DC Digest – January 5, 2014

In Today’s Issue:

  • This Week in Washington
  • OFR and Duke in Washington in the News and on the Air
  • Higher Ed Associations Express Concerns About Public Access Provisions of ‘FIRST’ Act Draft


THIS WEEK IN WASHINGTON

  • Government Funding: House-Senate negotiators will meet today to discuss the last of their differences in an over $1 trillion-plus omnibus spending bill that will dictate federal funds for the remainder of the fiscal year. Congress has until Jan. 15 to pass the legislation in order to avoid another government shutdown.
  • Farm Bill: Members of the Farm Bill conference committee are expected to release a framework for a long-term extension this week. The agricultural community is looking to see proposed solutions to differences in commodity titles, dairy policy, nutrition, crop insurance, and conservation compliance, among other issues. 
  • Unemployment Insurance: The Senate is set to take a procedural vote on a three-month short term extension of unemployment insurance for 1.3 million Americans later today. In the House, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has said that extended benefits should not add to the deficit.
  • Looking Ahead:
    The House: The House GOP Leadership has announced that possible legislative items for the month of January could include issues related to the Water Resources Bill, the Affordable Care Act, and Iran Sanctions. The Senate: The Senate will continue confirmation hearings and votes on Janet Yellen’s nomination to Chair the Federal Reserve.

Read More:
Budget Battle Nears Finish (Politico)
Washington Week Ahead: All eyes focused on possible farm bill conference (Agri-Pulse)
Battle over Unemployment Benefits Will Consume Start of 2014 (The Hill)
Cantor Lays Out January Legislative Agenda (Roll Call)


OFR AND DUKE IN WASHINGTON IN THE NEWS AND ON THE AIR
The News and Observer highlighted the work of the Office of Federal Relations and Duke in Washington in a profile piece last week:
“Many colleges and universities have outposts in Washington. Duke’s is one of the newest. It’s also the latest development in a long tradition of Duke and the University of North Carolina providing expertise to Congress and federal agencies, and also making sure that official Washington knows what the schools need.”

Also, this morning Chris Simmons and Landy Elliott of the Office of Federal Relations appeared on WCHL’s Morning News with Ron Stutts to talk about Duke’s presence in DC.

Read More:
Duke, UNC Keep Sharp Eye on Washington (newsobserver.com)
WCHL Morning News (Duke pieces begins at 27:50)

HIGHER ED ASSOCIATIONS EXPRESS CONCERNS ABOUT PUBLIC ACCESS PROVISIONS OF ‘FIRST’ ACT DRAFT
AAU and APLU sent a letter January 2 to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee commenting on the provisions of the “Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technologies (FIRST) Act” discussion draft that concern public access to the results of federally funded research.

The letter states that the associations “strongly support the goals of Section 302 to provide free public access to and preservation of the results of research funded by federal agencies.”  The letter notes, however, that the discussion draft’s public access provisions would undermine, in several ways, “the thoughtful, balanced process to increase public access” that is being carried out by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Read More:
Higher Ed Associations Express Concerns About Public Access Provisions of “FIRST” Act Draft (pdf)