DC Digest – August 5, 2014

In Today’s Issue:

  • Congress Pushes FY15 Funding Decisions to the Fall
  • Senators Introduce America COMPETES Act Reauthorization Bill
  • Identical Bills Aimed at Campus Sexual Assault Introduced in House and Senate
  • Duke Researcher Testifies Before Senate Subcommittee: Testimony Posted

 

CONGRESS PUSHES FY15 FUNDING DECISIONS TO THE FALL
Congress has begun its  five-week summer recess, without having approved any of the FY15 appropriations bills. The ongoing impasse between the House and Senate is expected to require approval of a short-term continuing resolution (CR), which would carry federal spending at its current levels into early December, following the mid-term November elections.

So far, the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved eight of its 12 FY15 funding bills, but none has been approved by the full Senate.  The House Appropriations Committee has approved 11 of its bills—all but Labor-HHS-Education—with full House approval of seven: Commerce-Justice-Science, Defense, Energy & Water, Financial Services, Legislative Branch, Military Construction-Veterans, and Transportation.

Read More:
FY15 Funding Status (aau.edu)

SENATORS INTRODUCE AMERICA COMPETES ACT REAUTHORIZATION BILL
A group of six Democratic Senators, led by Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), on July 31 introduced the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014. The committee had released a draft of the legislation earlier to solicit ideas and recommendations.

The measure has similarities to the COMPETES Acts of 2007 and 2010, and includes some of the key themes and principles found in the Guiding Principles for the America COMPETES Act Reauthorization, a document endorsed by more than 100 organizations in 2013.

The new bill is a five-year reauthorization (FY15 through FY19) that includes funding authorizations for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, as well as policy provisions for NSF, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programs.

Read More:
Rockefeller, Durbin, Nelson, Pryor, Coons, Markey Introduce COMPETES Reauthorization of 2014 (commerce.senate.gov)
Guiding Principles for America COMPETES Reauthorization (aau.edu)

IDENTICAL BILLS AIMED AT CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT INTRODUCED IN HOUSE AND SENATE
Bipartisan groups in both the House and Senate introduced legislation last week aimed at mitigating sexual assaults on college campuses. At a press conference on July 30, a group of eight Senators introduced the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA). The following day, a group of 18 House members, led by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced the companion bill in the House. The website of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) says the bill would:

1.     Establish new campus resources and support services for student survivors
2.     Ensure minimum training standards for on-campus personnel
3.     Create new transparency requirements
4.     Increase campus accountability and coordination with law enforcement
5.     Establish enforceable Title IX penalties and stiffer penalties for Clery Act violations

Read More:
Senators Offer Bill to Curb Campus Sexual Assault (New York Times)
Bipartisan Bill Takes Aim at Campus Sexual Assault (McCaskill.senate.gov)
Bipartisan Coalition of House Members Introduce Bill to Combat Sexual Assault on Campuses (Maloney.house.gov)
Resource Center: Campus Accountability and Safety Act (Gillibrand.senate.gov)

DUKE RESEARCHER TESTIFIES BEFORE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE: TESTIMONY POSTED
As reported in last week’s DC Digest, Jeannine Sato, a researcher with the Duke enter for Child and Family Policy, testified on July 30 before the Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families about the benefits of paid family leave.  The hearing, “Paid Family Leave: The Benefits for Businesses and Working Families” was requested by Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC).  Links to video of the hearing and Sato’s testimony are below.

Read More:
Sato Testimony (help.senate.gov)
Subcommittee Hearing on Paid Family Leave (help.senate.gov)