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Washington Update
Week of March 20 - 24
Washington Wrap-up

This week, attention in Washington was mainly focused on the possibility of the House voting on a bill to rewrite the nation's health care system. A vote on the measure was pulled, for the second time, on Friday afternoon.

Congress has until April 28 to pass an appropriations measure to fund the federal government for the remainder of FY2017. It remains to be seen how the FY2017 appropriations process will unfold. However, there is widespread speculation FY2017 will end with another Continuing Resolution. Meanwhile, many House and Senate Committees have already begun holding hearings on the FY2018 budget.

President Trump Signs NASA Authorization Legislation

On Tuesday, President Trump signed the bipartisan NASA Transition Authorization Act (S. 442) into law. This legislation is a one-year FY2017 authorization bill that authorizes $19.5 billion in spending for NASA. This legislation was approved by unanimous consent in the Senate and House. The bill emphasizes human space exploration and affirms existing NASA priorities. This legislation is different from the last, comprehensive NASA authorization bill, which passed in 2010, and is intended to provide stability to the agency during the current Administration's transition. 

At the bill signing ceremony, Vice President Mike Pence said he expects the Administration to reestablish the National Space Council, an interagency advisory group last used in the George H.W. Bush Administration.
Congressional Fellowships on Women and Public Policy -- Accepting Applications
 
The Women’s Congressional Policy Institute is accepting applications for the Congressional Fellowships on Women and Public Policy since 2014. The fellowships are for a select number of students pursuing a graduate degree or those who have recently completed a master’s, doctorate, or professional degree with a proven commitment to equity for women. Fellows gain practical policymaking experience and graduate credit as they work from January to August in Congressional offices.

Applications are due Thursday, June 1.
Further information is available here.

National Medal of Science -- Accepting Applications

The National Medal of Science is the Nation's highest honor for scientists and engineers and is presented annually by the President of the United States. It was established by the 86th Congress in 1959 as a Presidential Award to be given to individuals "deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences."
 
Nominations are due April 7. Further information is available here.

National Medal of Technology and Innovation -- Accepting Applications

The Department of Commerce's U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is accepting nominations for the 2017 National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The medal, presented each year by the President, is the country's highest award for technological achievement. The medal can be awarded to individuals, teams (up to four individuals), companies or divisions of companies to recognize their outstanding contributions to the U.S. economic, environmental, and social well-being.
 
Nominations are due on April 7, 2017. Further information is available here.

Legislative Activities

Next week, both the House and Senate will be in session (March 27 - 31)
 
Committee Activities
Tuesday, March 28

House Energy and Commerce Committee
Subcommittees on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Hearing: Self-Driving Cars: Levels of Automation
10:00 a.m., 2322 Rayburn

Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources

Energy Subcommittee Hearing: Examining the cybersecurity threats to the U.S. electric grid and technology advancements to minimize such threats
2:15 p.m., 366 Dirksen

Wednesday, March 29


House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Full Committee Hearing: Federally Funded Cancer Research: Coordination and Innovation
9:30 a.m., 2154 Rayburn

House Committee on Appropriations
Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee Hearing: Budget Hearing -- Department of Health and Human Services
10:00 a.m., 2358-C Rayburn

House Science Committee

Full Committee Hearing: Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method
10:00 a.m., 2318 Rayburn


Senate Commerce Committee
Hearings to examine closing the skills gap and boosting United States competitiveness.
10:00 a.m., G50 Dirksen

 

Highlighting U-M Faculty Serving on Federal Advisory Committees:

We are proud to feature U-M faculty and staff who are serving on a Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) in our weekly newsletter. Through FACs, faculty and staff live out U-M’s mission to serve the state, nation, and world by applying their knowledge and expertise to help shape and inform national policy. If you are currently serving on a FAC, or have recently been selected to serve, please let Kristina or Madeline know.

Dr. Jennifer Read
This week, we are featuring Dr. Jennifer Read, Director of the U-M Water Center.
 
Dr. Read was recently appointed to serve on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Science Advisory Board, Environmental Information Services Working Group (EISWG). According to NOAA, the EISWG is a standing working group that advises the SAB on the condition and capabilities of improving communications among the various public, private, and academic entities engaged in environmental information matters and submits formal reports that identify current issues, deficiencies, recommendations for remedial action, and proposed initiatives. The EISWG is composed of 15-18 members who are by reason of knowledge, experience or training, are especially qualified to represent users of NOAA environmental information services.
 
To learn more about Dr. Read’s background, please click here.

Nomination Announcements
 
Federal Advisory Committees:

Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting nominations for membership on the Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB). The EFAB makes advice and recommendations to the EPA on a number of issues, including: reducing the cost of financing environmental facilities and discouraging polluting behavior, and developing new and innovative environmental services and removing or reducing constraints on private investment imposed by current regulations. Nominees should demonstrate experience in any of the following areas: Energy efficiency; regulators; commercial banking; local utility management and finance; resource conservation; brownfields; green infrastructure financing; sustainable community partnerships; water resiliency; water and wastewater utility financial management; public-public; public-private; and public-nonprofit partnerships.

Nominations are due March 31, 2017. Further information is available here.

 
Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is soliciting nominations for membership on Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC). CLIAC provides scientific and technical advice and guidance pertaining to general issues related to improvement in clinical laboratory quality and laboratory medicine.

Nominations are due May 1, 2017. Further information is available here.
 
Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is soliciting nominations for membership on the Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP) in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC).

The Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel provides advice and guidance to the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); the Director, CDC, and the Administrator, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) regarding the concept review, scientific and technical merit of grant and cooperative agreement assistance applications, and contract proposals relating to the causes, prevention, and control of diseases, disabilities, injuries, and impairments of public health significance; exposure to hazardous substances in the environment; health promotion and education; and other related activities that promote health and well-being.

Nominations are due March 31, 2017. Further information is available here.

 
NSF Advisory Committee Openings
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting nominations for positions available on its scientific and technical federal advisory committees. There are 13 advisory committees accepting nominations including:
  • Advisory Committee for Biological Sciences
  • Advisory Committee for Computer and Information Science and Engineering
  • Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure
  • Advisory Committee for Education and Human Resources
  • Advisory Committee for Engineering
  • Advisory Committee for Geosciences
  • Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering
  • Advisory Committee for Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • Advisory Committee for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
  • Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering
  • Advisory Committee for Business and Operations
  • Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee
The federal register notice, with details on how to submit names, is available here. Nominations for membership are maintained for one year.
 
National Institute of Standards and Technology Federal Advisory Committees
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is accepting nominations for appointment to nine existing Federal Advisory Committees:
  • Board of Overseers of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
  • Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
  • Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board
  • National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee
  • Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction
  • National Advisory Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction
  • NIST Smart Grid Advisory Committee
  • Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology
Nominations will be accepted on an ongoing basis. Further information is available here.
 
Council on Graduate Medical Education
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accpeting nominations to fill vacancies on the Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME). The COGME provides advice and recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services and members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce on matters related to: supply of physicians in the U.S., physician workforce trends, training issues, and financing policies.

The agency will receive nominations on a continuous basis. Further information is available here.
News Articles
Research is an afterthought in first Trump budget
“Paging Dr. Fraud”: The Fake Publishers That Are Ruining Science
‘They’re afraid to come': University leaders worry Trump policies will deter international scholars
Why Trump’s N.I.H. Cuts Should Worry Us
Why open borders are crucial for innovation
The findings of medical research are disseminated too slowly
In the Age of Trump, Scientists See Reproducibility as Risky Business
Trump needs R&D to run government like a business (Opinion)
 
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If you would like to be added to the Washington Update, please contact Madeline Nykaza (mnykaza@umich.edu).






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