Blog Archives

House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Lawmakers’ Priorities

Reviving the Appropriations Committee’s tradition of holding hearings to allow members of Congress to testify on their priorities within a subcommittee’s jurisdiction, on March 1, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) heard testimony from Members of Congress on their priorities for fiscal year (FY) 2018. Throughout the course of the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) continually urged members to “continue to advocate for their priorities.” Otherwise, Cole cautioned, the Subcommittee would have to “live within the allocation” it is given by the budget committee. If the Subcommittee has to adjust to an $18 to $20 billion reduction in its allocation as a result of $54 billion increase in funding allotted to fund the Department of Defense under the President’s proposed FY 2018 budget (see related article), “no part of this budget can escape unscathed,” Cole declared. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 6 (March 21), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

COSSA and Coalitions Urge Strong Funding for SBS in Final FY 2017 Funding Negotiations

In preparation for Congress’ return to Washington after the election, several of the coalitions COSSA works through have sent letters to appropriators urging them to pass funding bills rather than a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2017 and to encourage them to preserve funding for the agencies that support social and behavioral science (SBS), including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Senate letter, House letter), the National Center for Health Statistics (Senate letter, House letter), the Census Bureau (Senate letter, House letter), and the Institute of Education Sciences.

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 1), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

IES Seeks Comments on NCER-NPSAS Grants

The National Center for Education Research (NCER) within the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is proposing a new information collection as part of an ongoing collaboration between NCER and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)—also located within IES—and is seeking comments. The NCER supports research projects using subsamples of the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), a nationally-representative sample of postsecondary institutions and students fielded every three to four years. The goal for the proposed new collection is to facilitate “one-off” research projects. The Department is specifically interested in comments addressing the following questions: “(1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) Will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) Is the estimated burden accurate; (4) How might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) How might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on respondents, including through the use of information technology.” Comments are due December 19, 2016.

Additionally, NCER is seeking comments on the collection of data to conduct the study Connecting Students 2017: Testing the Effectiveness of FAFSA Intervention on College Outcomes, which is designed to “measure the effectiveness of an intervention that will provide financial aid information and reminders to college students who were initially interviewed as part of NPSAS.” Comments are due December 19, 2016.

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 1), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Congress Returns with Much Left Undone

Congress returns to work this week for one more stretch before the November elections. This will be the final work period before the current fiscal year (FY 2016) expires on September 30. That means some type of action is needed in the coming weeks to keep the federal government funded and operating come October 1. See COSSA’s analysis of the state of play of FY 2017 Appropriations bills for full details.

In addition to action on the annual spending bills (which will undoubtedly result in a continuing resolution punting final action to after the election), Congress will be looking to enact funding for the Zika crisis and a handful of other pressing issues over the next few weeks; these efforts will consume every available minute between now and the next recess. That means the 114th Congress is likely to adjourn at the end of the year with several bills impacting the social and behavioral sciences left on the table. This includes a number of authorization bills of consequence to the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Institute of Education Sciences. COSSA summarizes the State of Play of Authorization Bills in an analysis released last month.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 6), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Senate Presses Forward on 2017 Spending Bills

The Senate Appropriations Committee has been making progress over the last several weeks on its fiscal year (FY) 2017 appropriations bills in an effort to pass as many of the bills as possible before heading home in mid-July for the party conventions and August recess (follow all of the developments on the COSSA website).  The FY 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Bill, which made it out of Committee on April 21, is expected to be on the Senate floor later this week. Stay tuned – COSSA will be closely monitoring the floor debate as this is when we could see amendments that could harm social science research accounts.

In addition, on June 9, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported out the FY 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill. This bill serves as the vehicle for annual appropriations for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Education (ED), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as well as many other federal departments and agencies. Committee members noted that this bill represents the first bipartisan Senate Labor-HHS bill in seven years; this tends to be one of the more controversial and divisive of the 12 appropriations bills given that it provides funding for the Department of Health and Human Services and sections of the Affordable Care Act. The House has yet to release its version of the bill, but is rumored to have something ready by the end of the month.

Check out COSSA’s in-depth analysis for full details.

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Posted in Issue 12 (June 14), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

IES to Hold Webinars on FY 2017 Funding Opportunities

The Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has scheduled a series of webinars for individuals interested in fiscal year (FY) 2017 funding opportunities. IES’ National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) and the National Center for Education Research (NCER) are hosting the free webinars, which will cover a variety of topics, including teachers and instructional personnel, basic overview of research grants, researcher-practitioner partnerships in education, funding opportunities for minority serving institutions, special education research training for early career development and mentoring, the IES application process, research networks focused on critical problems of policy and practice, and grant writing, among others.

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Posted in Issue 11 (May 31), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

COSSA Submits FY 2017 Testimony on NIH, CDC, Education, and Other Agencies

COSSA submitted its annual Outside Witness Testimony to the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. COSSA’s testimony for fiscal year (FY) 2017 addresses the need for strong funding of the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Institute for Education Sciences, and Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs. Click here to read testimony submitted to the House, and here for the Senate.

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Posted in Issue 8 (April 19), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Members of Congress Submit Funding Requests for Social and Behavioral Science Agencies

Over the past several weeks, Members of Congress have been signing their names to “Dear Colleague” letters, formal requests to the House and Senate appropriations committees for specific funding levels for various federal agencies. COSSA has been tracking letters in support of strong funding for the agencies important to the social and behavioral sciences on our funding updates page. COSSA appreciates the efforts of all of the Members who have signed on to the letters below:

In addition to the requests for specific appropriations levels, a bipartisan letter in the House reaffirms support for the National Science Foundation’s “current practice of setting national scientific research priorities, investing in all disciplines of science, and using the merit review systems for determining which grant proposals to fund.” A letter in the Senate urges appropriators to include funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct research on the causes and prevention of gun violence.

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Posted in Issue 7 (April 5), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Friends of IES Briefing Highlights Research on Supporting Students with Disabilities Transition to Adulthood

On March 4, the Friends of the Institute of Education Science (IES), in cooperation with honorary co-chairs Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), and Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA) held a congressional briefing, “Transitioning to Adult Productivity: Supporting Secondary Students with Disabilities in Successful Movement to College and Career.” IES’ National Center for Special Education supports research that has identified interventions that can “prepare students with disabilities for postsecondary education and the workforce.” The COSSA-supported briefing featured IES-funded research on improving transition outcomes for students with disabilities. Speakers discussed how the programs assist these students in gaining employment, becoming academically successful, and thriving socially after leaving high school. Speakers included Erik Carter, Vanderbilt University; Laurie Powers, Portland State University; David Test, University of North Carolina, Charlotte; and Mary Wagner, SRI International. Deborah Ziegler, Council for Exceptional Children, moderated the session. The speakers’ presentations and photos from the session are available here.

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Posted in Issue 6 (March 22), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

COSSA and Partners Urge Strong FY 2017 Funding for Science Agencies

Now that appropriations season is underway, COSSA has begun working with its coalition partners to urge strong support for agencies that fund social and behavioral science research in fiscal year (FY) 2017. Some of the most recent requests include:

The most up-to-date list of such letters is available on the COSSA website.

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Posted in Issue 5 (March 8), Update, Volume 35 (2016)


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