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News from FABBS

115th Congress Gets Organized for the Work Ahead

On January 3, the 115th Congress kicked off its first session with formal swearing in ceremonies. In the House of Representatives, the freshman class includes 52 members (26 Republicans and 27 Democrats), while the Senate has 7 new members (2 Republicans and 5 Democrats). This Congress is considerably more diverse with women and minorities making considerable gains. This increased diversity is reflected in the House and Senate leadership where women hold some of the highest positions. In the

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More Budget Cuts On the Horizon

Despite the belt-tightening on the federal budget in recent years, in part a result of the ten-year budget caps created by the Budget Control Act of 2011, the new Administration is planning additional “dramatic” cuts, according to The Hill. “Donald Trump is ready to take an ax to government spending,” according to the news piece.

On the chopping block are programs at the Departments of Commerce, Energy, State, Transportation, and Justice. The National Endowment for the Arts and

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Science Bill Passes as the 114th Congress Ends

Just as the 114th Congress ended its second session, the Senate and House champions of a bill to provide direction for programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF), White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and other federal science agencies, got the legislation across the finish line. The final bill reflected common ground between House and Senate science committee leaders. Senator John Thine (R-SD), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation,

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21st Century Cures Becomes Law- Provide New Funds for NIH and Opioid Crisis

On December 13, President Obama signed into law H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation Congress had been negotiating since the original bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2015. The bill affects primarily the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and includes provisions intended to improve mental health, building on recommendations from the President’s Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task

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