- FY19 Appropriations Update
- Associations Write to House Subcommittee Regarding Fetal Tissue Research
- Associations Comment on Proposed NIH Data Management Policy
- Associations Comment on Proposed DHS Public Charge Rule
- House Ways and Means Committee Revises Year-end Tax Package
- Commerce Dept. Extends Comment Period on Export Controls ANPRM
- Treasury Dept. Issues Unrelated Business Taxable Income Guidance
- NSF Revises FAQs for Sexual Harassment Term and Condition
FY19 APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE
With just a week until the current continuing resolution expires and few legislative working days remaining, the likelihood of a partial government shutdown or another continuing resolution is becoming increasingly likely. When asked how Congress and the administration would avert a partial shutdown, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) told The Hill yesterday, “There is no discernable plan, none that’s been disclosed.” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) has floated the idea of an emergency stop-gap CR to fund the government through December 26 or January 3. He also mentioned a possible CR through late January or early February.
The House held its last vote of the week yesterday and will not be back in session until Wednesday – two days before the December 21 deadline for keeping the government open. The Senate will reconvene Monday, December 17.
ASSOCIATIONS WRITE TO HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE REGARDING FETAL TISSUE RESEARCH
AAU, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) on Wednesday wrote a letter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Subcommittee on Healthcare, Benefits, and Administrative Rules to express support of the “full spectrum of ethically-conducted research, including the use of fetal tissue in research and work to identify potential equivalents to fetal tissue.” The letter goes on to note that while the associations appreciate the Subcommittee’s attention to this issue, the associations “wish to emphasize the importance of continued investment in research on cells already developed from fetal tissue and of scientists’ continued access to new tissue or cell lines."
ASSOCIATIONS COMMENT ON NIH PROPOSED DATA MANAGEMENT POLICY
AAU, APLU, and the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) submitted joint comments to the NIH in response to an October 10 RFI on proposed data management sharing policies for NIH-funded or supported research. Among other things, the organizations ask for a two-year implementation period for new policies, allowing universities to engage in meaningful and effective data access collaborations while engaging the NIH and other federal agencies.
ASSOCIATIONS COMMENT ON DHS PROPOSED PUBLIC CHARGE RULE
AAU and 31 other higher education organizations on Monday wrote to DHS to comment on a proposed rule related to inadmissibility for U.S. citizenship on public charge grounds. The letter notes the groups’ shared concerns over whether the proposed changes will impact American students with immigrant families and foreign students, including graduate and professional students who may become legally employed in the U.S. upon graduation. To protect against further visa processing delays, the letter asks DHS to exempt from final regulation F-1 and J-1 visa applicants. The comment letter also argues for exemption from the final rule all Title IV student aid programs to prevent a possible chilling impact of the proposed rule on first generation students pursuing higher education.
HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN REVISES YEAR-END TAX PACKAGE
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brady (R-TX) on Monday released revised year-end tax legislation , dropping provisions that would have revived several tax extenders, among other changes. Also included in the modified version is language to expand Section 529 plans to cover apprenticeships, homeschooling expenses, and student loan repayments. It is possible the House could vote on the legislation as early as this week. Senate consideration appears unlikely.
COMMERCE DEPT. EXTENDS COMMENT PERIOD ON EXPORT CONTROLS ANPRM
The Commerce Department earlier this week announced it will extend the deadline for a recent notice of proposed rulemaking on export controls from December 19 to January 10. AAU and several others last week urged the agency to extend the ANPRM’s deadline, citing insufficient time to respond to the complex and technical ANPRM.
TREASURY DEPT. ISSUES UNRELATED BUSINESS TAXABLE INCOME GUIDANCE
The Treasury Department on Monday issued guidance on how tax-exempt organizations, including universities, can compute unrelated business taxable income resulting from parking provided to their employees. The guidance allows tax-exempt and taxable employers to use any reasonable method for 2018 to determine the increase in UBTI or the amount of nondeductible expenses. It also provides a safe harbor method that should minimize the burden on affected employers.
NSF REVISES FAQS FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT TERM AND CONDITION
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently released a revised set of FAQs regarding the agency’s term and condition titled, “Notification Requirements Regarding Sexual Harassment, Other Forms of Harassment, or Sexual Assault.” Questions regarding the FAQs should be directed to [email protected] .