Tag Archive: Policy and Government Affairs

Articles relevant to Government Affairs.

Printable Robots and Soft Robots Wow Attendees at the 2014 CNSF Exhibition

On Wednesday, May 7, the Coalition for National Science Funding (or CNSF) held their yearly Exhibition on Capitol Hill. The exhibition, probably best described as a science fair with some really smart people, is a showcase of research and education projects supported by the National Science Foundation. It gives a great venue to show members of Congress and Congressional staff what the American people have funded.

House Sends Mixed Messages on Bolstering U.S. Research Investment

On May 29, the U.S. House of Representatives was on the verge of approving new funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) that would increase the agency’s budget more than 3 percent in FY 2015, while at the same time the House Science, Space and Technology Committee approved legislation the day before that would authorize smaller increases and place new restrictions and scrutiny on science funding at the same agency.

Congress Ends 2013 with Budget Agreement

Before Congress wrapped up its work for 2013 and headed home for the December holidays, House and Senate lawmakers reached an agreement on FY 2014 and FY 2015 budget numbers that would avert sequester levels by providing about $63 billion of cap relief over both years. The agreement, brokered by House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), provides sequester relief that includes an additional $22 billion for non-defense discretionary spending in FY 2014 and $19 billion in FY 2015, meaning that appropriators will have some added room to provide funding for federal science agencies like the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Standards and Technology and Department of Energy, should they choose to.

Computing Researchers Get ‘Schooled’ on Science Policy at LiSPI 2013

As part of its mission to develop a next generation of leaders in the computing research community, the Computing Research Association’s Computing Community Consortium recently held its second Leadership in Science Policy Institute (LiSPI). This one and a half-day workshop was intended to educate a cadre of computing researchers on how science policy in the U.S. is formulated and how our government works. Participants heard candid and “off the record” views from people who do it or have done it. Fifty-three computer scientists and engineers from forty-eight different universities and research organizations attended the April 11-12th workshop.

IT Research Hearing Focuses on Security, Education

On February 14, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Research held a hearing on Applications for Information Technology Research and Development. CCC Chair and former CRA Board Chair Ed Lazowska, CRA-W Chair and current CRA Board Member Kathryn McKinley, representing Microsoft, and Kelly Gaither of the University of Texas at Austin testified on behalf of the computing community and articulated the importance of federal funding for computing research.

Fiscal Cliff Deal Isn’t a Deal for Science

With the early morning January 1st deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” reached in the Senate — a deal that the House would ultimately approve — the 24-hour news networks turned off their fiscal cliff countdown clocks and turned instead to analyzing “what it all means.” Those discussions invariably focused on the tax implications of the deal — the extension of most of the Bush-era tax cuts. What was largely glossed over in the aftermath was the deal’s impact on federal spending and whether Congress had solved the problem of the looming sequester that threatened to cut up to 10 percent from nearly every discretionary spending account in the budget. The fact was, Congress had not solved the problem, it had merely elected to kick the problem down the road a bit farther out of sight.

Election Impacts

Washington remains configured for political gridlock after Tuesday’s elections, a fact which seems to portend two more years like the last two. But party leaders on both sides have indicated a willingness to work together in the new Congress, perhaps softening the hard line that built the so-called “fiscal cliff” towards which the country now hurtles. That willingness to compromise will be put to the test even before the new Congress is sworn in, as the lame duck session of the current Congress has two important deadlines looming before they can adjourn.

2013 Leadership in Science Policy Institute Accepting Nominations

As part of its mission to develop a next generation of leaders in the computing research community, the CRA’s Computing Community Consortium (CCC) announces the second offering of the CCC Leadership in Science Policy Institute (LiSPI), intended to educate computing researchers on how science policy in the U.S. is formulated and how our government works. We are currently seeking nominations for participants.

With Elections Pending, Big Question on Science Budgets Remain

With both parties having wrapped up their presidential nominating conventions, Congress returns to Washington with much of the Federal budget process unfinished. The congressional leadership has already conceded that they will not finish FY 2013 appropriations before the end of this session, leaving the 12 unfinished annual appropriations bills for the next Congress to resolve. Congress also remains unresolved about what to do with pending across-the-board cuts to federal agencies and programs that are scheduled for January, 2, 2013. Those cuts, called for in the Budget Control Act of 2011 and triggered because Congress failed to agree on a plan to cut the Federal budget deficit, will happen unless Congress agrees to do something to stop them.

Despite Austere Budget, Science Would See Increases in President’s Plan

In his last annual budget request before facing voters this November, President Obama showed his commitment to debt reduction by calling for cuts across almost all Federal agencies. But amidst the cuts, the President’s budget contains some key investments in research and development, including increased investments in computing research, that demonstrate his belief that Federally supported research can help spark the innovation required to keep the Nation placed at the top of an increasingly competitive world.