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FY2020 Appropriations and Budget Update
Last week, the House Labor, Health & Human Services, Education (LHHS-ED) Appropriations Subcommittee approved the FY2020 LHHS-ED appropriations bill by voice vote and the full House is expected to pass the bill today. It would provide $189.8 billion in funding, an increase of $11.7 billion over the FY2019 enacted level. The committee report is available here. The House reportedly plans to pass all 12 spending bills by the end of June.

A few highlights in the bill include $41.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), $2 billion above the FY2019-enacted level and $6.9 billion more than the President’s Budget Request (PBR). The bill would set the maximum Pell Grant at $6,345, $150 more than FY2019 level and $150 above the PBR. The Federal Work Study program would receive $1.4 billion, $304 million above the FY2019 funding level and $934 million above the PBR. The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG) would receive $1 billion, an increase of $188 million. The PBR would eliminate the program.

Additionally, Politico obtained a list on Friday sent to House appropriations subcommittee chairs and ranking members outlining FY2020 funding levels for all 12 spending bills. The funding levels are listed below. The full committee approved the topline numbers today.

  • Agriculture-FDA: $24.3 billion
  • Commerce-Justice-Science: $66.4 billion
  • Defense: $622 billion
  • Energy-Water: $46.4 billion
  • Financial Services: $24.6 billion
  • Homeland Security: $49.7 billion
  • Interior-Environment: $37.3 billion
  • Labor-HHS-Education: $189.9 billion
  • Legislative Branch: $3.9 billion, plus another $1 billion for Senate operations
  • Military Construction-VA: $105.2 billion
  • State-Foreign Operations: $48.4 billion
  • Transportation-HUD: $75.8 billion

District Court Blocks Trump Administration’s “Unlawful Presence” Policy
Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the Trump administration’s “unlawful presence” policy. The decision is in response to a lawsuit filed last year by four colleges challenging the policy, which changed the way the federal government calculates visa overstays for international students and visiting scholars on F, J and M visas. APLU, among others, made a financial contribution to help fund the litigation.

Under the administration’s policy, individuals who accrue more than 180 days of “unlawful presence” before departing the United States can be barred from re-entering the country for a period of three or 10 years. Last year, APLU and its partner associations submitted joint comments in response to the initial policy memo announcing the change, which was not made through notice-and-comment rulemaking in compliance with the Administrative Procedures Act.

In her decision, Judge Biggs said the memo would cause irreparable damage for colleges, students, and teachers. The ruling also cites the lack of proper rulemaking procedure. In issuing the injunction, Judge Biggs found that the plaintiffs are likely to prevail on the merits of the case.

White House Unveils Joint Committee Initiative to Support Research
On Monday, the White House unveiled a new National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Joint Committee aimed at addressing four important issues facing the research community. Spearheaded by the NSTC Committee on Science and Committee on Science and Technology Enterprise, the Joint Committee will examine administrative burdens on federally-funded research, rigor, and integrity in research, safe/inclusive/equitable research settings, and protecting American research assets.

Co-chairs of the Joint Committee include White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Kelvin Droegemeier, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, National Science Foundation Director France Córdova, National Institute of Standards and Technology Director Walt Copan, and Undersecretary for Science at the Department of Energy Paul Dabbar.

Associations Seek Clarification on Revised Common Rule Compliance Dates
APLU joined the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR), the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of American Medical Colleagues (AAMC) in submitting a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) seeking clarification regarding the application of the cooperative research requirement under the revised Common Rule. The rule governs the ethical conduct of research involving human subjects.

The rule requires that studies approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) on or after January 20, 2020 be approved by a single IRB, but OHRP staff have recently suggested that the rule will affect studies beginning on or after January 19, 2019. This would require ongoing studies already approved by local IRBs to be identified, paused, and undergo a new single IRB review – resulting in the interruption of research and increased administrative burden and costs.

NIST Releases Final Green Paper on ROI for American Innovation
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the release of the final Green Paper in its Return on Investment Initiative for Unleashing American Innovation series, which aims to advance the Lab-to-Market Cross Agency Priority (CAP) Goal of the President’s Management Agenda (PMA). The paper highlights a series of NIST’s findings based on input from stakeholders, including APLU, that “may support future actions to streamline and accelerate the transfer and commercialization of technology resulting from federally funded research and development.”

  • Council on Governmental Affairs

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