- Budget and Appropriations Update
- Senate Ramps Up Appropriations Process
- House Considers Continuing Resolution Vote
- House SS&T Energy Subcommittee Holds ARPA-E Reauthorization Act Markup
- AAU Endorses Legislation to Increase Investment in USDA Research
- SAA Letter to Appropriators Requests Robust Federal Student Aid Funding
- AAU Launches PhD Initiative with Pilot Class of Eight Universities
- 2019 Golden Goose Award Honors Silly Sounding Science
- Upcoming Events
BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE
Congress has just nine joint legislative days to agree on all 12 FY20 appropriations bills and fund the government by September 30.
Senate appropriators yesterday adopted 302(b) spending levels for all 12 FY20 appropriations measures in a party line vote. Appropriators also unanimously advanced the FY20 Energy and Water appropriations bill. The measure funds Energy Department programs at $48.86 billion, $4.22 billion over FY19 levels. DOE Office of Science is funded at $7.22 billion, $630 million over FY19 levels, and $428 million for ARPA-E, $62 million increase over FY19 enacted levels.
The Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Tuesday advanced the FY20 Defense appropriations bill in a vote along party lines. The measure sets Defense Department funding at $694.9 billion, a $20.5 billion increase over FY19, and includes $104.2 billion for Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation, which is $9.3 billion over FY19 levels. The bill also includes a decrease of $261 million for Science and technology programs to $15.7 billion, and $2.6 billion for 6.1. basic research, an increase of $98.3 million over FY19.
The Senate Appropriations Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Subcommittee Tuesday indefinitely postponed its markup of the FY20 L-HHS-Ed appropriations measure due to partisan disagreement over funds for Title X family planning and the definition of “poison pill” riders. The State-Foreign Operations subcommittee has also postponed markup of its appropriations bill indefinitely.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to next week markup its FY20 Agriculture-FDA, Financial Services, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD appropriations measures. Markups have yet to be scheduled for Commerce-Justice-Science, Homeland-Security, Interior-Environment, and Legislative Branch.
According to Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Senate will package Defense, Energy and Water, L-HHS-Ed, and State-Foreign Ops into a “minibus” to consider on the floor next week.
House leaders plan to next week vote on a continuing resolution which would fund the government at current levels through November 21, allowing Congress more time to agree on FY20 spending levels. Senate leaders, including McConnell, Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD), and Appropriations Committee Chair Richard Shelby (R-AL), have reportedly expressed their support for a continuing resolution.
RESOURCE AVAILABLE: AAU FY20 Funding Priorities Table
HOUSE SS&T ENERGY SUBCOMMITTEE HOLDS ARPA-E REAUTHORIZATION ACT MARKUP
The House Science, Space & Technology Committee’s Energy Subcommittee today advanced H.R. 4091, the “ARPA-E Reauthorization Act,” legislation that would increase ARPA-E’s authorized funding to $1 billion over a five-year period, consistent with the recommendations of the Rising Above the Gathering Storm report . The bill would also expand the mission of the department to include areas such as nuclear waste cleanup and energy infrastructure resiliency. The legislation was reported out favorably despite party disagreement over the bill’s authorized funding levels. Minority members of the Science Committee have advocated for more modest funding increases in a separate bill, H.R. 3915 .
AAU ENDORSES LEGISLATION TO INCREASE INVESTMENTS IN USDA RESEARCH
AAU, along with 80 other organizations, today sent letters to Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and to Senate Agriculture and Appropriations Committee leadership expressing their support for S. 2458, the ”America Grows Act,” legislation that would authorize a five percent annual funding increase over the next five years for USDA research – including AFRI research. “This legislation represents a crucial step in meeting the vital needs of our nation’s producers and consumers while retaining our status as the world leader in agricultural innovation,” the organizations said. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL) is expected to introduce the bill in the House.
SAA LETTER TO SENATE APPROPRIATORS REQUESTS ROBUST FEDERAL STUDENT AID FUNDING
The Student Aid Alliance, of which AAU is a member, Monday sent a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee leadership thanking them for their continued bipartisan support of federal student aid programs and requesting the committee fund federal student aid programs at levels provided in the House-passed FY20 Labor-HHS-Ed. These funding levels, the letter says, would ensure low- and middle-income college students have access to the grant and work-study aid they need to complete their degrees. The letter also says that a “better-educated workforce means a stronger economy with lower unemployment, greater earnings, and less need for social services.”
AAU LAUNCHES PHD INITIATIVE WITH PILOT OF EIGHT UNIVERSITIES
AAU yesterday today announced it has begun to implement a new effort to improve the way universities prepare PhD students for diverse career pathways both within and outside of academia. Phase I of the AAU PhD Education Initiative will consist of work done by a group of eight AAU member campuses . The grant-funded initiative aims to change the culture surrounding doctoral education at AAU member institutions, making graduate education more student-centered, which places greater emphasis and focus on students as individuals with diverse needs and challenges.
2019 GOLDEN GOOSE AWARD HONORS SILLY SOUNDING SCIENCE
The 2019 Golden Goose Award yesterday honored scientists who’s work greatly benefits society despite sounding absurd. The eighth annual awardees include: David Sachar, for his contribution to the development of Oral Rehydration Therapy for treatment of cholera; Jack Levin and posthumously to Frederik Bang, for their work leading to the development of the Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL) Test; and Noel Rose and posthumously to Ernest Witebsky, for their significant contribution to advancing our understanding of autoimmune diseases.
RESOURCE AVAILABLE: Mary Sue’s Desk: Of Geese and Glick
SEPTEMBER 26 – 27 INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH ON INNOVATION & SCIENCE ANNUAL SUMMIT; Ann Arbor, Michigan. More information and registration available here.