November 18, 2021
National Science Foundation
This week the House and Senate agreed to begin official negotiations on a package of legislation which includes National Science Foundation Reauthorization, as previously reported on in the FABBS newsletter. Earlier this year, the House and Senate passed dramatically different versions of the legislation, and have been unable to reconcile differences. Senate Majority Leader Schumer attempted to attach the Senate version to a must-pass annual defense authorization bill. After receiving pushback, however, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that they had agreed to form a conference committee to negotiate differences. The legislation also includes measures relating to the Department of Energy, NASA, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of State, and Schumer has framed it in terms of global strategic competition. FABBS, as a member of the Coalition for National Science Funding, is working to emphasize the importance of broad budget increases across NSF’s existing research portfolio.
Public Health Week of Action
FABBS participated in virtual visits to Capitol Hill as a part of the Coalition for Health Funding’s (CHF) Public Health Week of Action. We joined other public health advocates to meet with Senate staff, encouraging strong funding for health programs, especially for research supported by the National Institutes of Health. We made clear that Congress must come together to pass regular appropriations, and avoid another Continuing Resolution, which would hamper research progress. The Public Health Week of Action also focused on raising awareness of the importance of social determinants of health, building on excitement surrounding the brand new Congressional Social Determinants of Health Caucus.