Programs: Science and Policy
THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS
Find sequestration resources on our new webpage!
Senate Democrats Outline Tax Policy Strategy. Last week Politico reported Senate Democrats are intent on rolling back multiple tax “loopholes” – also known as tax expenditures – used by corporations and wealthy Americans as part of the ongoing budget talks. According to the Tax Policy Center, tax expenditures typically reduce federal revenues by $1 trillion or so per year.
White House Releases Shutdown Impact Report. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) report provides a summary of impacts from the two-week shutdown across government, including science agencies like the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
GAO Assesses Defense Adjustments to Sequestration. In a new report issued last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined how the Department of Defense (DOD) coped with the required $37 billion in cuts under sequestration in FY 2013. There was limited detail on DOD R&D which, according to GAO, was subject to cuts of roughly $6.1 billion. While DOD could allocate some cuts to unused balances from prior years, such a step was generally not taken in the R&D accounts, and as a result some projects were reduced or delayed.
NSF: States Increased R&D Expenditures in 2011. According to a recent release from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, state R&D agencies increased their expenditures by 11.3 percent between FY 2010 and FY 2011. The increase was seen in both intramural and extramural R&D.
Update on America COMPETES Act. Last week the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing regarding the reauthorization of The America COMPETES Act. As noted before, the original version of the bill authorized in 2007 and again in 2010 sets a doubling-track for funding of NSF, DOE Office of Science, and NIST. The first witness at the hearing was Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), one of the original champions of the COMPETES bill, who challenged Congress to “finish the job.”
Meanwhile, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold a second hearing on November 13 to discuss one of two bills that will together address the scope of the America COMPETES legislation. This hearing will focus on a discussion draft of the “Frontier in Innovation Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act” that addresses a range of policy issues regarding NSF, OSTP, and NIST, but does not yet include funding levels for those agencies. According to an article in ScienceInsider, the committee staff are awaiting the final FY 2014 spending levels from the congressional budget conference. In addition, the article reports on a number of provisions that some research advocates consider worrisome, such as language requiring researchers to certify that published results are “based on an accurate and truthful representation of the research results.”
Controversy Over Farm Bill AFRI Matching-Funds Language. On November 5, the Association of American Universities (AAU) sent a letter to the House and Senate Farm Bill conferees regarding language that would exempt a matching fund requirement for some universities that receive funding from the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). The language in the current version of the Farm Bill (H.R. 2642) would exempt some public institutions, but not all. AAU urged Farm Bill conferees to revise the language (see Section 7128), and noted that for “AFRI to remain a truly competitive program that supports the highest quality research, it is important to maintain equal and nondiscriminatory eligibility requirements for all university grant applicants.”
AAAS and others send an intersociety letter supporting SBE research to Chairman Smith.
The September edition of Science and Technology in Congress is available here.
AAAS responds to UNESCO's request for comments on the draft document, "Preliminary Study on the Technical and Legal Aspects Relating to the Desirability of Revising the 1974 Recommendation on the Status of Scientific Researchers."
Recovering from Stroke, the State of the Science. May 22: Slides are available here.
AAAS sent a letter to Representative Lofgren in support of the Science Laureates of the United States Act of 2013.
AAAS submits public comments on institutional oversight of life sciences dual use research of concern.
February 2013 STC newsletter is available now! If only
AAAS sends letter to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to share our thoughts about federal travel and meeting policies.
AAAS sent a petition with about 16,000 signatures, urging the White House and Congress to avoid devastating cuts to R&D.
AAAS sent a collection of messages from scientists around the country, telling Congress about the importance of their federally funded research. Check out what they said, and have your say, too! http://membercentral.aaas.org/sequestration/voices/videos.
AAAS affirms the importance of research to better understand and curb gun violence in a letter to Reps. Maloney and Markey. Read the press release and letter here.
AAAS thanks President Obama for supporting research on gun violence. See the letter here.
View the video from our recent panel on the Arctic as an Emerging Market.
An updated legislation tracker is available now!
AAAS and over one hundred other scientific societies send a letter to the White House and Congress, urging them to avoid the sequestration.
November 2012 issue of Science and Technology in Congress now available!
Find sequestration resources on our new webpage!
View the video from our recent Food-Energy-Water Nexus panel, featuring Nicole T. Carter, Melissa D. Ho, Cathleen Enright, and hosted by Richard Harris.
View the video from our recent Biosecurity Panel, featuring CDR Chris Bidwell, Randall Murch, Kristin Omberg, and hosted by David Kestenbaum.
Impacts of Sequestration on Science Budgets. Read the new brief from the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program here.
Translational Science: From Research to Practice, a public breakfast briefing on Tuesday, July 31. View the presentation here.
Mental Health in Early Adulthood: A Public Luncheon Briefing: Check out Dr. Abigail Baird's presentation.
AAAS and Affiliates Send Letter to Congress Regarding GSA Travel Restrictions
AAAS Sends Letter to Congress Regarding Funding of NSF Political Science Research
AAAS Launches Election 2012 Site
AAAS Participates in Climate Science Day
AAAS Issues Statement on Research Works Act
AAAS Comments on Public Access