- Mary Sue’s Desk: Congress Must Lift the Ban on Gun Violence Research
- House Democrats Introduce Title IX Legislation
- NSF Press Conference: Breakthroughs in Gravitational-Wave Astronomy
- Immigration Issues Update
- SCOTUS Dismisses One of Two Travel Ban Challenges
- Administration Outlines Immigration Principles and Policies
- Turkish Visa Suspension
- Energy Sciences Coalition Urges Congressional Support for ARPA-E
MARY SUE’S DESK: CONGRESS MUST LIFT THE BAN ON GUN VIOLENCE RESEARCH
AAU President Mary Sue Coleman today released a blog titled “Congress Must End the Ban on Gun Violence Research,” in which she urges Congress to address the long-standing ban on federally-funded firearm research. Her call to action echoes a January 2016 statement by the AAU Board of Directors in support of bipartisan action to end the prohibition.
HOUSE DEMOCRATS INTRODUCE TITLE IX LEGISLATION
Yesterday, a group of House Democrats, led by the Democratic Women’s Working Group, introduced the Title IX Protection Act (H.R. 4030) to codify some of former President Obama’s key reforms to Title IX enforcement. Specifically, the bill would require schools to use the preponderance of evidence standard in disciplinary hearings on sexual assault and misconduct proceedings. The bill would also require investigations be completed in a 60-day time frame and discourages mediation and cross examination.
NSF PRESS CONFERENCE: BREAKTHROUGHS IN GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE ASTRONOMY
The National Science Foundation (NSF) will host a press conference on Monday, October 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to announce a major breakthrough enabled by gravitational-wave astronomy. Researchers from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo scientific collaborations, and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center will offer brief remarks in two separate panels moderated by NSF Director France Córdova and NSF Assistant Director for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Jim Ulvestad. NSF will broadcast the event via live stream.
IMMIGRATION ISSUES UPDATE
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed one of two challenges to the administration’s travel ban, opting to first let lower courts review the policy. The court had already cancelled oral argument scheduled for this month. The revised travel ban order, issued September 24, limits or bars entry to the U.S. from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Venezuela. Homeland Security officials say the ban takes effect October 18 and will not affect anyone who already holds a U.S. visa. Details of the restrictions vary by country and are outlined here via FAQ.
On Sunday, the administration released “Immigration Principles and Policies,” to outline its objectives for immigration reforms. The proposal calls for extensive policy revisions including the construction of a southern border wall. Minority leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer released a joint statement condemning the proposal, stating it “fails to represent any attempt at compromise.”
Also on Sunday, both the U.S. and Turkey stopped issuing nonimmigrant visas to each others’ citizens indefinitely. According to the U.S. Ambassador’s statement, Turkish individuals who currently hold valid U.S. visas are eligible to continue to travel to and enter the U.S.
ENERGY SCIENCES COALITION URGES CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT FOR ARPA-E
The Energy Sciences Coalition, of which AAU is a member, issued a statement on Tuesday calling for bipartisan congressional support for Advanced Research Projects – Energy (ARPA-E), including passage of the ARPA-E Reauthorization Act of 2017 (H.R. 3681), and the Senate Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY18 (S. 1609). The statement notes both bills are vital to advance ARPA-E’s high-risk, high-reward energy technology products that make American energy companies more globally competitive. The coalition requests Congress provide at least $330 million for ARPA-E for FY18.