Government Relations

Government Relations Legislative Update

Government Relations Legislative Update

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

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Federal Update for March 17, 2011

In a report ( released on March 10, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) outlines a number of possible policy changes to address the issue of the deficit.  Reducing the Deficit: Spending and Revenue Options includes a number of options which would have an impact on higher education, including:

  •   Limiting funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  •   Revising the eligibility requirements for the Pell Grant program
  •   Eliminating the in-school interest subsidy for graduate students
  •   Cutting support for cultural agencies, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
  •   Changes to the tax code, such as:
  •   Decreasing charitable giving deductions
  •   Limiting itemized deductions
  •   Eliminating certain tax preferences for educational expenses
  •   Replace tax exclusion for interest income on state and local bonds with direct subsidies to bond issuers
On March 14th, the Department of Energy (DOE) put out a Request for Information (RFI) (Notice 77 FR 13607) ( on the launch of a new DOE Quadrennial Technology Review (DOE-QTR).  The DOE-QTR is being developed in response to a report issued by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) in late November.  

The PCAST recommendation, Report to the President on Accelerating the Pace of Change in Energy Technologies Through an Integrated Federal Energy Policy (, provides specific recommendations on how and what the Federal role is in transforming the US Energy system. The report calls upon the Federal government to craft a government-wide Federal energy policy and update it regularly with strategic Quadrennial Reviews every four years similar to those produced regularly by the Department of Defense. It also calls for a $10 billion increased investment in energy research, development, demonstration and deployment (RDD&D) – up to about $16 billion/year – through new revenue streams. The report also calls for revisions to the DOE structure, a new social science research focus, and a workforce traineeship program.
The RFI comment period ends on April 15, 2011. Further information about the DOE-QTR can be found at

The UW System Federal Priorities Binder for Fiscal Year 2012 is available.  It can be accessed at:

(APLU and the UW System Office of Federal Relations contributed to this report.)