Issue 14 (July 9)


COSSA Releases Preview of FY 2025 House Spending Bills Analysis

In late June, the House Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Subcommittee marked up and reported out their bill that funds the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Census Bureau, National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), and other agencies. The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) Subcommittee also considered its bill, which is responsible for funding the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other HHS agencies, the Department of Education, and the Department of Labor. 

COSSA is preparing a full analysis of the bills, which are being considered by the full Appropriations Committee this week. Stay tuned.

For now, read here for some early details of what is included in the bills as considered by the CJS and LHHS Subcommittees this week. 

Stay tuned to COSSA’s coverage of the FY 2025 appropriations bills, including our full analysis of the House bills coming soon.

David E. Campbell Answers “Why Social Science?”

This month’s Why Social Science? post comes from Dr. David Campbell (University of Notre Dame) who discusses how social capital can help make democracy work. Read on for more.

CJS and LHHS Bills Move to House Appropriations Full-Committee Mark-Ups; Senate to Begin Appropriations

As previously reported by COSSA, the House Appropriations Committee has kept to their earlier released appropriations schedule and is expected to finish marking up all twelve of its bills this week. The House Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) bill, which funds the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), and the U.S. Census Bureau, is expected to be marked up on July 9 (watch live here) and the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) bill, which provides appropriations for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other HHS agencies, the Department of Education, and the Department of Labor, is expected to be marked up July 10 (watch live here). COSSA will release an in-depth analysis of the bills once they have been reported out of the Appropriations Committee; a preliminary summary of the funding allocations can be found here.

The House has already passed the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, the Legislative Branch, the Legislative Branch, State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Homeland Security, and Defense bills out of the chamber. Floor votes for the other eight bills have yet to be scheduled. Once all twelve bills pass through the House, and the Senate completes their respective twelve bills, the two chambers will be expected to work together to complete the FY 2025 process. While the House bills will not become law in their current state, their bills will set the stage for the rest of the appropriations process.

On the other side of the Capitol, the Senate Appropriations Committee has scheduled their first full committee mark-up for July 11 to consider the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, the Legislative Branch, State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, and the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bills. While Subcommittee allocations have yet to be released due to reported contention between the Senate Democrats, who currently hold the majority, and the Senate Republicans, the Appropriations Committee intends to consider the 302(b) Subcommittee allocations during the same hearing. The hearing will be available to watch live here.

Stay tuned to COSSA’s continued coverage of the FY 2025 budget process.

Supreme Court Overturns 1984 Chevron Decision

On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1984 Chevron decision. The Chevron deference doctrine was established by the ruling in Chevron U.S.A v. Natural Resources Defense Council, and granted federal agencies the ability to interpret ambiguous federal laws. Chevron allowed the federal government increased flexibility in addressing issues relating to many sectors, including the environment, public health, and workplace safety.

By a 6-3 majority, the Chevron doctrine was overturned in the Supreme Court’s decision on Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) released an in-depth statement highlighting the implications of this verdict. With the courts increasingly shifting power in their favor, overturning the Chevron doctrine no longer requires federal courts to defer to a federal agency’s rulemaking as a valid interpretation. Because of this decision, federal regulations will likely be more frequently delayed or overturned without deferral to scientific evidence and research, given that federal courts will now be reviewing federal regulations more often.

This Supreme Court attack on the authority of federal agencies may have significant implications on the ability of the federal government to make efficient policy-making decisions and to take efficient action on developing scientific research.

This article was contributed by COSSA Intern Rachel Bashe.

OSTP Provides Update on Estimated Open Access Publishing Costs

In June, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released an update to a November 2023 Report to Congress on Financing Mechanisms for Open Access Publishing of Federally Funded Research (see previous COSSA coverage). The report responds to a directive included in the final fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations bill requiring OSTP to provide additional information with respect to financing mechanisms for open access publishing of federally funded research, as well as potential impacts of federal public access policies on peer review and research integrity.

OSTP provided initial cost estimates to Congress in 2022 and late 2023. This latest report provides: additional information on steps taken by federal agencies to prepare for implementation of the 2022 directive to make federally-supported peer-reviewed research findings publicly available starting December 31, 2025; trends in scholarly publishing, including information on existing business models for public access; additional analysis of estimated article publishing charges, including identification of barriers to ascertaining better estimates; and discussion about research integrity and peer review within the open science context.

COSSA has been reporting on the development of public access plans at federal science agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Final agency policies are to be made publicly available by December 31, 2024, with implementation set for December 31, 2025.

Stay tuned to COSSA’s continued coverage on open access.

NASEM Pioneers the State of Science Address with President Marcia McNutt

On June 26, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) hosted The State of Science Address, launching the annual discussion on the status of science, technology, engineering, and medicine (STEM) in the U.S. During her opening remarks, President of the National Academy of Sciences, Marcia McNutt, discussed the decline of the STEM workforce and interest in research and development (R&D) in the U.S., including declines in published research articles and the development of high-quality drugs and patents compared to global counterparts, as well as the perceived fall of U.S. global leadership, citing that only eight percent of Americans believe the U.S. to be in a global R&D role. To this end, McNutt identified a dependence on international talent, a continued decline in resources for research, and a lack of trust in science as key reasons for this decline.

McNutt offered potential solutions to address this decline, citing the importance of protecting curiosity in children, encouraging K-12 students to pursue science with an open-mind, “sparking the excitement of discovery” that leads to careers in STEM. Further, McNutt suggested limiting “red tape,” including reducing barriers to student visas, and investing in the labor of university research, citing that research currently relies on “underpaid labor.” To this end, she suggested the development of a national research strategy to encourage cooperation between academic, industry, and government sectors both domestically and internationally, to provide additional funding for the STEM workforce to reduce reliance on research grants.

McNutt also addressed the need to repair trust in science by rewarding researchers for good research and transparency with the public through improving communication and combatting misinformation. Following McNutt’s address, Harvey V. Fineberg, MD, PhD, moderated a panel discussion on these topics where Stephanie Diem, Assistant Professor, Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, highlighted the importance of researchers doing events similar to The State of Science Address to share their research with the public.

A recording of the address can be found here as well as meeting materials, including the State of the Science Program

American Statistical Association Releases “The Nation’s Data at Risk” Report

On July 9, The American Statistical Association (ASA), in partnership with George Mason University, hosted a webinar and released a report focused on assessing the health of the principal federal statistical agencies. This webinar provided an overview of the most comprehensive and current assessment of the challenges facing the nation’s most vital statistics and the report detailed the findings and recommendations from the project team.

The team assessed the health of federal statistical agencies regarding professional autonomy, support from their parent agency, sufficiency of their budget and staffing, challenges and opportunities for data quality and innovation, and engagement with data users. The webinar also covered the framework and plans for future reports, which will be released annually.

ASA is a COSSA governing member organization. To learn more, you can visit the project’s website.


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