Federal Relations

February 17, 2012

FY13 Budget Supports Research, Student Aid

The Obama Administration’s FY13 budget, released on February 13, reflects a continuing commitment to increased federal investments in research and education.  The budget would increase funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF); the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science and ARPA-E; and the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) in the Department of Agriculture,…


Today in Congress

The House and the Senate are expected to vote on legislation that would extend a payroll tax cut through the end of the year.  The legislation also would extend federal unemployment insurance benefits and prevent a cut in Medicare payments to physicians. The Senate holds a test vote on an amendment offered by Majority Leader…


February 15, 2012

Deal on Payroll Tax, Doc Fix, Unemployment

Congressional leaders have reached a tentative deal on a payroll tax cut, extend unemployment benefits, and delay rate cuts to doctors who treat Medicare patients.  Under the proposed plan, a 2-percentage point payroll tax cut would be extended until the end of this calendar year.  The cost of this tax cut would be added to…


February 13, 2012

FY13 President’s Budget Request

The President is scheduled to deliver his FY13 budget request to Congress later this morning, kicking off the annual budget and appropriations season. While the details of the budget have remained under wraps until today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a 2013 “Fact Sheet” on Friday revealing that the budget will include…


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…


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