After a slow first month of the year, the 118th Congress has picked up the pace of activity. Accordingly, February proved to be a busy month for Blue Devils on Capitol Hill.
The month began with the in-person return of a bi-annual tradition. Duke and a host of its North Carolina peer institutions played host to staffers in the North Carolina delegation and the respective school alumni who work on Capitol Hill at the “Welcome 118th Congress” reception on Capitol Hill. On the evening of Feb. 8th, more than eight North Carolina universities were present to welcome the state’s newly elected and returning members of Congress. Nearly 200 people gathered for the reception, including half of the entire North Carolina delegation members: Sen. Ted Budd (R) and Reps. Don Davis (NC-01), Deborah Ross (NC-02), Kathy Manning (NC-06), Greg Murphy (NC-03), David Rouzer (NC-07), Valerie Foushee (NC-04) and Wiley Nickel (NC-13).
“My first time on the Hill with our state’s elected representatives was inspiring – the bi-partisan commitment of our delegation is empowering Duke and other North Carolina universities to collaborate on the elevation of our global competitiveness in the highly competitive fields of science and technology.”Jerome Lynch, The Vinik Dean of Engineering at duke university
Earlier that same day, Pratt School of Engineering Dean Jerry Lynch met with members and staff from the North Carolina congressional delegation, including Rep. Wiley Nickel (NC-13) and staff from Sen. Thom Tillis (R), Reps. Valerie Foushee (NC-4), Deborah Ross (NC-2), Kathy Manning (NC-6) and Alma Adams (NC-12). Dean Lynch was in town for the ASEE Engineering Deans Public Policy Colloquium. Lynch was joined by his fellow deans at Campbell University, North Carolina A&T State University and UNC-Charlotte, and the group raised a number of topics, including the importance of investments in the National Science Foundation and Department of Defense fundamental research to the state.
“My first time on the Hill with our state’s elected representatives was inspiring – the bi-partisan commitment of our delegation is empowering Duke and other North Carolina universities to collaborate on the elevation of our global competitiveness in the highly competitive fields of science and technology.” Jerome Lynch, Vinik Dean of Engineering
Duke faculty also spent time in February sharing their expertise in the more formal settings of congressional hearings. Lee Reiners, the policy director of the Duke Financial Economics Center and lecturing fellow at Duke University School of Law, provided his ‘two cents’ on the rise and fall of the cryptocurrency industry for the Senate Banking Committee.
Meanwhile, Gina-Gail Fletcher, professor of Law at Duke University School of Law, spoke with members of the House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Capital Markets, about federal securities law and how it could be reformed to enhance market efficiency and fairness.
“Fourteen years have provided ample evidence of the dire harm cryptocurrency inflicts throughout our society,” Reiners stated in his opening remarks. “If there were going to be one change, I would recommend Congress focus on, it would be requiring these crypto platforms to segregate customer assets from firm assets so that if these firms do get into trouble, customers will still have access to their funds.”
The spring will bring even more activity and engagement for the Duke community in Washington beyond Capitol Hill. Sign up for Duke in DC’s mailing lists to stay current on future communications and events.