The President’s FY2014 Budget, released on April 10th, proposed moving STEM funding from across the federal government to NSF as well as reorganizing and eliminating certain STEM programs. Dr. John Holdren, the Director of the Office of Science and Tech Policy (OSTP), testified to the House Science and Technology Committee today about the impacts on Science and Tech in the President’s Budget. His testimony can be found here.
In addition, OSTP has information on the nature of the reorganization including a listing of the specific STEM education programs that will be eliminated/consolidated across federal agencies, as well as the new STEM education programs that the budget proposes.
Below are the 78 programs proposed for consolidation in the 2014 Budget, along with the current agency homes.
Senate negotiators have reached an agreement on a bill to make the most substantive changes to immigration laws in nearly three decades. The “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” would affect visas for high-tech workers, create a new “W-visa” program to attract low-skilled workers, and require businesses to implement new electronic-verification requirements to check the immigration status of their employees.
The bill will also create what is certain to be a controversial pathway to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants to become permanent legal residents a decade after they register with the government. Immigrants would pay a $2,000 fine, pass a background check, have a job, and wait 10 years before applying for a green card. Three years after that, they could apply to become U.S. citizens. Dream Act youth can obtain green cards in five years and citizenship immediately thereafter.
In exchange for the “pathway to citizenship” for many immigrants, conservatives demanded language in the bill that would call for billions of dollars to be spent on tightened security at the U.S.-Mexico border with a goal of apprehending 90 percent of those crossing the border in “high-risk” areas. But the whole process is contingent, at several points over a decade, on the government meeting certain border-security benchmarks.
The Senate resumes its gun control debate this week, beginning today with the most substantive and contentious issue: a bipartisan proposal to require background checks of gun purchasers in commercial and Internet sales. It’s the start of deliberations that could keep that chamber busy until the Memorial Day recess. We also expect to see an immigration reform legislation unveiled this week in the Senate.
The House will consider four minor bills under suspension today, including measures that would bar federal employees and contractors who owe back taxes from being employed or awarded contracts worth more than $150,000. The House will focus on cybersecurity legislation for the remainder of the week.
In addition to floor action, both chambers plan more than 40 congressional hearings this week to review President Obama’s FY14 budget as lawmakers weigh the potential for a grand bargain on deficit reduction (to replace the sequester). The $3.77 billion budget request assumes that sequestration has been turned off, and therefore the FY 2014 top-line spending number does not include cuts required by sequestration. Conveniently, the budget request also makes comparisons with the FY 2012 enacted spending levels, which do not take into account the sequester. The White House was able to do this because technically they have 30 days from the time the final FY13 continuing resolution was passed (March 22nd) to calculate the final spending numbers, including cuts from the sequester. The budget also assumes that Congress will consider increased tax revenue and entitlement reform, both very sticky political subjects.
Incoming Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will be sworn in Friday afternoon during a private ceremony at the Supreme Court. Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will administer the oath of office. Jewell technically takes over as Interior Secretary immediately after this afternoon’s ceremony, but Monday will mark her first full day on the job. Jewell will meet Monday with career employees at the department and she’ll hold a series of “in-depth meetings” on energy development, conservation, Indian Affairs, and youth engagement, according to an Interior official.
The Senate has just voted to confirm Sally Jewell as the next Secretary for the US Department of the Interior. We congratulate Secretary Jewell and look forward to working with her in her new capacity.
President Obama will release his FY14 budget request today. Early reports indicate that the budget will focus on “education and infrastructure” issues, propose new taxes on the wealthy, and reduce the costs of Social Security and Medicare. We will report more details after the release.
Congress reconvenes this week after a two-week recess. Congress will be looking at the President’s Budget Request, and also wrestling with the debt ceiling, which is expected to expire yet again, this time in mid May. Also on the agenda this week (and through the month of April): immigration reform, gun control/safety, and FY14 appropriations.
- The Senate Budget Committee holds a confirmation hearing for Office of Management and Budget Director nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
- The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing on the nomination of Dr. Ernest Moniz to be the Secretary of Energy.
- President Barack Obama releases his FY14 budget request (link will be active upon release of budget).
- The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee holds a confirmation hearing for Office of Management and Budget Director nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
John Slattery, Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Education at the University of Washington, speaks about how federal funding cuts (sequestration) will constrain potential advances in patient care and dampen students’ pursuit of research careers. Watch the video here.
The White House has just announced that President Obama will release his budget on April 10th, nearly two months later than the traditional February release date. The President had been expected to release his budget on April 8th, the same day that Congress returns from its two-week recess period. The White House has said that its two-month delay was in part due to the administration’s focus on sequestration and completing the FY 2013 continuing resolution.