The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has published an updated guidance on the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for federal agency and department heads. This guidance is an update of the initial OMB guidance issued on the ARRA on February 18.
Before the commencement of the April District Work Period, Congress gave final approval to Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. The bipartisan legislation reauthorizes the Corporation for National and Community Service for the first time since its inception in 2003 and significantly expands national service opportunities. See below for an overview of the legislation. President Obama has applauded the development, and is expected to sign the bill any day now.
Reauthorizes and Expands the Mission of the Corporation for National and Community Service, by: (more…)
The University of Washington, along with over 200 institutions from around the United States, has endorsed an Association for Public and Land-grant Universities’ (APLU) letter to President Barack Obama that commends the Administration’s pledge to provide increased federal resources for research and education in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The APLU letter describes STEM investments as “critical to maintaining the nation’s global edge in technology and innovation.”
The University of Washington has submitted fiscal year 2010 appropriations requests to the state of Washington’s congressional delegation. The requests are part of a strategic federal agenda designed to advance UW specific projects, as well as to bolster agency program accounts that the University draws from on a competitive basis.
Members of Congress receive appropriations requests from many of their constituents and must then decide which projects to advance in the process. Projects selected by individual Members of Congress are then forwarded on to one of twelve appropriations subcommittees. Member of the House of Representatives were required to post their FY10 appropriations requests on their websites by April 3rd. UW FY10 projects selected by state of Washington House members are listed below. At this stage, the selection of projects is by no means a guarantee of funding. Rather, the advancement of projects by Members to the subcommittees is an important step in securing requested funding. The FY10 appropriations process will likely unfold over the course of the summer and fall.
Projects requested for the University of Washington by House Members: (more…)
On April 1st, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a notice in the Federal Register (74FR14824) requesting comments on the standard data elements that it proposes to require for reporting under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for grants, cooperative agreements, and loans. The deadline for comments is May 1, 2009.
As previously mentioned on this site, recipients of funding provided by federal agencies through ARRA will be required to report back to their respective agencies every three months about their project or activity, particularly how many jobs it has created or sustained.
Congress will be in its Spring District Work Period (recess) from April 6-17. The UW Director of Federal Relations and Assistant Director of Federal Relations will be on campus for meetings April 13-17.
On Thursday April 2nd, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Patent Reform Act of 2009 (S. 515) by 15-4 vote after an agreement was reach on how to award damages in infringement cases. The bill establishes judges as the mechanism for deciding hwat evidence can be presented to juries in determining how to award damages. Additionally, the compromise addresses post-grant review of patents, in-equitable conduct by patent applicants and venue rules for patent infringement cases. The committee rejected an amendment offered by Senator Jon Jyl (R-AZ) to raise the threshold for patents to be challenged in a post-grant review process. According to Senator Dianne Feinsten (D-CA), the legislation “heals” the rift between large technology corporations and universities, manufacturers, and smaller technology companies. The actiontaken by the Senate Judiciary Committee has been endorsed by several national higher education association. Further work on the legislation in both chambers of Congress is required.
A full copy of the Senate Judiciary Committee legislation is available here.
Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS) appeared before the Senate Finance Committee for her confirmation hearing to head the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Thursday April 2nd. Gov. Sebelius’ confirmation hearing centered around the impending push to overhaul of the nation’s health care system. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and other legislators are already drafting legislation. Ideological differences emerged during the hearing when the idea surfaced of creating a government-run health insurance plan that would operate alongside private plan options. Republican members of the panel expressed deep reservations about a government health care program.
Governor Sebelius’ nomination to head HHS has drawn bipartisan support and is expected to pass after the two-week Congressional recess that starts today. Senator Baucus sought to finalize her nomination before the recess, but the attempt at an expedited unanimous consent vote was blocked by an unnamed senator for an undisclosed reason.
On Thursday April 2nd, the House of Representative and Senate approved the FY2010 Budget Resolution, which sets-up a conference session to iron out differences in the legislation between the two chambers. A budget resolutuion serves as a blueprint for Congress in putting together an actual budget. Over the past few weeks, House and Senate Budget Committees held hearings on the budget, which involved Administration offices. While the budget resolution does not require the President’s signature, it does support his goals of a health care overhaul, energy independence, boosting education, and reducing the deficit over the next 5-10 years.
The Senate adopted the legislation late in the night after working through over 100 proposed amendments, most of which were turned away. One amendment of particular note, proposed by Senator John McCain would have dramatically reduced domestic discretionary spending with the goal of providing greater deficit reduction, failed on a 38-60 vote. Other amendments proposed reducing spending in areas that received funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. However, all such amendments were defeated handily.
The House and Senate are expected to reach a conference agreement on the budget resolution after the two-week spring congressional recess that starts today. The FY2010 budget process will likely play out over the course of the next five months. President Obama’s official budget request is now expected in early May, and consideration by the various appropriations committees and subcommittees is expected to last into the fall.
On April 1st, President Obama nominated Martha Kanter to serve as Under Secretary of Education -the nation’s top post-secondary education post. If confirmed, Dr. Kanter would be the first community college official to serve at or above the number 3 slot in the Department of Education.
Excerpt from Biography
Martha J. Kanter is chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, one of the most prominent community college districts in the nation, serving more than 44,000 students with a total budget of approximately $400 million. She came to California in 1977 after serving as an alternative high school teacher at Lexington High School, the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns and later at The Searing School in New York City. In California, she established the first program for students with learning disabilities at San Jose City College. She then served as a director, dean and subsequently as vice chancellor for policy and research for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office in Sacramento. She then returned to San Jose City College as vice president of instruction and student services. In 1993 she was named president of De Anza College, where she served until becoming chancellor in 2003.
The full biography is available here.