House FY 2016 CJS Bill Advances to the Floor

On May 20, the House Appropriations Committee passed the FY 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill by voice vote.  Amendments to increase funding for the National Science Foundation and make other improvements to the bill were either defeated or withdrawn.  The bill now heads to the House floor.

The CJS bill totals $51.4 billion, which is a 2.5 percent increase over the FY 2015 CJS bill. CJS Subcommittee chairman John Culberson (R-TX) noted during the May 14 Subcommittee markup that this amount “is sufficient to fund essential programs.” The bill keeps within the spending caps currently tamping down discretionary spending, making the FY 2016 appropriations bills even more challenging than usual. President Obama has threatened to veto any appropriations bill that adheres to these caps, making the House CJS bill a non-starter with the White House.

While the National Science Foundation would see a small increase in the House proposal, the real winner in the bill is NASA, which happens to be a favorite of the chairman. The heavy focus and emphasis on NASA is one of the visible changes we are seeing with the new chairman, who replaced Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), a long-time, staunch supporter of NSF, this year. NSF is largely downplayed in the House CJS bill when compared to recent years. As you will read in our analysis, the FY 2016 CJS bill differs from previous bills in several other ways as well.

In general, agencies and programs that support social and behavioral science research would fare quite poorly in the bill. Among the many challenging provisions, the bill seeks to limit support for social science research funding at NSF, would enable potentially deep cuts to the National Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics, and would degrade the American Community Survey within the Census Bureau.

Read on for COSSA’s full analysis of the bill.

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Posted in Issue 10 (June 2), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

COSSA Washington Update, Volume 34 Issue 9

Featured News

Congressional News

Federal Agency & Administration News

Publications & Community Events

Funding Opportunities

Events Calendar

View the archived email.

Posted in Issue 9 (May 19), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

House to vote on COMPETES Act

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806) tomorrow, May 20. The bill, which authorizes funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other science agencies, has faced criticism from the scientific community. COSSA has published an analysis of the bill, as well as a statement opposing it. Click here to read all of our COMPETES coverage.

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Posted in Issue 9 (May 19), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

Analysis of the Draft 21st Century Cures Act

On May 14, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee approved by voice vote its discussion draft of the 21st Century Cures Act.  An amendment to an earlier discussion draft was introduced by full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX).  The bipartisan amendment incorporated federal agency and scientific community feedback to a draft bill the preceding day.

The legislation is scheduled to be considered by the full Energy and Commerce Committee the week of May 18; the Committee will convene for opening statements only on May 19 and on May 20 to mark up the bill.

Read on for COSSA’s full analysis of the bill.

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Posted in Issue 9 (May 19), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

OMB Asks Agencies to Plan for 5 Percent Reductions in FY 2017

Although Congress is just beginning the process of working to enact fiscal year (FY) 2016 appropriations for federal agencies and programs, agency officials are beginning their work on the FY 2017 budget request. In a memo from Shaun Donovan, Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), federal agencies have been advised to prepare their FY 2017 budget proposals with a five percent reduction below the net discretionary total provided in the FY 2016 President’s budget request. The scenario is meant to assist the Administration in its efforts to “deliver a Government that is more effective, efficient, and supportive of economic growth.” This is a common exercise in the annual federal budget preparation process. Additional details and guidance for FY 2017 can be viewed in the OMB memo.

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Posted in Issue 9 (May 19), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

NCHS Releases Health, United States, 2014

The National Centers for Health Statistics (NCHS) has released the 2014 edition of its annual report, Health, United States, which compiles data on Americans’ health, including life expectancy, fertility, disease prevalence, use of health care, and health expenditures. The 2014 edition includes a special feature on adults aged 55-64—baby boomers who are about to become eligible for Medicare, and whose aging is expected to have a significant impact on the U.S. health care system.

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Posted in Issue 9 (May 19), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

AHRQ Seeks Nominations for Advisory Council

The National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality, which advises the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), is seeking nominations for new members to serve terms beginning in spring 2016. The Council is interested in individuals whose background includes: “(1) The conduct of research, demonstration projects, and evaluations with respect to health care; (2) the fields of health care quality research or health care improvement; (3) the practice of medicine; (4) other health professions; (5) representing the private health care sector (including health plans, providers, and purchasers) or administrators of health care delivery systems; (6) the fields of health care economics, information systems, law, ethics, business, or public policy; and, (7) representing the interests of patients and consumers of health care.” More information is available in the Federal Register notice. Nominations must be received by July 6, 2015.

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Posted in Issue 9 (May 19), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

NIH: AIDS Research Center/Developmental Research Centers on Mental Health and HIV/AIDS

The Division of AIDS Research (DAR) within the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applications for Center Core grants to support an HIV/AIDS Research Center (ARC) (PAR-15-197) and applications to support Developmental AIDS Research Centers (D-ARC) (PAR-15-196). ARC supports innovative, interdisciplinary research in the areas of basic research, neuro-AIDS, behavioral and social, integrated biobehavioral, clinical, translational, and implementation science. D-ARC provides infrastructure support that facilitates the development of high impact science in HIV/AIDS and mental health that is relevant to the NIMH mission.

NIMH’s intent is to support research that addresses the most current research priorities in the field. Accordingly, the proposed ARC priorities should align with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and international research directions outlined in guidance from the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR). The Centers must have the potential to support research in a variety of areas: biological, biomedical, behavioral, neuroscience, mental health, prevention, clinical sciences, and implementation science research. ARCs are expected to serve as local, regional, national, and global resources for rigorous HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and implementation science. D-ARCs have the potential to assemble the evidence base critical to health policy decisions-making pertaining to resource allocation, strategic priorities, and best practices.

Applications are due September 14, 2015.

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Posted in Issue 9 (May 19), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

Events Calendar

NSF Education and Human Resources Advisory Committee Meeting, Arlington, VA, May 19-20, 2015

Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, May 28-31, 2015

OBSSR 20th Anniversary Celebration, Bethesda, MD, June 23-25, 2015

OBSSR Capitol Hill Exhibition & Reception, Washington, DC, June 24, 2015

American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Toronto, Canada, August 6-9, 2015

Rural Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Madison, WI, August 6-9, 2015

American Statistical Association Joint Statistical Meetings, Seattle, WA, August 8-13, 2015

American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, August 22-25, 2015

A list of COSSA members’ annual meetings and other events can be found on the COSSA website. COSSA members who have an upcoming event they would like to see listed in the Events Calendar and on our website should send an email to [email protected].

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Posted in Issue 9 (May 19), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

PCAST Hears Interim Report on Precision Medicine Initiative

On May 15, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) received an interim report on the President’s proposed Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI). Opening the meeting, PCAST co-chair and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) John Holdren discussed the ongoing budget process and the challenges associated with the FY 2016 budget. Despite these challenges, Holdren noted, there are a number of exciting initiatives in progress, including the Precision Medicine Initiative. Read more ›

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Posted in Issue 9 (May 19), Update, Volume 34 (2015)