Washington Update
Week of February 27 - March 3
FY2018 Budget Outlook & Wrapping-up FY2017
The White House is expected to release its FY2018 Budget Proposal this month, which is being described as a 'skinny budget'. The proposal will be a broad overview of the Administration's priorities and not go into as much detail as a typical Presidential budget request.

The Administration has indicated their desire to provide an additional $54 billion for defense spending. This money is expected to be found from cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs. In order to do this, a change in the law would be required. Current law requires any cuts be split evenly between NDD and defense spending.

This week, President Trump's budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters the skinny budget will not address entitlement programs or tax reform. Additionally, it will not provide specifics on infrastructure, which the President has noted is a top priority. Instead, the budget will provide topline numbers for discretionary spending programs.

Currently, the agencies are working with the Administration on where proposed cuts should be made, or in the case of the Defense Department, where the money should go. A final proposal is expected to be sent to the Hill by mid-March. It is important to remember, generally, the President's budget is largely ignored by Congress. Some proposed cuts have already been met with opposition by both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. Additionally, it is extremely unlikely such a large cut to NDD could garner enough votes to pass the Senate.

Congress has not yet completed FY2017 appropriations. Current funding expires Friday, April 28. The appropriators remain optimistic about the possibility of passing some funding measures, but a Continuing Resolution for at least some or all of the remainder of FY2017 appropriations is also likely.

Cabinet Confirmations Update
This week, the Senate approved the nominations of:
  • Dr. Ben Carson* as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by a vote of 58 to 41
  • Rick Perry as the Secretary of Energy by a vote of 62 to 37
  • Ryan Zink as the Secretary of the Interior by a vote of 68 to 31
The Washington Post has a full confirmation update here.

* = U-M Alum

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.

US Water Alliance Opens Nominations for 2017 US Water Prize

The U.S. Water Alliance has opened nominations for their 2017 US Water Prize. According to the U.S. Water Alliance, this prize is awarded on an annual basis to celebrate outstanding achievement in the advancement of sustainable solutions to our nation's water challenges.

Winners of the 2017 US Water Prize will be recognized and announced during the Water Prize Ceremony at the 2017 One Water Summit in New Orleans, June 27-29. Nominations are due March 8, 2017. Winners will be chosen by an Independent Review Panel comprised of past winners and water industry experts. More information about the nomination process can be found here.

Legislative Activities

Next week, both the House and Senate will be in session (March 6 - 10)

Committee Activities

Wednesday, March 8

House Appropriations Committee
L-HHS-E Subcommittee: Public Witnesses Day
10:00 a.m., 2358-C Rayburn

House Appropriations Committee
Energy & Water Development Subcommittee: Members' Day
10:00 a.m., 2362-B Rayburn

Senate Appropriations Committee
L-HHS-E Subcommittee Hearing: 'Saving Lives Through Medical Research'
10:30 a.m., 138 Dirksen

Thursday, March 9

House Appropriations Committee
Defense Subcommittee: Members' Day
9:30 a.m., H-140, The Capitol

House Science Committee
Subcommittee on Research and Technology Hearing: NSF Part 1: Overview and Oversight
10:00 a.m., 2318 Rayburn
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:
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.

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC)
The Government Accountability Office is accepting nominations to join the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) for appointments that will be effective May 1, 2017.

Nominations are due March 10, 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
Undergraduate research would benefit from better comparative data, says Academies panel
US factory CEOs to Trump: Jobs exist; skills don't
Trump to propose 10 percent spike in defense spending, major cuts to other agencies
Scientists gather to talk research, but political anxieties pervade
Trump’s 2018 budget will squeeze civilian science agencies
Border clampdown could disrupt web of collaborations
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