DC Digest – April 13, 2015

In Today’s Issue:

  • This Week in Washington
  • Duke to Participate in Hill Briefing on USAID Development Partnership
  • How to Congratulate @Duke_MBB: Federal Official Edition
  • Dukies on the Move
  • AAU, APLU Endorse Goals of Three Open Access Bills


House of Representatives: This week, the first of the fiscal year 2016 funding bills will come to the floor of the House of Representatives, as the chamber considers the Military Construction-Veteran Affairs and Energy-Water appropriation bills. The House will also mark the passage of Tax Day by considering legislation aimed at “restoring trust” in the Internal Revenue Service.

Senate: Meanwhile, the Senate will consider the House-passed “doc fix” bill, a measure that would change the way Medicare pays physicians. Senators are considering introducing an amendment that would require the change to be completely offset by other spending reductions. Later in the week, the Senate will debate the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (S. 625), as introduced by Sen. Bob Corker (R-OK) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

White House: Tomorrow, President Obama will meet with the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi at the White House. The meeting will serve to underscore the strategic partnership between the two countries, and it’s expected that the leaders will discuss the ongoing political and military struggle against the terrorist group, ISIL.

Read More:
This week: Iran, Medicare deal top agenda (thehill.com)
Obama to host leaders of Iraq and Japan at the White House in April (washingtonpost.com)


Representatives from the Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke (SEAD) will be in DC on Wednesday for a series of meetings at USAID and the White House as well as a briefing related to the Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN), a flagship program of the USAID Global Development Lab.

The HESN is a partnership between university innovators and development practitioners, and the briefing will showcase some of the innovative, results-oriented ways this partnership is addressing international development challenges in 66 countries around the world.


As the waning seconds ticked off the clock in last week’s NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship game, we — like any tech-savvy Duke fans — took to Twitter to watch the praise (and a little criticism) pour in from around the globe.  Former players, celebrities, ecstatic alumni, and – yes – even federal officials chimed in with commentary on the night’s game. ICYMI, don’t worry, here’s a cheat sheet of how lawmakers said congratulations to the Duke University men’s basketball team — the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champions.

Read More:
How to Congratulate @Duke_MBB: Federal Official Edition (governmentrelations.duke.edu)


William K. Davis (T ’84, G ’87) begins his new role today as executive director of the United States Global Leadership Coalition.  Davis comes to USGLC from the United Nations Development Program, where he was director of the Washington office.

Read More:
Top Global Affairs Leader William Davis Appointed USGLC Executive Director (usglc.org)


AAU and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) have sent letters of support to the sponsors of three bills reintroduced in the House and Senate that would make articles generated from publicly funded scientific research freely available online.

The bills are: the Public Access to Public Science (PAPS) Act (H.R. 1426), reintroduced by Reps. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act of 2015 ( S. 779/H.R. 1477), reintroduced in the Senate by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) and in the House by Reps. Mike Doyle (D-PA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Kevin Yoder (R-KS).

The association letters thank the bills’ sponsors for their efforts to reinforce the thoughtful public access policy promulgated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. They add that the FASTR and PAPS bills are sound legislation that would “expand public access to the results of federally funded research and create the infrastructure to support a growing public-private network of interoperable repositories of research articles and data across all disciplines. Such a network would greatly increase access to and use of new knowledge by scientists and scholars.”

Read More:
Letter of support for PAPS and FASTR (pdf)