Federal Relations

May 20, 2015

COMPETES Passes the House

After an interesting debate, the House narrowly passed HR 1806 – the America COMPETES Reauthorization of 2016 but a vote of 217-205. The bill was largely along party line vote with all Democrats and 23 Republicans voting against the measure. Earlier this week, the White House issued a veto threat. As previously discussed, the bill authorizes science

OMB Letter of Concern to House Appropriators about FY16 CJS

As this process gets ever more interesting, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Sean Donovan sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee’s Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) about the draft FY16 CJS Appropriations bill. The letter expressed strong concern on the funding levels for science and innovation due

May 19, 2015

FY16 House DOD and Senate E&W Appropriations Bills Released

House and Senate appropriators are in full swing working on the FY16 appropriations measures. House Appropriators released of a FY16 Defense appropriations measure that totals $578.6 billion. The bill, which the Subcommittee on Defense will mark up Wednesday, includes $88.4 billion for so-called Overseas Contingency Operations account. In total, the bill provides $578.6 billion in discretionary funding,

COMPETES on the House Floor Wednesday

The House is set to consider HR 1806 – the America COMPETES Reauthorization Bill of 2015 on Wednesday. The rule allows for the consideration of two other bills,  HR 2353 – Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015 and HR 2250 – Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2016. Out of the 45 amendments filed, only 12 amendments were made in order.

May 13, 2015

Mêlée for NDAA

Both the White House and chief Democrat of the the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith (D-WA) have both expressed a lack of support for the FY16 NDAA measure, which is expected to be considered today on the House Floor. The White House issued an Statement of Administrative Policy in which it issued a veto threat.  In part

April 30, 2015

More Books! Initiatives from the White House and Rep. Suzan DelBene

Today, President Barack Obama announced that major and independent book publishers are making 10,000 of their most popular titles available for free for low-income students through e-books, and effort estimated to be worth about $250 million. Obama said the devices will play a big part and a gap in access between low-income students and their peers still

April 28, 2015

White House Issues Veto Threat on Two House Apropriations Bills

Today, the White House issued a veto threat on two recently marked up House Appropriations bills.  HR 2028 — Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 and HR 2029 – Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016. The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto the FY16 Energy and

April 23, 2015

DOD Announces Silicon Valley Outpost for Cyber

In a speech at Stanford today, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced a new initiative designed to improve Department of Defense  (DOD) innovation through the creation of a permanent Pentagon presence in Silicon Valley, a move already taken by the Department of Homeland Security.  The Department plans to create the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental in Northern California to serve

March 10, 2015

POTUS Announces Student Aid Bill of Rights

Today, President Barack Obama plans to unveil a “Student Aid Bill of Rights” designed to allow everyone to access and pay for quality higher education at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. An accompanying Presidential Memorandum contains several directives to federal agencies that officials say will make loan repayment easier and more equitable. While details are not fully known,

February 24, 2015

New Plan for Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

For the fourth time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was unable evening to call up a $39.7 billion House-passed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spending bill on Monday evening amid united Democratic opposition to provisions blocking recent executive action on immigration riders. Following the failure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to consider a standalone bill narrowly targeting

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