portfolios and assign spending levels, bills are marked up and passed on to the full appropriations committee and eventually these bills make it to the floor of the House or Senate for debate and final passage. The summer of 2013 has been…

A busy week for federal spending for scientific research

The dust is finally settling over the fiscal 2013 appropriations process just as the FY14 process begins. Yesterday, the National Science Foundation released the final fiscal 2013 budgets for each directorate. The agency’s overall appropriation is $6.8 billion after accounting for sequestration. Of interest to ASBMB members, the Directorate of Biological Sciences will have a…

Sequestration: The lines are drawn

With the election far behind us, and Thanksgiving just past, it’s time for the lame duck session of the 112th Congress to finally get to work. The issue everyone has been talking about since President Obama was reelected is the fiscal cliff — the combination of tax increases and spending cuts due to take effect…

Science and the 2012 election

While science policy did not figure prominently in the 2012 election cycle, the outcomes of several races in the U.S. House and Senate could have significant effects on future policies regarding the conduct of science. One of the biggest losses for biomedical research came in California. Republican Brian Bilbray, a strong proponent of biomedical research…

U.S. House and Senate appropriations committees vote on NSF budget for FY13

It appears that Congress is making every effort to return to normal working order for the fiscal 2013 appropriations process, by already voting on several appropriations bills in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. Despite the tight fiscal environment for FY13, the National Science Foundation received an increase over the FY12 budget…

NIH appropriations hearings in the House and Senate

This month, for the first time in almost two years, the appropriations subcommittees on labor, health and human services and education in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate held hearings on the National Institutes of Health. On March 20, members of the House subcommittee heard testimony from NIH Director Francis Collins on the…