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There is always a long list of policy matters that affects the work of scientists, engineers and STEM educators. Here we review a few top hot items currently before the US Congress, and suggest ways for #BLACKandSTEM #policytoday professions to engage the political processes.
Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) has announced plans to introduce the American Innovation Act which would lift automatic spending caps for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy Office of Science, the Department of Defense Science and Technology Programs, the National Institute of Standards and Technology Scientific and Technical Research, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Directorate. Essentially the bill proposes to reduce the impact of sequester for these agencies by at least 67%.
R. 880: American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015 which seeks to make the credit permanent and to simplify the taking of its provisions
Many Members of Congress, including ones in the GOP, as well as President Obama have called for the total end of sequestration. But while there is agreement on ending that style of spending cuts, the GOP and Administration are still at odds on the exact spending levels and taxation policy. While even the most ardent deficit hawks in the GOP have called for increases in the NIH budget, the actual GOP budget blueprint, released just this week, calls overall cuts in non-defense discretionary funding.
Scientists push for bigger top-line budgets by demonstrating the positive benefits of research to the overall economy, to health and national security. This is something we have to do often.
The RD tax credit has a long history
The Budget Control Act requires that the President submit a budget request to Congress in February. Congress then has a 2-step process to fund the government, authorizations and appropriations. The latter is required specifically in the Constitution in Article I, Section 9, Clause 7. When all these things are done before October 1 that is called regular order. When they are not, it is a great failure of the system. The lack of regular order slows down the process of government and has real negative impacts on programs, institutions and people. Research scientists feel the lack of regular order when their program directors cannot process awards well into the fiscal year because they do not know what their budgets will be. Moreover, the stop-gap ‘continuing resolutions’ require deprecated programs to be continued and new programs to be prohibited from moving forward.
From February to September scientists have to urge our Representatives and Senators to keep to regular order. It is an arduous task to keep track with hearings and amendments. But several professional societies have experts on staff that do this. We as citizens just have to stay informed and diligent in contacting our elected representatives.
Economists as well as private-sector and ST advocates can agree that the United States needs to invest more in research and development by both public and private entities.
It is currently expired as it has done many times since its first enactment in 1981. On February 11th, Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX-8) introduced H. The bill currently has 11 co-sponsors (9R, 2D).
In addition to making this tax credit permanent, the bill should be passed with an amendment to protect the domestic STEM workforce, particularly the underrepresented minority STEM workforce. That is, the bill should contain a provision that requires entities that take the credit to certify that it has made good-faith efforts to recruit and hire from the domestic labor pool and in http://www.fastcashloan.net/payday-loans-co particular from those groups underrepresented in STEM fields, including women and disabled, African American, Hispanic American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Americans. Labor economists Sharon Levin and Paula Stephan have analyzed the role of immigrants on the changing career outcomes of scientists in academe. They found US citizens are being displaced from “choice” positions in academe, especially in physics and astronomy.
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