Federal Relations

This Week in Congress

The Senate is in recess through this week. The House returns from recess on Wednesday. The House Rules Committee is expected to clear the way for floor consideration of three appropriations bills to be taken up over the next couple of weeks: MilCon/VA, Energy and Water, and Homeland Security. These may very well be the

Circular A-21

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced its intent to issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Guidance (ANPG) on Circular A-21, the government publication which governs cost recovery associated with grant-making. This is a follow-on effort to the White House’s interagency Circular A-21 Task Force.  The ANPG will seek comments on initial reform proposals OMB

Sequestration: What it means for Federal Research Funding

Automatic spending cuts, or sequestration, was established through the Budget Control Act passed by Congress last August and is set to go into effect January 2013.  The sequestration process has great implications for all federal discretionary programs, including most – if not all – of federally funded research programs. Below is a link to a

CR Agreement Finalized

Late yesterday, Congressional leaders agreed to a deal that will avert a government shutdown as the end of the federal fiscal year looms.  The Senate approved a week-long continuing resolution (CR) that will run through October 4th, which is expected to be approved by the House – through a pro forma session – sometime on

President Obama Announces New Push for Education Reform

President Obama today announced that it was time to commit to tackling education reform and that he would allow states to apply for waivers that will give them flexibility from mandates under the ‘No Child Left Behind’ law that many officials agree is outdated and no longer effective. The President stated that many states and

Early Details of Obama’s Jobs Package Released Ahead of Tomorrow’s Speech

In light of a stalled and bleak economic recovery, President Obama is set to annouce an aggressive “Jobs” proposal in a speech before Congress tomorrow evening. While officially unconfirmed by the White House, the package apparently contains approximately $300 billion worth of tax credits, school renovation projects, job training for the unemployed, and a program

Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction: Timeline & Deadlines

Timeline August 16, 2011:  members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to be appointed. September 16, 2011:  Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction must hold its first meeting.   September 22, 2011:  Congress must consider a resolution of disapproval for first tranche ($900 billion) of debt limit increase.   October 1-December 31, 2011:  the House

NSF Launches New Innovation Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) on July 28 launched a new program to help develop basic scientific and engineering discoveries into new technologies, products, and processes.  The NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program is a public-private partnership among the NSF, Kauffman Foundation, and Deshpande Foundation.  The goal of the program, according to the NSF press release,

Senate Holds Hearing on Department of Ed FY12 Budget

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies held a hearing yesterday on the Department of Education’s FY12 budget. Secretary Duncan was the witness. In his opening remarks, Duncan expressed concern that America has gone from being a world leader in education to now being “middle of the pack”.  He

Competing Debt Proposals Released

The Senate Majority Leader has released draft legislation last night that would raise the debt ceiling through 2012 while trimming the deficit by $2.7 trillion over 10 years.  The package would boost the debt limit by $2.4 trillion immediately, would not include any new revenues (taxes), and would not affect Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security

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