The Senate and House remain in recess and will return to session on Monday, April 28.
BUDGET, APPROPRIATIONS, AND TAX ISSUES
GROUPS OF SENATORS REQUEST INCREASED FUNDING FOR NIH AND NSF
A bipartisan group of 57 Senators, led by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), sent a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee leaders on April 3 asking them to “maintain a strong commitment to funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)” in the FY15 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. (As reported previously, a group of 134 House Members sent a letter to House appropriators on April 4 requesting $32 billion for NIH in FY15.)
On April 11, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and a group of 20 other Senate Democrats sent a letter to Senate appropriators that urged them to provide $7.5 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in FY15. (As reported earlier, a bipartisan group of 134 House Members sent a similar letter to House appropriators on April 1.)
GREATER BOSTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FORMS NATIONAL COALITION FOR FEDERAL RESEARCH FUNDING
The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce announced on April 16 that it has created the Business for Federal Research Funding coalition, a national group that will advocate for strong growth in federal research funding. Forty-four chambers of commerce and business groups from around the country have so far agreed to participate (three joined the Coalition after the original press announcement). More are being encouraged to join.
The Coalition will begin its advocacy with the FY15 budget and appropriations process, arguing that Congress and the Obama Administration should increase budgets for federal research agencies “at a steady rate above inflation each year.” The Coalition will focus its efforts on research supported by such agencies as NIH, NSF, NASA, and the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security.
As noted in the Chamber’s press release, “In an increasingly global and competitive marketplace, federal investment in research is fueling the creation of jobs for millions of Americans.” It added, “Failure to invest federal resources in research would also diminish innovation in the US, allowing us to fall behind our highly skilled competitors overseas.”