DC Digest – April 6, 2015

In Today’s Issue:

  • Duke Prof Nominated Chair of US Marine Mammal Commission
  • Senators Request Administration’s Proposed FY16 Funding for NEH, NEA
  • Senate FY16 Budget Resolution Includes Research Amendment
  • House Members Urge Robust Funding for International Education Programs

 

DUKE PROF NOMINATED CHAIR OF US MARINE MAMMAL COMMISSION
President Barack Obama on March 18 announced his intent to nominate Duke University marine biologist Andrew J. Read to the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission.

Upon confirmation by the U.S. Senate and processing of his appointment paperwork by the White House, Read would become chairman of the Commission.

Read More:
Duke Marine Lab’s Andy Read (Nicholas.duke.edu)
SENATE FY16 BUDGET RESOLUTION INCLUDES RESEARCH AMENDMENT
At the behest of Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), an amendment was added to the Senate FY16 budget resolution on March 26 that supports increased spending on “federal investments in scientific research and development.” The amendment was authored by Senator Durbin, who worked with Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on the amendment language. The amendment was co-sponsored by 30 other Senators, including Senator Richard Burr (R-NC).

As with other elements of the budget resolution, the research amendment does not carry the force of law, but is an expression of congressional intent. The amendment calls for creating a deficit-neutral reserve fund “which may include supporting biomedical research to find ways to prevent, treat and cure diseases or conditions like Alzheimer’s and other life-threatening or chronic illnesses, providing long-term cost savings to the Federal Government, and supporting national security, basic energy research, innovative solutions, and American competitiveness…”

Read More:
Durbin Introduces Amendment to Preserve American Leadership in Biomedical and Scientific Research (Durbin.Senate.gov)

 

SENATORS REQUEST ADMINISTRATION’S PROPOSED FY16 FUNDING FOR NEH, NEA
A group of 27 Senators on March 23 sent a letter to Senate appropriators asking them to fund the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) at the President’s FY16 requested level of $147.9 million each. Those amounts are $2 million above each endowment’s FY15 funding level. “Federal support for the arts and humanities is a vital economic, educational, and cultural priority that impacts many communities across the United States,” the Senators wrote.

Read More:
Senators’ Letter on NEH, NEA Funding (pdf)

 

HOUSE MEMBERS URGE ROBUST FUNDING FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
A group of 46 Representatives sent a letter to House appropriators on March 26 requesting robust funding for the Department of Education’s Title VI and Fulbright-Hays International Education and Foreign Language programs in FY16.

Led by Reps. David Price (D-NC), Don Young (R-AK), and Joe Crowley (D-NY), the letter makes the case for the growing importance of strong academic programs in international education. It says, “The various programs funded under this account serve to strengthen the nation’s educational infrastructure in areas where the need grows greater by the day. In today’s global environment, foreign language and cultural knowledge have become necessary 21st century skills for government, business and non-profit employers.”

Read More:
House Letter on Title VI Funding (pdf)