- Supreme Court Begins DACA Consideration
- Budget and Appropriations Update
- PCAST Adds Two Members, Will Meet November 18
- AAU, APLU Warn Lawmakers of Extended CR’s Harm to FY20 Defense Programs
- ESC Requests Senate Energy Committee Leaders Support ARPA-E Reauthorization
- AAU, Association’s Letter Opposes EPA Proposed Rule on ‘Transparency’ in Science
- Upcoming Events
SUPREME COURT BEGINS DACA CONSIDERATION
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on several lawsuits related to the administration’s decision to reverse the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. While a decision is pending, NPR reports that the Court has signaled that it may allow the administration to end the policy, which protects nearly 800,000 young people brought to the United States as children. Approximately 350,000 of these young people are enrolled in high school or university programs – many at AAU institutions.
AAU has long supported federal efforts to provide a solution for DACA recipients and other Dreamers who attend universities. We await the Court’s decision in this case and continue to press for a legislative solution that takes the fate of thousands of our students out of the hands of shifting Executive Branch priorities.
BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Appropriations Chair Richard Shelby (R-AL), and House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY) yesterday met to discuss spending totals for all 12 FY20 appropriations measures, Roll Call reports. Mnuchin called the meeting “productive,” and said lawmakers had “no intention” of allowing a second government shutdown in 2019.
Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Roy Blunt (R-MO) told Bloomberg Government that if topline subcommittee allocations are set before November 20, Congress could complete the FY20 appropriations process before the extended continuing runs out December 20.
Senate Appropriations Chair Richard Shelby (R-AL) and House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY) Tuesday met to discuss the ongoing FY20 appropriations process. According to Politico, the lawmakers agreed to extend the current CR, which expires November 21, to December 20.
As of October 1, the House had passed 10 of 12 FY20 spending bills and the Senate had advanced four of 12 measures. The House must cut $15 billion in non-defense spending and increase defense spending by $5 billion to align the 10 appropriations measures passed before August recess with levels set by the Budget Control Act’s spending caps.
PCAST ADDS TWO MEMBERS, WILL MEET NOVEMBER 18
The president yesterday appointed University of Kansas Professor Dr. Shannon Blunt and The Ohio State University Professor Dr. Dorota Grejner-Brzezinksa to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Led by OSTP Director Dr. Kelvin Drogemeier, the group “advises the president on “science, technology, and innovation on topics critical to the Nation’s security and economy, and the health and welfare of the American people.”
The Council will hold its first meeting at 9:15 a.m. November 18 at the National Academy of Sciences, 2102 Constitution Avenue NW. More information and a webcast can be found here.
AAU, APLU WARN LAWMAKERS OF EXTENDED CR’S HARM TO FY20 DEFENSE PROGRAMS
AAU and APLU today sent a letter to House and Senate Defense Appropriations Leaders thanking them for their efforts on the FY20 bills and urging they complete their work to prevent further harm to our nation’s military men and women and defense enterprise. In the letter, the associations ask lawmakers to make strong investments in research and development programs, which are “necessary to spur innovations that safeguard our military personnel and help the U.S. maintain international military leadership.” Specifically, the letter requests: $3 million to fund a National Academies Science, Technology, and Security Roundtable established by the Securing American Science and Technology Act; at least $2.6 billion for the 6.1 basic research program; and $3.5 billion for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency.
ESC REQUESTS SENATE ENERGY COMMITTEE LEADERS SUPPORT ARPA-E REAUTHORIZATION
The Energy Sciences Coalition, of which AAU is a member, today sent a letter to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Joe Manchin (D-WV) to encourage them to include S. 2714, the “Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy Reauthorization Act of 2019,” in a final energy research and development legislative package. ARPA-E, the Coalition says, “has demonstrated remarkable success in advancing high-risk, high-reward energy technology solutions.” The letter also highlights the program’s achievements, noting that 145 projects have received more than $2.9 billion in private sector follow-on funding, 76 projects formed new companies, and 131 partnered with other government agencies for further development. The bill’s companion legislation in the House, H.R. 4091, was approved out of Committee last month.
AAU, ASSOCIATION’S LETTER OPPOSES EPA PROPOSED RULE ON ‘TRANSPARENCY’ IN SCIENCE
AAU today joined 61 public health, medical, academic, and scientific groups on a letter to House Science, Space, and Technology Committee leaders to reiterate concerns over the EPA’s proposed rule, Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science. The rule would restrict the scientific research EPA considers in rulemaking to that in which the underlying data is publicly available for independent validation. In the letter, the organizations “strongly oppose EPA’s efforts to restrict the use of the best available science in its policymaking” and ask the Committee to ensure the rule does not move forward.
NOVEMBER 18 PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL OF ADVISORS ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 9:15 a.m. ET, National Academy of Sciences Lecture Room, 2101 Constitution Avenue NW. More details and a webcast can be found here.
NOVEMBER 19 MIT ENERGY INITIATIVE INSIGHTS INTO FUTURE MOBILITY; 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. ET, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Full agenda and registration details here.
NOVEMBER 20 AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, NSF CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE PERIODIC TABLE OF ELEMENTS; 9:00 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. ET, National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Avenue NW. Registration information and agenda available here.