Federal Relations

February 3, 2012

White House Unveils Draft ‘College Scorecard’

The White House is seeking input from colleges and consumers about a draft “College Scorecard” that would provide prospective students with information about a college’s cost, graduation rate, average debt burden, loan-repayment rate, and job-placement rate. The scorecard, which President Obama announced in a speech at the University of Michigan last week, is designed to…


February 2, 2012

Effort Begins to Repeal Sequester

Senate Republicans are posed today to initiate an effort to block automatic budget cuts scheduled to take place next January.  They will propose replacing the first year of the spending “sequester” with a plan to shrink federal employment and extend a pay freeze on government workers.  The effort is an attempt to stave off what…


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…


February 1, 2012

Surface Transportation Reauthorization

House Republicans released the text of their much-anticipated $260 billion, four-and-a-half-year surface transportation reauthorization bill last night.  You can read the text of the bill here (PDF).  Legislation action on the draft bill begins in earnest today as the House Natural Resources Committee marks up the bill’s energy title.  That markup, starting at 10 am…


January 31, 2012

Budget Season Begins

President Obama will delay the release of his FY13 budget request by a week, until February 13th, but lawmakers will still get a start on budget season today when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) releases its annual budget and economic outlook. This report will certainly re-energize the debate around the issue of the automatic spending…


January 27, 2012

Obama proposes Race to the Top for College Affordability

Details are beginning to emerge on Obama’s proposal to make college affordable.  He spoke to this during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, and again today at an event at the University of Michigan.  US Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan has also been talking about this issue since late last year, and…


NIH Issues Guidance on Salary Cap

On January 20th, NIH issued a guidance notice related to the salary cap enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (P.L. 112-74).  Division F, Section 203, of the appropriations law reduced the salary cap on NIH, AHRQ, and SAMHSA extramural awards from Executive Level I ($199,700) to Executive Level II ($179,700). Read more…


January 24, 2012

FY13 Budget Outlook

President Obama will release his FY13 budget on February 13th this year, one week late. Under the law, the budget is to be released on the first Monday in February but yesterday the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced that they would be releasing the budget late. The Obama administration also delayed the release…


January 18, 2012

DOE Reports on Tidal & Wave Energy

The Department of Energy today released two reports assessing US ocean wave and tidal energy resources along the US Coasts. DOE reports that the two assessments, combined with ongoing analyses of technologies and other resource assessments, show that water power, including conventional hydropower, and wave, tidal, and other water power resources, can potentially provide 15…


December 19, 2011

FINAL FY12 Appropriations

Avoiding yet another threat of government shutdown, the Senate on Saturday approved the FY12 conference report after the House adopting it Friday.   The final package completes the work on the FY12 appropriations bills.  It includes the text of the underlying Military Construction-VA bill and eight other spending measures: Defense, Energy-Water, Financial Services, Homeland Security, Interior-Environment,…


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