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Washington Update: Continuing Resolution; Feed the Future; Net Neutrality and More

Before adjourning for a recess that will extend until after Election Day, both chambers of Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) funding the government through December 11, 2014.

The House and Senate also both introduced bipartisan legislation to authorize Feed the Future. Additionally, APLU along with five other organizations offered comments in response to OSTP’s request for information on the Strategy for American Innovation; and APLU joined in submitting comments on net neutrality.

Continuing Resolution Passes Both Chambers; Congress Adjourns Until November 12

The House of Representatives passed H.J.Res.124, a continuing resolution to fund the federal government once the current fiscal year ends on September 30. The Senate also approved the CR and President Obama will sign the measure.

The CR will fund the federal government through December 11, 2014 at the current annual cap rate of $1.012 trillion, and includes an across-the-board cut of 0.0554 percent from FY14 levels.

As of now, both the House and Senate are adjourned until November 12.

Legislation to Authorize “Feed the Future” Introduced in House and Senate

Bipartisan legislation was introduced in the House and Senate to authorize the Obama administration’s global food security initiative, Feed the Future. The leads on the House legislation are Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Betty McCollum (D-MN). In the Senate, Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) was joined by Senators Mike Johanns (R-NE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and John Boozman (R-AR).

As advocated by APLU, both bills contain language on the contributions of U.S. universities and research to international development. The Senate bill also contains language on partnerships between U.S. universities and developing nation universities to build capacity in agriculture, which APLU also recommended. While the sponsors would like to see action on the legislation this year, it is more likely the bills will need to be reintroduced next Congress.

APLU Joins Five Other Higher Education Associations in Preparing Comments to Respond to OSTP Request for Information on Strategy for American Innovation.

On July 29, 2014, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Economic Council (NEC) published in the Federal Register a request for information (RFI) for public comments to provide input to update the Strategy for American Innovation. APLU along with the Association of American Universities (AAU), the American Council on Education (ACE), the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) prepared comments to submit in response to the RFI. Those comments are still being finalized and will be shared soon.

If your institution is interested in offering comments, we encourage you to reference and express support for our submission. All comments are due by Tuesday, September 23. If you have further questions, please contact Jim Woodell. In April 2011, APLU submitted joint comments with the above associations when the Administration updated the 2009 Strategy for American Innovation. To read a copy of our 2011 submission, click here.

Comments to the FCC on Net Neutrality

APLU joined 11 other higher education and library groups in sending comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the matter of Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet. These comments follow initial comments APLU and the same library and higher education associations had submitted to the FCC in July 2014 that suggested ways to strengthen the FCC rules to ensure an open Internet for the higher education community. The September 15 comments further clarify the concepts discussed in the initial comments and outline specific steps the FCC must take to develop a fair and open internet.

These comments are also based on a set of Net Neutrality Principles previously released by APLU and the same group. The principles are aimed at preserving an open Internet and ensuring equitable access. Please contact Jim Woodell (jwoodell@aplu.org) with comments or questions on the comments submitted to the FCC.

  • Council on Governmental Affairs

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