Government Relations

Government Relations Legislative Update

Government Relations Legislative Update

Updates on state and federal issues relating to the UW System.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Federal Update for Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Federal Update for Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Congress is out of session and will meet again for legislative business on Monday, November 15, for the lame-duck session.

The House adjourned on September 30.  The Senate finished its legislative business on September 29, but it is reconvening every few days in pro forma session to keep President Obama from making recess appointments during the period before the lame-duck session.
Commercialization of University Research, U.S. Department of Commerce Website

Last March, the White House solicited public comments on how best to encourage commercialization of university research.  The Department of Commerce has now created a website that provides an overview of the request and the 205 responses it received.  The responses are sorted by type of organization—including universities, non-profit organizations, associations, and corporations—and by private individuals.  

Amicus Brief filed on behalf of STEM Cell Research

The Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR), the state of Wisconsin, and the Genetics Policy Institute filed a joint amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on October 18 in support of the Justice Department's position against the preliminary injunction halting federal funding of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research.  The brief details how Congress has shown strong support for hESC research and how researchers would be harmed should funding be cut off.  

The Court of Appeals has stayed the preliminary injunction, allowing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue funding the research until the appeals court makes another ruling.  

The University of California also has filed an amicus brief in which it argues that the plaintiffs should not have been granted standing in the case. The UC brief describes why the plaintiffs, as adult stem cell researchers, have not suffered a competitive injury from NIH funding of hESC research, and notes that, in any case, it is institutions and not individuals that are the actual grantees.  

Both the CAMR and UC briefs are available on the CAMR website.  

A brief is due from the plaintiffs by Oct. 28; a Justice Department response will be due by November 4.

Energy Research Presentations Available

On October 20, there was a congressional briefing on how Department of Energy science is helping U.S. industry compete.  The Capitol Hill session was sponsored by the Energy Sciences Coalition (ESC), in conjunction with the House R&D Caucus.
The three presentations are: "How DOE Science Helps Industry Compete: A View from the Auto Industry" by Dr. Kathryn Clay, "R&D in the Semiconductor Industry:  What Does the Future Hold?" by Dr. Bryan Rice, and "Technology-Driven Innovation in Plastics" by Dr. James Stevens, and can be accessed by going to the AAU website:

FY11 Energy Research and Education Appropriations Chart -- Updated

An updated chart on the status of FY11 energy research and education appropriations is now available on the AAU website.  The chart includes numbers for previous fiscal years, the Administration's FY11 budget request, and funding provided so far in the House and Senate Energy and Water appropriations bills.  
(AAU and the UWSA Office of Federal Relations contributed to this report.)