September 1, 2017
- Budget and Appropriations Update
- Patient Groups, Research Community Urge Senate Leaders to Oppose Restrictions on Fetal Tissue Research
- Higher Education Associations Submit Net Neutrality Reply Comments
- President Trump Nominates USPTO Director
BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE
With only a few short weeks until federal funding expires, Congress returns September 5 to a long list of budget to-dos, including avoiding a government shutdown, raising the debt ceiling, and providing emergency funds for Harvey victims. The House intends to vote on an eight-bill spending package, H.R. 3354, which combines the remaining appropriations bills that did not receive a vote before recess. Media reports indicate Congress may combine emergency aid for Harvey victims with stopgap government funding and the debt-limit increase upon return. Since such a funding package is likely to include much-needed emergency aid, it is unclear if President Trump’s previous threat to veto a funding package that does not include border wall funds will stand.
Meanwhile, Senate appropriators will resume markups Wednesday, including Labor-HHS-Ed and State-Foreign Operations subcommittee markups. The full appropriations committee will markup both bills the following day.
PATIENT GROUPS, RESEARCH COMMUNITY URGE SENATE LEADERS TO OPPOSE RESTRICTIONS ON FETAL TISSUE RESEARCH
AAU joined more than 60 organizations in a letter yesterday to Senate leaders asking they oppose prohibitions or restrictions that would further impede federal funding for fetal tissue or embryonic stem cell research. The organizational letter stresses that further impediment could result in the severe obstruction of necessary biomedical research that seeks chronic and incurable disease treatments. The letter notes that in addition to rigorous oversight, decades of thoughtful deliberation has provided an ethical and policy framework to this research and reflects sound public policy.
HIGHER EDUCATION ASSOCIATIONS SUBMIT NET NEUTRALITY REPLY COMMENTS
On Wednesday, AAU joined several other associations in reply comments to oppose efforts to rescind current network neutrality rules. The letter emphasizes that preserving an open Internet is essential for research, education, the free flow of information, and other public interests served by universities and libraries. The letter also notes that many commenters share our concerns about the potential consequences of rescinding net neutrality rules. These reply comments restate and reinforce network neutrality comments the associations filed in July 2017, as well as previous association statements filed in 2014.
PRESIDENT TRUMP NOMINATES USPTO DIRECTOR
The White House announced last Friday its intention to nominate Andrei Iancu to be director of the US Patent and Trademark Office. Iancu is managing partner of Irell & Manella LLP, a Los Angeles based law firm that focuses primarily on intellectual property law. lancu previously taught patent law at the University of California, Los Angeles. This nomination requires congressional confirmation.