AAU Weekly Wrap-up
June 3, 2016
- BUDGET, APPROPRIATIONS & TAX ISSUES
- OTHER CONGRESSIONAL ISSUES
BUDGET, APPROPRIATIONS & TAX ISSUES
TWO HOUSE DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION LEADERS URGE APPROPRIATORS TO PROTECT PELL GRANT SURPLUS
Two Democratic leaders of the House Education and the Workforce Committee on June 2 sent a
to House appropriators urging that the House FY17 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill preserve the Pell Grant program surplus for the program and not
redirect the funding to unrelated programs or agencies.
Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA), ranking member of the full education committee, and Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX), ranking member of the higher education
subcommittee, asked appropriators to use the estimated $7.8 billion surplus to raise the Pell Grant maximum award.
In April, a group of 19 higher education associations, including AAU, sent a letter
to House and Senate appropriators expressing strong opposition to using any of the surplus funds outside of the Pell Grant program.
OTHER CONGRESSIONAL ISSUES
Organizations Oppose Restrictions on DoD-Funded Medical Research
AAU is one of 137 national organizations, medical associations, universities, and academic medical centers that sent a letter on June 1 to leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee opposing
restrictions on medical research supported by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). The FY2017 National Authorization Act (S. 2943), which will be
considered by the Senate next week, would prohibit DOD from funding medical research unless the research “would protect, enhance, or restore the health and
safety of members of the Armed Forces.”
The letter states that the bill as approved by the Armed Services Committee, “could jeopardize funding for research activities that have broader relevance
to the U.S. military, including the health and well-being of military families and veterans, and the efficiency of the military health care system.”
The letter continues, “The medical research programs at DoD directly impact the health and lives of the U.S. military, including combat veterans and their
families. They include important medical research programs related to several forms of cancer and other disorders. Grants awarded through these programs
have led to breakthroughs on nerve regeneration and traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – key developments favorably
impacting our newest wounded warriors. Other programs provide groundbreaking research on psychological health, Gulf War Illness, spinal cord injury, and
hearing and vision loss (which comprise a significant portion of current battlefield injuries). Many of these diseases occur at greater rates in those who
have served in the military.”
The letter also raises concerns about provisions that “would place unnecessary and burdensome acquisition compliance and auditing requirements on programs
that are already serving the taxpayer well.”
ADMINISTRATION RELEASES REVISED EXPORT CONTROL DEFINITIONS
The Department of Commerce and the State Department have issued new and revised definitions of key terms pertaining to export controls. The changes affect
the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)
International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)
. AAU had joined with the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in commenting on ITAR and EAR
definitions that were proposed in June 2015.
The most important development is that the State Department did not revise the ITAR definition of “fundamental research.” AAU, joined by the other
university associations and several individual research universities, had expressed serious concerns about a proposed change to the ITAR definition of
“fundamental research.” This proposed revision, they said, would have had a chilling effect on university-industry collaborations involving
industry-sponsored research in which the industrial sponsor requires pre-publication review for proprietary information.
The State Department also did not address other key university concerns relating to the definitions of “Defense Services” and “Public Domain.” The State
Department has said that it plans to delay issuing these ITAR definitions until next year. While a delay will allow for additional consideration of the
issues, it is unclear what actions the department will ultimately take.
The revised export control regulations were issued in the form of a final EAR rule on which the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security has
said it will continue to accept comments. The State Department changes were issued as an interim final ITAR rule on which additional comments will be
accepted for 30 days. Both rules will take effect in 90 days.
AAU ANNOUNCES OPENING FOR SENIOR POLICY ANALYST
AAU is seeking applicants for the position of Senior Policy Analyst. The position is responsible for identifying and conducting research and policy
analysis in areas of higher education and science policy that underpin AAU’s advocacy activities and policy positions. Responsibilities include: designing
and conducting research, surveys, and analyses; compiling and organizing data; and preparing policy studies, papers, and other written communications on a
variety of topics of importance to research-intensive universities.
The full job description, applicant qualifications, and other information are available at: Careers at AAU. The deadline for applications is Monday, June 13.
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