Federal Relations

Environmental Research & Sustainability


March 29, 2017

New Executive Order Signed Aimed at Rolling Back Obama-era Environmental Policies

At the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order designed to roll back many of the Obama-era environmental policies aimed at curbing climate change. Among the provisions of the new order are those instructing the agency to consider repealing the Clean Power Plan and asking the EPA to also consider repealing…


March 16, 2017

America First Budget Released

The Trump Administration released its first budget, called the American First Budget this morning. Coming in at 62 pages total, the “America First” budget blueprint is what is known as a “skinny budget” is somewhat scant on details. The budget’s main theme is doing more with less by eliminating “nonfunctioning” or duplicative programs and wasteful spending; streamlining federal…


February 28, 2017

Ross Confirmed as Commerce Secretary

By a vote of 72 to 27, Wilbur Ross was confirmed by the Senate Monday to become the next Secretary of Commerce.


February 17, 2017

Pruitt Confirmed as Head of EPA

By a vote of 52 to 46, the Senate approved on Friday Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.


February 2, 2017

More Nominations Move Forward

The Senate continues to make progress on more Trump Cabinet nominees. Both the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Budget committees voted to move forward the nomination of Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) to head the Office of Management and Budget on party-line votes. In the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the majority used…


January 26, 2017

Federal Grant Update

Some initial actions and comments from the incoming Trump Administration have prompted questions and concerns from faculty, researchers, and the media, regarding federal research. Particularly, questions have pertained to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants. Here is what we know: It is not uncommon for incoming administrations to issue a hold on grants at the beginning of their tenure. The current…


January 19, 2017

Trump Transition Previews Budget

Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of Friday’s presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy. The proposal takes directly from the Heritage Foundation’s FY 2017 budget blueprint and the Republican Study Committee’s (RSC) FY 2017 Budget Proposal. While the annual President’s…


January 5, 2017

Domestic Policy Council, Staff Announcements

Trump has announced his Domestic Policy Team. Andrew Bremberg, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council — Andrew Bremberg worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2001 to 2009, including serving as the Chief of Staff for the Office of Public Health and Science. He later served as Policy Advisor and Counsel…


December 16, 2016

COMPETES Reauthorization Heads to President for Signature

Just moments ago, the House of Representatives passed the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (S.3084). It was passed under suspension of the rules, during a pro forma session.  The measure passed the Senate on June 22, 2016 by unanimous consent. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, the bill authorizes $7.5 billion for NSF, which is the…


December 7, 2016

Trump Picks Pruitt for EPA

President-elect Donald Trump has picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a frequent critic of the Obama Administration, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt, 48, has emerged as a hero to conservative activists. He is one of a number of Republican attorneys general who have formed an alliance with some of the nation’s top energy…



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