DC Digest – June 13, 2017

In Today’s Issue:
  • Trump Names Cancer Institute Director
  • Senate Healthcare Bill Update
  • Travel Ban Update
  • NSF/ARPA-E Reports Released
  • NSF Director Testifies

TRUMP NAMES CANCER INSTITUTE DIRECTOR

President Trump has announced he’ll appoint Dr. Norman Sharpless, a physician and cancer researcher, to run the National Cancer Institute. Sharpless currently runs the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina. He’s studied the connection between aging and cancer and co-founded G1 Therapeutics, a biopharma company working on small-molecule cancer treatments.

Many in the health and science community are excited about the pick, saying Sharpless has the right blend of research, clinical, and administrative experience for the role. The president has proposed cutting the National Cancer Institute’s $5.4 billion budget by 19 percent next year.

GOP SENATOR HEALTH BILL

GOP senators are working toward the first full draft of their Obamacare repeal legislation. Assuming the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) can score the bill in about two weeks, that puts the Senate on track for a vote before July 4. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear the bill won’t be going through committee leaders.

9TH CIRCUIT BLOCKS TRAVEL BAN AGAIN

The president’s travel ban succumbed to another legal setback Monday, June 12 when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to reverse a Hawaii district court’s injunction that prevented much of the policy from taking effect.

“Immigration, even for the president, is not a one-person show,” the unanimous three-judge panel wrote in the opinion. “National security is not a ‘talismanic incantation’ that, once invoked, can support any and all exercise of executive power under [federal immigration law].”

The Trump administration’s hopes for the travel ban now rest with the Supreme Court, assuming it consents to take up the case.

OpinioNation

NATIONAL ACADEMIES NSF/ARPA-E REPORTS RELEASED

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released its reports on the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program. The NSF report calls for a more robust treament of social, behavioral, and economics research in the NSF portfolio and the DOE report urges the maintenance of its ambitious funding and support for ARPA-E.

Report Card: NSF

Report Card: ARPA-E

NSF DIRECTOR TESTIFIES ON BUDGET

Dr. France Cordova, the Director of the National Science Foundation, testified June 7 of last week on the president’s budget proposal and NSF needs.

Budget Talk