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AAU Week Wrap-Up, January 5, 2018


  • Budget and Appropriations Update 
  • OIRA Human Subjects "Common Rule" Review Update
  • Former DHS Secretaries Call for Speedy DACA Fix


Republican and Democratic congressional leaders met Wednesday with White House legislative liaison Marc Short and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney to discuss topline spending levels, which appropriators have said are critical to begin drafting funding legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters the funding talks were "productive" but said any notion of parity on defense and nondefense spending should be cast aside.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday, however, insisted equal increases in defense and nondefense funding, saying of parity, "It means veterans. It means opioid relief. It means pension relief for middle-class folks." He went on to include a permanent solution for DACA coupled with additional border security and a health care package in his list of demands for a final deal. Majority Leader McConnell and the administration have both maintained Congress should address DACA separate from any funding bill.

The Senate returned to work Wednesday, and the House is set to return Monday, January 9, just 10 days before the current CR expires January 19. With so much to do in so little time, lawmakers are already considering another short-term CR through President's Day, February 19. As The Washington Post astutely notes, "Congress is most skilled at blowing past important deadlines." 


The OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) yesterday indicated online that they are reviewing a final rule titled "Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects: Delay of the Revisions to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects." This online information signals OIRA may announce a one-year compliance delay with three parts of the Common Rule becoming effective sooner. The current rule is slated to go into effect January 18, 2018. AAU, AAMC, COGR, and AAMC have requested a one-year delay.


Three former U.S. Homeland Security Secretaries wrote to Republican and Democratic congressional leaders, and the leaders of the House and Senate homeland security committees urging immediate action to protect DACA participants.

Signed by Michael Chertoff, Janet Napolitano, and Jeh Johnson, the letter cautions that when DACA was established in 2012, it took nearly 90 days for USCIS to process the first applications. The letter continues, "Even if it only takes half of that time for USCIS to establish a DACA process under legislation, Congress needs to pass a bill by January 19th to provide enough time for USCIS to process applications before tens of thousands of DACA recipients are negatively impacted by the loss of their work authorization or removal from the United States."

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