Earlier today the Biden Administration released a high-level overview of their discretionary budget request for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22). Nicknamed a “skinny budget,” due to the fact that it only contains topline numbers for key departments and agencies and does not have many details on specific program requests, it does provide a look into the priorities of the new Administration. And from what we see in this request, research agencies across the federal government will do quite well under the Biden Administration’s plan.
CRA Government Affairs
Posts categorized under: Research
Late last month, the Chairwoman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), joined by the Committee’s Ranking Member, Frank Lucas (R-OK), as well as the Research and Technology Subcommittee Chairwoman and Ranking Member, Haley Stevens (D-MI) and Michael Waltz (R-FL), introduced the H.R. 2225, “The National Science Foundation for the Future Act.” This legislation, which is a reauthorization of the agency, lays out their vision of the Foundation’s future, and it’s fairly audacious.
Last Wednesday, President Biden unveiled the first details of his administration’s infrastructure investment plan. Named “the American Jobs Plan,” it is a proposal to invest $2 trillion over a decade in American infrastructure, “that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China.” In a show of trust in the country’s research community, investments in scientific research and infrastructure are featured in the plan.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021; the $1.9 trillion bill that is meant to provide additional relief to the country to address the impacts of the ongoing COVID pandemic. As the Senate approved the measure on Saturday, the bill now heads to President Biden for signing into law.
In a piece written by Jeffrey Mervis at Science, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are expected to receive emergency funding as part of the COVID relief bill that is moving through Congress. Specifically, NSF would receive $650 million and NIST $150 million in a one-time budget allocations from the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Both agencies would be required to use the funds to help the nation, and specifically the science research community, recover from the impacts of the pandemic, as per the terms of the overall relief package. According to Mervis, the money for NSF is, “likely to be spent on more research on pandemic-related topics, as well as more support for educating the next generation of scientists and engineers,” while, “the funds for NIST…are expected to bolster its network of manufacturing research institutes.” While a far cry from the $26 billion that the higher education community is seeking in emergency relief, this money will be much needed help for the country’s research community. We’ll be watching the relief package as it makes its way through Congress; the expectation is that the bill will come up for a final vote some time in early-to-mid March. Please keep checking back for updates.
The “Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act” was reintroduced in both the House and Senate. The RISE Act authorizes nearly $25 billion in relief for research workforce and institutions at American institutes of higher education.
UPDATE (12/28/20): After threatening a veto, and risking a government shutdown, Trump signed the budget into law Sunday night. Fiscal Year 2021 is complete. Original Post: When last we left the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget process, we were waiting for Congress to get the final bill across the finish line. It took them two […]
Last week the long awaited conferenced National Defense Authorization Act (or NDAA; the defense policy bill) was publicly released. Regular readers will recall that earlier in the year that the House Science Committee’s National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act (HR 6216) was included in the House version of the NDAA. At that time, there was no equivalent in the Senate NDAA and it was unclear if it would survive the conference negotiations. Fortunately, the AI Initiative Act was included in the conference agreement released last week.
November 3rd has passed, but the 2020 Presidential Election is ongoing. While there are quite a lot of unknowns, not least of which is who was elected President, there are some things that we know right now. Additionally, we can point to some key races that are still undecided. What does this mean for federally supported research here in Washington? Let’s get into the details.
The Trump Administration continues to issue regulatory rule changes that impact the US higher education and research communities. Regular readers of the Policy Blog will recall that earlier this year the Administration issued multiple proclamations and other policy changes, with regard to legal immigration that impacted the US research community in some way. While the Administration backed off in some of these instances, they never did so completely; in fact, the rhetoric and desire to make lasting changes to the American immigration system remained.