May brought with it the enactment of a bill seven months in the making — the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 244). While there was not much movement of science-related bills on the chamber floors, members introduced a flurry of new legislation relevant to the ocean science and technology community.
While most eyes last week were on news from the White House – the president’s budget request – Congress was still at work moving bills of its own. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed two bipartisan bills – the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017 (H.R. 2518) and the FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2017 (H.R. 2548).
Science is hard enough, now imagine pipetting in the dark or using a microscope for advanced research that’s better suited for a fourth-grade class. To cover the “indirect” costs of doing federally-funded research, such as paying for laboratory bills, disposing of hazardous waste, and complying with federal regulations, each university and the government determine an overhead rate for research projects. Last week, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing to examine this overhead cost of federally-funded science research at universities.
President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2018 Released — With Deep Cuts To Ocean And Geoscience Programs
As the clock struck 11 on Capitol Hill yesterday morning, thousands of people hit “refresh” on their computers, eagerly waiting for the first glimpse of A New Foundation For American Greatness, the president’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget Request. For those seeking federal investment in areas such as scientific research, education, environmental conservation, infrastructure, public health, law enforcement, and even aspects of national security, they were sorely disappointed.
Robots running the Navy? Not quite. But artificial intelligence and similar technologies are becoming ever more important in improvements to the U.S. military. The Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense met Wednesday to discuss the importance of such research to the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Navy, focusing on innovation and research funding.
Seven months into Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 and Congress (in what has become a too-common pattern) passed a week-long continuing resolution (CR), H.J.Res.99, to keep the federal government open while they scrambled to put the finishing touches on an omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Congress has until midnight on May 5 to approve the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 244), which consists of the 11 unfinished FY 2017 appropriations bills. The omnibus, which was released at 2am Monday morning, provides $1.07 trillion in base spending for FY 2017 ($1.16 trillion including Overseas Contingency Operations funding).
The Trump White House is proposing to cut $18 billion from a variety of domestic programs and foreign aid accounts in ongoing talks on a wrap-up spending package for the ongoing 2017 budget year....
At COL’s annual Public Policy Forum two weeks ago, Representative Don Young (AK-At Large) emphatically proclaimed, “The president doesn’t write the budget … the United States Congress writes the budget! … It’s up to us to spend the money.” While the legislative branch is responsible for drafting and passing the 12 annual appropriations bills that fund the federal government, the president kicks off the process with his release of the president’s budget request. Last Thursday, President Trump did just that, laying out his blueprint for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 in a 53-page “skinny budget” titled, “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.”
It was a busy week on Capitol Hill for President Trump, with news on Monday of bold plans for his Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 presidential budget and three of his least contentious Cabinet nominees advancing in the Senate. According to White House officials, the president’s FY 2018 budget proposal (which is slated to be released in full on March 16) would increase military spending by $54 billion and cut nondefense discretionary programs (those funded by Congress on an annual basis, such as education, scientific research, infrastructure, national parks, and environmental protection) by the same amount, worrying agencies that support these programs, including the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency. While it is not a given that the House and Senate’s appropriation bills align with the president’s budget request, the document serves as a marker for White House priorities and policy initiatives.
Though Valentine’s Day might be right around the corner, love was not in the air between members of the House Committee on Natural Resources during their first organizational meeting, where the committee evaluated and adopted governing rules for the current Congress. With little debate, the majority unanimously rejected all nine proposed Democratic amendments before accepting the new Authorization and Oversight Plan and committee rules.