- House to Consider NSF for the Future and DOE Science for the Future Acts on Monday
- President Biden Announces Bipartisan Deal on Infrastructure
- DOE Awards $61 Million in Advanced Nuclear Energy R&D Projects
- Discussion Draft of “Cures 2.0” Released; Bill Includes ARPA-H and Research Recovery Authorizations
- HASC Releases Markup Schedule for FY22 NDAA; DOD Sends Legislative Proposals to Congress
- Senate Budget Chairman Sanders Preparing Budge Proposal that Goes Further Than President Biden’s
- Friends of IES Coalition Endorses Topline Amount for IES in FY22 Budget Request
- Department of Education Confirms Title IX Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
- Senate Confirms Chris Inglis as White House Cyber Czar
- Supreme Court Rules Against NCAA in Antitrust Case
House to Consider NSF for the Future and DOE Science for the Future Acts on Monday
The House plans to consider the National Science Foundation for the Future Act (H.R. 2225) and the Department of Energy Science for the Future Act (H.R. 3593) as early as Monday, June 28, under suspension of the rules. The bills will significantly boost authorized funding for the NSF and the DOE’s Office of Science.
President Biden Announces Bipartisan Deal on Infrastructure
Yesterday, President Biden announced support for an infrastructure framework that was negotiated by a bipartisan team of 10 senators. According to The Washington Post, the agreement will spend $973 billion over five years, with $579 billion in new spending. The latter figure “includes $312 billion for transportation projects, $55 billion for water infrastructure and $65 billion for broadband.” The framework excludes investments in research infrastructure as proposed in the president’s American Jobs Plan.
Senate Democrats are simultaneously considering a $6 trillion reconciliation package that, according to The Washington Post, adopts key elements of the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan that are omitted from the bipartisan compromise. The Hill reported Speaker Nancy Pelosi as saying on Thursday that the House would not vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill until the Senate passed the budget reconciliation package. President Biden has indicated that he will sign the infrastructure bill only if it comes “in tandem” with the reconciliation package.
DOE Awards $61 Million in Advanced Nuclear Energy R&D Projects
Earlier this week, the Department of Energy announced that its Office of Nuclear Energy had made more than $61 million in funding awards for 99 advanced nuclear energy technology projects. Universities across the United States, including several AAU member institutions, received $58 million in support for projects that will focus on “nuclear energy research, cross-discipline technology development, and nuclear reactor infrastructure to bolster the resiliency and use of America’s largest domestic source of carbon-free energy.”
Discussion Draft of “Cures 2.0” Released; Bill Includes ARPA-H and Research Recovery Authorizations
Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Fred Upton (R-MI) released the long-anticipated discussion draft of their “Cures 2.0” legislation yesterday. The draft is divided into five titles, the last composed of the RISE Act with line-item authorizing levels for research recovery funding for federal research agencies and placeholder authorizing language for the White House’s ARPA-H initiative. In addition, Reps. DeGette and Upton released an RFI for the ARPA-H language. A section-by-section summary of Cures 2.0 is available here. Concurrent with the release of Cures 2.0, Science published a concept paper authored by Francis Collins, Tara Schwetz, Lawrence Tabak, and Eric Lander describing the goals and parameters of ARPA-H. NIH and OSTP held a community call today to discuss the ARPA-H fact sheet.
HASC Releases Markup Schedule for FY22 NDAA; DOD Sends Legislative Proposals to Congress
Last week, House Armed Services Committee Chair Adam Smith (D-WA) and Ranking Member Mike Rogers (R-AL) released the full committee and subcommittee markup schedule for the FY22 NDAA. Subcommittee markups will take place on July 28 and 29 followed by a full committee markup on September 1. In addition, the Department of Defense sent its legislative proposals to Congress. The packages include a new proposal to seek vetting authority to screen individuals performing unclassified DOD research.
Senate Budget Chairman Sanders Preparing Budget Proposal that Goes Further Than President Biden’s
Bloomberg Government reports that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), chairman of the Budget Committee, is preparing a Senate budget resolution that makes greater investments than President Biden’s budget request in several areas, including Medicare, public housing, and electric vehicles. Bloomberg Government obtained a document comparing the Sanders and Biden budgets side-by-side, as well as a background document with additional details. The side-by-side comparison shows that the Sanders budget includes funding for the expansion of Pell Grants ($85 billion); a new NSF technology directorate ($22 billion); free community college; and research and development for agriculture, climate, and “existing programs.” According to Bloomberg Government, any differences between the Biden and Sanders budget proposals “could complicate the effort to forge a path forward on major bills.”
Friends of IES Coalition Endorses Topline Amount for IES in FY22 Budget Request
Last week, the Friends of IES coalition, of which AAU is a member, sent a letter to House and Senate Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee leaders strongly endorsing the topline amount of $737.47 million included in President Biden’s FY22 budget request for the Institute of Education Sciences. This funding level, the letter states, “would bolster the research and statistical infrastructure needed to support learning recovery, understand and address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across all levels of education, and ensure the continuation of research and data collection in the field.”
Department of Education Confirms Title IX Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
On Wednesday, June 16, the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights released a Notice of Interpretation explaining that it will enforce Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and discrimination based on gender identity. OCR noted that the interpretation is consistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which, according to The Washington Post, “extended protections in the Civil Rights Act against discrimination in the workplace to gay and transgender Americans.”
Senate Confirms Chris Inglis as White House Cyber Czar
Last Thursday, the Senate unanimously confirmed Chris Inglis as the White House national cyber director. The former NSA deputy director and current commissioner with the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission will be the first in the position after it was created as part of the most recent NDAA. The position of “cyber czar” expands on the previous White House cybersecurity coordinator role that was eliminated in 2018 under the Trump administration. According to The Hill, “Inglis will be tasked with coordinating federal cybersecurity policy and will be the key federal leader tying together agencies, being a point of contact between Congress and the White House.”
Supreme Court Rules Against NCAA in Antitrust Case
On Monday, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in NCAA v. Alston upholding the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ finding that the NCAA’s eligibility rules regarding compensation of student-athletes violate federal antitrust law. In a statement following the ruling, the NCAA noted that the decision “reaffirms the NCAA’s authority to adopt reasonable rules and repeatedly notes that the NCAA remains free to articulate what are and are not truly educational benefits, consistent with the NCAA’s mission to support student-athletes.” Earlier this year, AAU joined ACE and nine other higher education associations in filing an amicus brief in the case supporting the NCAA’s position.