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COSSA Presents Rep. Dan Lipinski with Distinguished Service Award

Members of the COSSA Board of Directors, representatives from COSSA governing member associations, Representative Lipinski, and his office staff

Members of the COSSA Board of Directors, representatives from COSSA governing member associations, Representative Lipinski, and his office staff

On May 17, following the 2018 COSSA Science Policy Conference and Social Science Advocacy Day, representatives of COSSA’s governing member associations presented the 2018 Distinguished Service Award to Representative Daniel Lipinski (D-IL). Lipinski, who serves on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, as Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Research, and holds a Ph.D. in political science, has been a strong advocate for scientific research at all levels and across all fields of study. He has worked productively with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to enact legislation that strengthens the U.S. scientific enterprise and has helped raise the profile of the social and behavioral sciences. The other recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Service Award is Dr. William Riley, Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the National Institutes of Health. Riley was presented with the award at a reception during the COSSA Conference.  Learn more about the COSSA Distinguished Service Award on COSSA’s website.

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Posted in Issue 11 (May 29), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

House and Senate Committees Approve FY 2019 Agriculture Funding

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees have approved their fiscal year (FY) 2019 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bills. This bill contains funding for the two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistical agencies, the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), as well as the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which funds competitive research projects. The House bill (H.R. 5961) was approved by the subcommittee on May 9 and by the full committee on May 16. The Senate version of the bill, which does not yet have a bill number, was passed by the subcommittee on May 22 and by the full committee on May 24.

At a Glance…

  •  Both the House and Senate bills would maintain flat funding for ERS at $86.8 million, rejecting the nearly 50 percent cut proposed in the President’s request.
  • Both the House and Senate propose decreases for the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) as it ramps down from the 2017 Census of Agriculture; the House proposal of $173.7 million is $1.1 million below the Senate’s proposed $174.8 million. However, both levels are higher than the amount proposed in the President’s request.
  • The House bill would provide $1.45 billion for NIFA, which is 2.8 percent above FY 2018. The Senate bill includes $1.42 billion, an increase of 1.1 percent. Both chambers propose increases for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, with the House proposing a larger increase than the Senate.

The next step for both bills is consideration by their respective chambers. Both the House and Senate leadership have expressed a commitment to trying to pass at least some of the FY 2019 appropriations bills before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1. However, with August recess and the peak of campaign season quickly approaching, it remains to be seen which bills will be passed and when.

Read on for COSSA’s analysis of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees’ proposals for the Economic Research Service, National Agricultural Statistics Service, and National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

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Posted in Issue 11 (May 29), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

Senate Subcommittee Holds Hearing on 2019 NIH Budget

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) hosted leadership from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to testify on the agency’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget request. NIH Director Francis Collins, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Director Walter Koroshetz, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, National Cancer Institute Director Norman Sharpless, and National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow all testified. Senators from both parties praised NIH for its accomplishments, further solidifying its position as a bipartisan priority. Subcommittee Chair Roy Blunt (R-MO), Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), and other members of the subcommittee expressed concern with the $2 billion cut recommended in the President’s FY 2019 budget request, especially in contrast to the $3 billion increase NIH received from Congress in the FY 2018 omnibus spending bill. Committee members questioned witnesses on NIH activities related to the opioid epidemic, a universal flu vaccine, immunotherapy, the recent outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and a recent scandal at NIH regarding an alcohol industry-financed study of the health affects of alcohol. Written statements from Blunt and Collins, along with a recording of the hearing can be found on the committee’s website. COSSA’s coverage of FY 2019 funding is available here.

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Posted in Issue 11 (May 29), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

CNSF Hosts 24th Annual Capitol Hill Exhibition

On May 9, the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF), of which COSSA is a member, hosted its 24th Annual Capitol Hill Exhibition and Reception, titled “Investments in Scientific and Educational Research: Fueling American Innovation.” Several COSSA member associations and universities featured researchers whose work has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The event seeks to highlight the importance of NSF-supported basic research with policymakers. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) produced a video featuring some of the presenters. COSSA co-sponsored the event.

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Posted in Issue 11 (May 29), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

COSSA Washington Update, Volume 37 Issue 10

Featured News

COSSA in Action

Congressional News

Federal Agency & Administration News

Community News & Reports

Events Calendar

Posted in Issue 10 (May 15), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

House Appropriations Subcommittees Begin Marking Up Spending Legislation

The House Appropriations Subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) and Agriculture and Rural Development (Ag) hosted markups last week on drafts of their fiscal year (FY) 2019 spending bills. The CJS bill, which is responsible for funding the Census, the Department of Justice, and federal science agencies, among other programs, includes $8.2 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF), a $408 million increase above the FY 2018 enacted amount. The Ag bill, which includes funding for the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, does not endorse the large cut to the Economic Research Service (ERS) proposed in the President’s FY 2019 budget request. Full details of the committee’s spending recommendations are not yet public, but COSSA will provide complete analysis of the spending bills as language is made available. Stay tuned to COSSA’s coverage here. Both bills are scheduled to be considered by the full Appropriations Committee later this week.

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Posted in Issue 10 (May 15), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

CJRA and COSSA to Host “Ask a Criminologist” Panel on How the Opioid Epidemic and Police-Community Relations Impact Homicides

COSSA and the Crime & Justice Research Alliance (CJRA) (a collaborative effort of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Society of Criminology, both COSSA members) will host the third in a series of “Ask a Criminologist” Congressional briefings on Tuesday, May 22. This interactive briefing will explore key factors, including the opioid epidemic, that led to an increase in homicide rates in communities across the United States in 2015 and 2016 and share how criminologists have been using research and statistics to help policymakers identify and address these causes. The discussion will be moderated by CJRA Past Chair Dr. Nancy La Vigne of the Urban Institute, and featured speakers will include Dr. Howard Spivak, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice; Richard Biehl, Chief of Police for the City of Dayton, Ohio; and Dr. Shytierra Gaston, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Indiana University.  More information and a link to RSVP can be found here.

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Posted in Issue 10 (May 15), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

Congress Questions Commerce, Census on Citizenship Question

Members of Congress questioned Commerce Department and Census Bureau leadership last week over the decision to include a question on citizenship in the 2020 Census. COSSA objects to this decision and has issued a statement and action alert on this issue.

On May 8, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a progress report hearing on the 2020 Census. Witnesses included Earl Comstock, Director of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning at the Commerce Department (testimony); Ron Jarmin, Acting Director of the Census Bureau (testimony); David A. Powner and Robert Goldenkoff of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) (testimony); and Justin Levitt, Associate Dean for Research at Loyola Law School, who previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the Justice Department during the Obama Administration (testimony). Invited but not present at the hearing was the current Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, John Gore, who is reported to have spearheaded the request that the citizenship question be added to the Census. Committee Chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said that he would issue a subpoena to compel Gore to appear before the Committee. A hearing featuring Gore was subsequently scheduled for Friday, May 18, 2018. Democrats on the Committee criticized the decision to add the citizenship question, questioning the necessity of the Justice Department’s request, and Ross’s conclusion that the question is “well-tested” because it has appeared on the American Community Survey. Committee Republicans generally defended the decision and were dismissive of concerns that adding the question without having tested it in a Census environment would add unnecessary risks to the accuracy and integrity of census data.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross made his first appearance before Congress since announcing his decision to add the question to the decennial during a May 10 hearing on the Commerce Department budget in front of the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. Ross defended his decision in the face of sharp questioning from subcommittee Democrats, including Ranking Member Jeanne Shaheen (D-VT), Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

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Posted in Issue 10 (May 15), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

National Science Board Elects New Leadership

On May 3, the National Science Board (NSB), the governing body of the National Science Foundation, announced that Diane Souvaine and Ellen Ochoa will serve as the Board’s new Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, for the 2018-2020 term. Souvaine has been a member of the NSB for ten years and most recently served as the Vice Chair. Souvaine is a professor of computer science at Tufts University whose research contributions include solving challenging problems in computational geometry and helping extend the results of straight-edged computational geometry into the curved world. Ochoa is an astronaut and the director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Souvaine will be replacing Maria Zuber, whose term expired this month. More information about Souviane and Ochoa’s election is available on the NSB website.

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Posted in Issue 10 (May 15), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

NSF and Air Force Sign Letter of Intent

On May 9, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France Córdova signed a Letter of Intent to create a new partnership for collaboration on science and engineering research to strengthen national security. The strategic partnership will focus on research in space operations and geosciences, advanced material sciences, information and data sciences, and workforce and processes. These common areas of interest will create opportunities for cooperation at all levels of research and a pathway between basic research supported by NSF and advanced technologies needed to support Air Force functions.

The two agencies have already had initial discussions on research topics, including the convergence of artificial intelligence, data and materials, and placements for fellows from NSF’s Graduate Research Intern Program. More information can be found on the NSF website.

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Posted in Issue 10 (May 15), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

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