118th congress

Newly Elected House Speaker Mike Johnson Releases Appropriations Schedule Amidst Risk Government Shutdown

On October 25, Mike Johnson (R-LA) stepped into the pivotal role of Speaker of the House, a position that demands immediate attention to pressing challenges, including a potential government shutdown in the coming weeks, and crucial decisions regarding U.S. financial support for Ukraine and Israel. Throughout his career, Johnson has been known for his strong conservative stances on social issues, particularly anti-abortion policies and restrictions on LGBTQ+ rights. As a staunch conservative, he has also been an active participant in the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Biden. What may further complicate funding agreements, President Biden has requested $106 billion in supplemental…

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…

Government Shutdown Narrowly Avoided: What’s Inside the Temporary Funding Bill?

After tense negotiations and a race against time, Congress approved a stopgap funding bill on Saturday which will last until November 17, preventing a looming federal shutdown. President Biden signed the bill into law, ensuring that the U.S. government will continue to operate without interruptions. Key provisions include: What’s the path forward? The approval of this temporary measure is only a short-term solution, and Congress will need to regroup to find a more lasting resolution by November 17. Several potential flashpoints and challenges loom on the horizon. The question of aid to Ukraine will be front and center. Additionally, the decision by…

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…

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…

Budget Season in Full Swing

Lawmakers returned this week from its two-week spring recess and immediately turned their attention to the budget; specifically, what to do about the approaching debt ceiling and whether or at what level to cap spending on discretionary programs for fiscal year (FY) 2024 (see previous coverage). While fights continue on these higher-level negotiations, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will be meeting this week to discuss the FY 2024 budget proposals for several federal science agencies. The Senate Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Subcommittee is holding a hearing on April 18 featuring leadership from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA;…

Congress on Spring Break, Returns April 18

Lawmakers have left Washington for a two-week spring recess. Upon their return later this month, work will continue on several thorny topics, including negotiations to raise the debt ceiling and setting top-line funding limits for the fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations bills. Appropriations subcommittees could begin crafting spending legislation over the next couple months, and those measures may include significant cuts to discretionary spending, including for research. As previously reported, House Republicans are seeking to cut non-defense discretionary spending back to FY 2022 levels; however, such cuts will not be supported by the Democrat-controlled Senate, setting the stage for major…

118th Congress: Profile of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Subcommittee

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) is an important committee to the research community in that it is responsible for securing appropriations and drafting legislation for the Department of Education (ED), Department of Labor (DOL), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which includes the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The LHHS Subcommittee is one of the most sought-after committee appointments in the Senate due to the wide scope of agencies and priorities under the Subcommittee’s jurisdiction. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman, Patty Murray (D-WA), and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME)…

118th Congress: Profile of the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) is an important committee to the research community in that it is responsible for securing appropriations and drafting legislation for scientific agencies, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Justice (DOJ), Census Bureau, and several other science and statistical agencies. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman, Patty Murray (D-WA) announced Democratic subcommittee assignments in mid-February. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) remains as the CJS Chair, and, for the minority, Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) has also remained in his position as Ranking Member. The Subcommittee is expected to begin holding…

House Science Committee Holds Hearing on a Science and Technology Strategy

On March 1, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (SST) held a public hearing titled The United States, China, and the Fight for Global Leadership: Building a U.S. National Science and Technology Strategy. The hearing focused on the geopolitical competition between the U.S. and China as well as the development of a National Science and Technology Strategy, a framework mandated in the 2022 enacted CHIPS and Science Act that aims to make the U.S. more competitive technologically. Witnesses included Former Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, President and CEO…

House Energy and Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on Data Privacy and Security

On March 1, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on data security, mass data collection, and the need to protect Americans’ privacy in the wake of resulting targeted ads and the vulnerability of consumer data. Salient points regarding the necessity for data security, with implications for researchers and anyone concerned about privacy standards were discussed at length.  Witnesses included President and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology Alexandra Reeve Givens, Founder and Chief Product Officer of Anonym Graham Mudd, and Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor for Consumer Protection at Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP…

118th Congress: Profile of the House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) is among the most important committees to the scientific community. The CJS subcommittee is responsible for crafting annual funding legislation for the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Justice (DOJ), Census Bureau, and several other science and statical agencies.   As previously reported, full Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX) announced Republican subcommittee appointments last month. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (R-KY) has taken over as CJS Subcommittee Chair; Rogers formerly served as chairman of the full Appropriations Committee from 2011-2016. The Republican subcommittee roster includes two freshman members, Reps….

House Science Committee Approves Authorization and Oversight Plan

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on February 8 to organize and establish the committee rules. The hearing was also used to review and accept the committee’s Authorization and Oversight Plan for the new term. The Authorization and Oversight Plan details the committee’s rules, authorizations, and priorities. Among the plan’s priorities include reauthorizations of several federal agencies and oversight of recently enacted bills, including the CHIPS and Science Act (previous COSSA coverage). The plan prioritizes research, notably with a focus on STEM, and the protection of research from foreign theft. The House Science Committee acknowledged the…

118th Congress: Profile of the House Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations Subcommittee

As its name suggests, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) is responsible for crafting funding legislation for the Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services (HHS), including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Labor (DOL), as well as other independent agencies like the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Council on Disability. The LHHS Subcommittee is one of the most sought-after appointments in the House. In recent weeks, Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Chair of the full House Appropriations Committee, announced Republican subcommittee appointments. Rep. Robert Aderholt…

118th Congress: Profile of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee

Now that the fight over who will serve as Speaker of the House has been settled, Congressional committees are starting to take shape, albeit later than originally planned. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) has been chosen to serve as chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee; Lucas served as Ranking Member in the last Congress. In a press release, Lucas stated his hope to continue working in a bipartisanship manner with Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), the ranking Democrat. Lofgren replaces Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) who retired at the end of the last Congress. However, not all of Lucas’ stated…

House Votes to Establish Select Committee on China

On January 10, the House of Representatives established a new Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. The Committee, which will have bipartisan membership and will be chaired by Mike Gallagher (R-WI), is authorized to hold public hearings and “to investigate and submit policy recommendations on the status of the Chinese Communist Party’s economic, technological, and security progress and its competition with the United States.” However, the Committee will not have legislative authority, meaning it will not have the authority to develop or consider legislation. The establishment of the Committee is another…

Sen. Chuck Grassley Seeking Information on Science Fellows Serving in the Biden Administration

In December, Politico reported on what some view as a growing influence of Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO, in the Biden Administration. The article cited financial support provided by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), which receives funding from Schmidt, for salaries of fellows serving in the Administration under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Mobility Program. The IPA program is widely used across the federal government to allow for the temporary placement of non-governmental employees to federal agency posts for a short period of time “when this movement serves a sound public purpose.” The employees’ salaries are paid by their…

118th Congress Convenes Amidst Historic Speaker Conflict

The 118th Congress has officially kicked off with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) winning the speakership in the House on January 7 after a protracted fight within the Republican party. All House members were sworn in upon McCarthy’s election; reelected and newly elected Senators were sworn in on January 3. While many questions remain, details about what we can expect this year under the Republican-controlled House and Democratic-controlled Senate are starting to emerge. This week, the House passed its rules package for the 118th Congress, which includes several provisions making headlines. In order to secure the votes needed to win the…

Big Changes Coming in 118th Congress; Watch COSSA’s Post-Election Webinar

While some races still need to be called, notably, the Senate race in Georgia, there are some things we can be certain about now that we are past the November midterm elections. For example, come January 3 and the swearing-in of the 118th Congress: COSSA discussed some of these changes and possible committee and leadership shakeups during the November 17 post-election Headlines webinar. A recording is available here. COSSA will be closely monitoring the activities and appointments of the 118th Congress and will be calling on members to engage with elected officials early in 2023.

Rep. David Price, Longtime Social Science Champion, Announces Retirement

Representative David Price (D-NC), one of Congress’s only social scientists, announced that he will not seek reelection in 2022. Price was first elected to Congress in 1987 after serving as a professor of political science at Duke University and has been a vocal champion of federally funded research and the social and behavioral sciences in particular over the course of his more than 30 years in the House. He memorably rose to the defense of the National Science Foundation’s Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) after attempts to defund it in 2014. Price’s retirement will leave open a seat…

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