Federal Relations

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

FY16 Budget Conference Committee Resolution

Late yesterday, House and Senate conferees released SConRes 21 – the Budget Resolution for FY 2016, which is the conference agreement for the FY16 Budget. As a reminder, the Conferenced budget is not law. While it is not signed by the President, the measure does bind the House and Senate on policy and spending directives for


The House Armed Services Committee once again got its annual National Defense Authorization Act over the finish line this morning. Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) gaveled down at 4:39 a.m. after the panel voted 60-2 to approve the bill and 18 hours after the markup started. Over the course of the session, the panel considered roughly seven

April 29, 2015

Senate Judiciary Releases Patent Bill

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee has released their long-awaited version of patent legislation. The House has promoted several bills, namely the Innovation Act,  over the last few years, including this year. The text of the Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship Act (PATENT Act) has yet to be released, but purportedly the measure would simply pleadings,

House Marks up NDAA TODAY

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) is going through its annual ritual of marking up the latest version of the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets defense policy and offers a spending blueprint for appropriators. The marathon markup starts at 10 a.m. and in some years has continued until well past midnight. The

21st Century Cures Draft Provides $10 Billion Increase for NIH

Bipartisan House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders have released a discussion draft marking continued progress in the 21st Century Cures Initiative. The discussion draft is the product of months of bipartisan negotiations and bipartisan staff continues working toward finalized legislation. The biggest and best provision included in the draft provides for an increase in funding

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

House Releases NASA Authorization

The House Science Committee released another two year reauthorization, this time it was for NASA. Chairman Lamar Smith released the NASA Authorization Act for 2016 and 2017 today while also announcing the legislation’s markup for Thursday at 11 am.   The FY2016 and 2017 authorization would make deep cuts to NASA’s earth science program under either of

April 27, 2015

This Week in Congress, April 27 – May 1

It’s another busy week on Capitol Hill. Here are some of the hearings we’re paying attention to this week. TUESDAY, APRIL 28 Senate HELP MEDICAL INNOVATION FOR PATIENTS 10 a.m., 430 Dirksen Bldg. Full Committee Hearing   WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29 Senate Appropriations FISCAL 2016 APPROPRIATIONS: DEFENSE 9 a.m., 192 Dirksen Bldg. Subcommittee Hearing Senate Appropriations

April 24, 2015

What We’re Reading, April 20-24

Here’s a selection of articles the Office of Federal Relations is reading this week. Murray-Ryan 2.0? – Republicans are also feeling the chafe from the Sequester spending caps. That’s the problem with a deal no one wanted in the first place. Read more at Politico.  Serious Flaws – The piece looks at the 10 serious

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