Featured News

Analysis of the FY 2024 House Appropriations Bills for Federal Science Agencies

In late October, details of the U.S. House of Representatives’ fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations bills were made public. Before leaving town for the Thanksgiving break, the House—under the leadership of newly-elected House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA)—took initial steps toward passing the bills. However, despite two days of debate, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) appropriations bill—the measure that funds the National Institutes of Health, Department of Education, and several other agencies of interest to the science community—did not receive a final vote and consideration was punted until after the holiday. The other bill of interest—the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS)…

House Unveils Potential Stopgap Measure and Continues Appropriations Process

On November 11, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) unveiled a potential stopgap funding deal that would extend the current continuing resolution (CR) beyond the current November 17 deadline. The Speaker’s proposal includes “tiered deadlines;” some bills would be extended to mid-January and others to early February (see previous COSSA coverage). Under the draft bill, agencies within the Military Construction-VA, Agriculture, Energy-Water and Transportation-HUD bills would receive an extension to January 19 while all remaining bills – including those that fund the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health – would be extended to February 2. The bill would also include a…

President Biden Issues Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence

On October 10, President Biden unveiled a groundbreaking Executive Order (EO), setting the stage for the United States to lead in harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) while effectively managing its risks. This EO builds upon existing commitments from 15 major companies, showcasing a united front in the pursuit of safe and trustworthy AI development that addresses 8 critical areas: This EO represents a significant stride toward ensuring that AI development and use are safe, secure, and beneficial for all Americans. It addresses critical aspects ranging from safety and security to privacy, equity, and leadership on both domestic and international fronts….

Appropriations Halted as House Searches for New Speaker, Outcome Uncertain

As previously reported by COSSA, the Congressional Appropriations deadline has been extended to November 17 with a short-term continuing resolution (CR). Following the conclusion of this deal, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted from his position in a 216-210 vote, leaving the House without leadership and unable to continue legislative business. This was an unprecedented decision made by Congress and a direct result from concessions made by McCarthy while running for the position earlier this year (see previous COSSA coverage). Following a two-week vacancy, on October 17, the House held a vote to elect a new Speaker. Representative Jim Jordan…

White House Announces the Establishment of Office of Gun Violence Prevention

On September 22, the Biden Administration announced the establishment of the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. The office is expected to accelerate executive action and prioritize legislation that reduces gun violence in the United States. During the announcement, the Biden Administration stressed the importance of confronting the issue in a timely manner, highlighting the administration’s ongoing efforts to expand gun violence prevention, including the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in 2022. The priorities of the office include: For more information on how social science research can be used to create evidence-based policy for gun violence prevention, visit COSSA’s blog, â€śWhy Social…

House GOP Unveils Potential Stopgap as Congressional Appropriations Deadline Approaches

Congress is back in session and the fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations process is underway. On September 17, House Republicans unveiled a draft continuing resolution (CR) that is set to be voted on later this week. The CR would extend the appropriations deadline from September 30 to October 31, and, under the proposal, nondefense discretionary spending would see an 8.1 percent cut excluding the Department of Veterans Affairs and disaster relief accounts while defense would see an increase. It is unlikely that the Democrats will support the bill, and several Republicans, including Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Eli Crane (R-AZ), and Matt Rosendale…

COSSA Marks One Year of CHIPS and Science Act

August 9 marked the one year anniversary of enactment of the CHIPS and Science Act (P.L. 117-167), sweeping legislation aimed at reinvestment in and advancement of the U.S. scientific enterprise. Countless activities have ensued since passage of the landmark bill, such as the creation of the new Technology, Innovation and Partnership (TIP) Directorate at the National Science Foundation, efforts to address research security, research integrity and broadening participation in science, and new federal investments in key technology areas, such as artificial intelligence. Another critical feature of the law was the inclusion of ambitious funding targets for federal science agencies. However, as with all…

Analysis of the Senate FY 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill

On July 27, the Senate Appropriations Committee successfully completed work on all 12 of its annual appropriations bills, a feat that has not been accomplished in five years. Among the bills included in the final markup session was the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Bill. The Senate LHHS bill contains annual funding proposals 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), among other federal departments and agencies. As previously reported, the Senate appropriations…

Analysis of the Senate FY 2024 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill

On July 13, the Senate Appropriations Committee marked up and reported out its version of the fiscal year (FY) 2024 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Bill. The Senate CJS appropriations bill contains annual funding proposals for the National Science Foundation, Department of Justice, and Census Bureau, among other federal departments and agencies. The bill is written in-line with the FY 2024 budget caps that were agreed to earlier in the summer. As part of that agreement, total discretionary spending is capped at $1.59 trillion in FY 2024, a cut of about 9 percent below FY 2023. The share allocated to the CJS bill is…

Social Science Community Responds to Supreme Court Affirmative Action Ruling

The social science community has voiced its concerns and disappointment following the recent Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action in college admissions. On June 29, the Supreme Court delivered its verdict in the two cases of Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, declaring that race cannot be a factor in college admissions. The 6-3 ruling, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, effectively marks the end of affirmative action in higher education in the United States. Leaders within the social science community have responded. Felice J…

FY 2024 Funding Bills Advance, Outlook is Still Murky

As previously reported, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have started moving fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations bills in recent weeks. The House Appropriations Committee has reported out five of its 12 appropriations bills, including those covering funding for agriculture, defense, energy and water, homeland security, and legislative branch activities. The Senate committee recently approved two bills dealing with military construction/veteran’s affairs and agriculture. On the surface, progress appears to be moving at a decent pace. However, bigger political pressures continue to bog down the annual appropriations process, creating lots of uncertainty about the path forward. Last week before considering its funding for two bills, the Senate Appropriations…

Debt Ceiling Deal Caps Funding for Two Years, House Seeks Additional Cuts

As previously reported, the White House and House Republican leadership agreed to a budget deal late last month that would keep the U.S. from defaulting on its debt, at least until after the 2024 elections. The agreement, passed by Congress as the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 (H.R. 3746), suspends the federal debt ceiling until January 2025. However, as Republicans have been demanding, the suspension comes with stiff caps on discretionary spending for the next two years. In effect, the caps are likely to result in flat funding for federal research agencies in fiscal year (FY) 2024, with perhaps a few exceptions for…

Debt Limit Deal Struck, Spending Caps Likely for FY 2024-25

Over the Memorial Day weekend, the White House and House Republican leadership agreed to a budget deal that would keep the U.S. from defaulting on its debt, at least until after the 2024 elections. The agreement would suspend the U.S. debt limit until January 2025. However, as Republicans have been demanding, the suspension would come with limits—as well as some cuts—to discretionary spending over the next two years.     Should it make it through the House and Senate, the deal would set caps on discretionary spending at levels roughly 5 percent or $40 billion below current levels. However, by reclaiming unobligated…

Dr. Monica Bertagnolli Nominated to Lead NIH

On May 15, the White House announced the nomination of Dr. Monica Bertagnolli as the next Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If confirmed, Bertagnolli would replace the current Acting Director, Dr. Lawrence Tabak, who has been serving since the departure of Francis Collins in 2021. President Biden stated, “Dr. Bertagnolli has spent her career pioneering scientific discovery and pushing the boundaries of what is possible to improve cancer prevention and treatment for patients, and ensuring that patients in every community have access to quality care… Dr. Bertagnolli is a world-class physician-scientist whose vision and leadership will ensure…

House-Passed GOP Budget Would Decimate Science Funding

On April 26, the House passed along party lines the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023. The bill, which was developed by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other GOP members a week prior, represents the Republican’s opening bid in negotiations to raise the federal debt ceiling. Under the measure, the bill would suspend the federal debt limit until March 31, 2024, or until debt reaches $1.5 trillion, which ever comes first. However, as expected, the bill would demand steep cuts elsewhere in the budget to accommodate the increased borrowing authority. The White House and Congressional Democrats are seeking a…

NIH Releases New Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released its most recent Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA). The plan is intended to improve diversity and inclusion within the agency and the biomedical research community and builds off of stakeholder feedback collected last year (see previous COSSA coverage). NIH identifies key stages of implementation in the strategic plans’ framework, including the need to encourage the agency and community to become more people-centered and improve diversity and inclusion within their operations, workforce, and research. To this end, the NIH says it plans to implement sustainable practices to improve representation…

COSSA Releases Analysis of President’s Budget Request for FY 2024 for Social Science

On March 9, the Biden Administration began releasing details of its fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget request to Congress, with additional information rolling out over subsequent days.  In total, the Biden Administration is requesting $209.7 billion for research and development activities across the federal government in FY 2024, an increase of $8.9 billion. Within that amount, $101.2 billion is sought for basic and applied research activities, an increase of $3.5 billion. The budget identifies several cross-government priorities for the President, including:  As you will read throughout this report, the FY 2024 budget request prioritizes investment in these and other areas…

NIH Seeking Feedback on Plan to Enhance Public Access to Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a Plan to Enhance Public Access to the Results of NIH-Supported Research, a direct response to the August 2022 memorandum from the White House directing federal research agencies to make publications and data from federally funded research publicly accessible (see previous COSSA coverage). The plan outlines the agency’s proposed actions to make NIH research more publicly accessible, especially in regard to research data and scholarly publications. In addition, NIH will be accepting feedback on the public access plan, with particular interest on the following topics: Comments will be accepted through April 24,…

COSSA Releases 2023 College & University Rankings for Social & Behavioral Science R&D Funding

On February 8, COSSA released its annual College and University Rankings for Federal Social and Behavioral Science R&D, which highlight the top university recipients of research dollars in the social and behavioral sciences. COSSA’s website also features a rankings dashboard with an interactive map of recipients of social and behavioral science R&D funding so you can see how your university stacks up among 533 U.S. institutions. Based on federally collected data, the COSSA rankings use an inclusive selection of fields representing the breadth of the social and behavioral sciences to calculate the total federal R&D funding received by universities in…

Registration Open for In-Person Social Science Advocacy Day on April 24-25

You will be teamed up with advocates from your home state and participate in a day of in-person meetings (Tuesday, April 25) with House and Senate offices on Capitol Hill. Through these meetings, you will share reasons why federal government support for social and behavioral science research is so critical and discuss how you and your institution can be helpful to your elected officials. Advocates will be given all the resources they need to have successful meetings. This fun, informative event is a must for anyone within the social and behavioral science community who cares about sustainable funding for our…

Subscribe

Past Newsletters

Browse

Archive

Browse 40 years of the COSSA Washington Update.