If you're interested in finding out how the midterm election results will impact research and/or student aid, plan to participate in an upcoming federal update session. The FSU Office of Federal Relations will host an update session on the main campus on Thursday November 15 at 3pm and on the southwest campus on Friday November 16 at 3pm. In addition to sharing insights on the midterm election results, a recap of FY19 spending levels for relevant federal agencies/programs will be shared as well as an outlook for the FY20 budget/appropriations cycle. Staff will also provide guidance on engaging the congressional delegation and federal agencies.
- Department of Defense, Research Development Test & Evaluation - 7.46%
- Department of Defense, 6.1 Basic Research - 11.80%
- Department of Defense, 6.2 Applied Research - 6.80%
- Department of Defense, 6.3 Advanced Technology Development - 7.66%
- Department of Defense, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - 11.72%
The president today signed a bill that provides funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other agencies. $39.1 billion for NIH, a $2 billion increase from last year’s budget. This legislation also provides increase in Defense Funding, which gives the largest pay raise for Troops in nearly a decade. The package includes two critically important funding bills - Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Related Agencies - which make up over half of the total discretionary budget. The bill also contains a continuing resolution (CR) through December 7, 2018, for any appropriations bills not enacted before October 1, 2018. With the President's signature, five appropriations bills have been signed into law this month and 75 percent of the government will be funded on schedule. This marks the most spending bills enacted on time since Fiscal Year 1997.
The Senate voted 93 - 7 to advance the Fiscal Year 2019 Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education final conference report (H.R. 6157) and attached CR. The House passed the legislation earlier this week with a vote of 360 - 61. The minibus provides $674.4 billion to fund the Department of Defense, increasing Pentagon funding by $19.8 billion above the Fiscal Year 2018 enacted level. The legislation also includes $178.1 billion for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies to continue investments in critical medical research, opioid abuse prevention and treatment, and education.
Earlier this month, with a vote of 92 - 5, the Senate passed the final conference agreement reached on H.R. 5895, the first of three Fiscal Year 2019 minibus appropriations packages. The House passed the conference report shortly after the Senate with a vote of 377 - 20. The President signed the bill into law last Friday. This minibus provides $97.1 billion to take care of our nation's veterans and fund military construction, $44.6 billion to support U.S. Department of Energy programs and critical infrastructure projects administered by the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation, and $4.8 billion to maintain essential operations and security of the U.S. Capitol, Congress, and support agencies.
On September 27, Congressman Neal Dunn chaired a House Subcommittee on Veterans Health Hearing that looked at PTSD and suicide in the veteran population. Dr. Dunn referenced FSU research in the field and called on the VA to work to speed the movement of products emerging from research into practice to begin helping vets.
The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research issued a statement following the passage of FY 2019 funding for National Institutes of Health (NIH). The new funding level marks four years of notable funding increases for the NIH. The $2 billion increase for FY 2019 will help to realize the promise of new diagnostics and treatments.
Appropriators on Capitol Hill have announced an agreement that funds several key departments (Defense, Education, Labor, Health and Human Services) for the full fiscal year and others through December 7. The agreement prevents a government shutdown at the start of the fiscal year on October 1 and secures increases to research programs at the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense. The White House has not officially indicated whether President Trump will approve the package. Additional details will be provided as they become available.
Over the summer, the House and Senate worked on different tracks to advance spending bills for the fiscal year that begins on October 1. The results for research were largely positive. Increases were approved in each chamber for the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy Office of Science, as well as for Department of Defense research and development programs. Other agency research programs, such as those with the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which were targeted for significant reductions by the administration are likely to be kept near 2018 levels. However, obstacles remain ahead of the finalization of FY 2019 appropriations.
After Labor Day, House and Senate negotiators will need to resolve the differences between their bills in agency and program spending levels. Additionally, President Trump has threatened a government shutdown if Congress fails to provide funding for a wall along the southern border. The most likely outcome by October 1 is a stopgap spending bill to fund most government operations until after the midterm elections. However, a broad shutdown remains possible.
The gains for research seen in the pending appropriations bills are expected to materialize by the late fall or early in the new Congress. The increased investments are a result of the collective advocacy of researchers from across the country, including many within the FSU community. The Office of Federal Relations coordinates activities with the congressional delegation to showcase FSU research accomplishments made possible with federal resources. For information on how you can support these efforts, please contact Jonathan Nurse, FSU Director of Federal Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 220-1317.
Advocacy for federal investments in research and student financial assistance programs is an important activity that is regularly undertaken by administrators, faculty and students. Members of the FSU community are urged to coordinate federal advocacy activities with the Office of Federal Relations so that our institution’s communications with elected and appointed officials are consistent and impactful. Further, the Lobbying Disclosure Act requires that FSU submit quarterly reports of any oral, written, or electronic communication completed in a professional context by an employee to a covered federal official (e.g. Member of Congress, congressional staff person, staff within the Executive Office of the President, political appointee). For assistance, please contact Jonathan Nurse, FSU Director of Federal Relations, at email@example.com or (202) 220-1317.
President Trump has announced the nomination of Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier to serve as his top science advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The OSTP position has been unfilled since the start of the Trump administration. The higher education community is largely applauding the selection.
Kelvin Droegemeier of Oklahoma, to be Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
Dr. Droegemeier currently serves as Vice President for Research and Regents’ Professor of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma and as Oklahoma Cabinet Secretary of Science and Technology. He co-founded and directed the National Science Foundation’s Science and Technology Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms and the NSF Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere. Dr. Droegemeier served two six-year terms (four years as Vice Chairman) on the National Science Board, under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He earned his B.S. in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma and M.S. and Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Droegemeier is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has provided guidance to federal research agencies on preparing their Fiscal Year 2020 budget requests, which should be formally presented to Congress for consideration in early February 2019. The annual OMB guidance memo to agencies provides an early look at an administration’s research priorities. The priority areas that are identified in the guidance document include:
- national security with a focus on artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, hypersonics, a modernized nuclear deterrent, advanced microelectronics, computing, and cyber capabilities;
- advanced communications networks;
- autonomous driving systems and unmanned aircraft systems;
- advanced manufacturing;
- energy independence;
- medical innovation with a focus on personalized medicine, the opioid crisis, infectious diseases, veterans and aging adults;
- workforce training for the 21st century economy;
- stewardship of American research infrastructure;
- lab-to-market initiatives; and
- promotion of academic, industry and government collaboration.