Federal Relations

December 1, 2010

Second Temporary Spending Measure Likely (Updated)

**12/3 Update: Congress has approved a CR (referenced below) that will last through 12/18, allowing lawmakers additional time to attempt an omnibus spending bill that would closeout the FY11 appropriations process.** The House of Representatives is close to a vote on a second continuing resolution (CR) that would continue the level funding of government operations through December

November 30, 2010

US Senate to Vote on Earmark Ban

The Senate postponed until this morning a vote on a measure that would ban all earmarks for the next three years. The chamber will vote on an amendment to food safety legislation proposed by Senator Coburn (R-OK) that would create a Senate rule effectively prohibiting the chamber from considering any measure containing earmarks.  Coburn’s amendment

November 24, 2010

First Week of Lame Duck Session Answers Little

Members of Congress returned to DC last week for a lame-duck session intended to address pressing issues, namely the need to finish the fiscal year 2011 appropriations process as well as to extend various tax cut provisions that expire at the end of the calendar year. Members spent the first week of the session largely

November 23, 2010

Leadership announced for 112th Congress

Congress completed their leadership elections last week, which will take effect in January at the beginning of the 112th Congress. In the House Speaker of the House: John Boehner (R-OH) Majority Leader: Eric Cantor (R-VA) Minority Leader: Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Majority Whip: Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) Minority Whip: Steny Hoyer (D-MD) In the Senate (no changes

November 4, 2010

Post-Election Legislative Agenda Uncertain

The mid-term congressional elections that took place on Tuesday, resulting in a Republican House majority and diminished Democratic Senate majority, will have a significant impact on issues of concern to the higher education community (FY11 appropriations, DREAM Act, COMPETES Act, tax policy) that were previously slated for consideration during the coming “lame-duck” session. The current

October 20, 2010

Letter to Congress Asks for Increased Spending for NIH

The Ad-Hoc Group for Medical Research, in collaboration with the Association of American Universities (AAU) drafted a letter to congress, urging them to provide NIH with the proposed $1 billion dollar increase in the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill. The increase was proposed by the administration and supported by both the House and Senate Labor-HHS-Ed subcommittees. The

September 22, 2010

DREAM Act Future Uncertain

The DREAM Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants who attend college or the military and was rolled into the Senate’s defense authorization bill, failed to pass a crucial vote yesterday.  Requiring 60 votes to pass, the motion failed by a vote of 56 to 43.   Because the motion did not pass,

August 25, 2010

Judge: Federal Government Cannot Fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research

On Tuesday, Federal District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth issued a preliminary injunction which prohibits the federal government from funding any and all human embryonic stem cell research citing a pending lawsuit that contends that embryonic stem cell research violates the so called Dickey-Wicker provision. The Dickey-Wicker provision bars funding for “research in which a

August 5, 2010

Murray Amendment Advances Crucial State Funding

The Senate today passed a crucial amendment that will help states avoid education job losses, and provides desperately needed Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) payments to states . The FMAP/Teacher Jobs Bill passed the senate on a vote of 61-39 and will now be sent to the House where most expect it to pass and then sent to

July 26, 2010

COMPETES Act Heading for the Senate Floor

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has approved — with bi-partisan support — its portion of the America COMPETES Act (S. 3605). The bill provides for three-year authorizations for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). An authorization for the Department of Energy Office of Science is

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