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White House

FYI covers the administration’s budget requests, executive orders, and other physical science-related statements. FYI also covers many of the activities of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and National Science and Technology Council.

1 May 2018

Increasing the odds that the fruits of federally funded R&D traverse the so-called “valley of death” between the lab and the market without spoiling has emerged as a top priority of the Trump administration.

16 Mar 2018

A chorus of concern has emerged in Congress about China’s allegedly pervasive exploitation of the U.S.’s intellectual property and open research environment, with some lawmakers seeking to overhaul foreign investment and export control systems. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is preparing a package of unilateral retaliation measures that reportedly could include visa restrictions on Chinese students and academics.

28 Feb 2018

Quantum information science and exascale computing stand out as top priorities for the Department of Energy Office of Science in the Trump administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget request, which would keep the office’s overall funding at current levels.

14 Feb 2018

Following last week’s budget deal that all but guarantees huge government spending increases over the next two years, the Trump administration made last-minute changes to its budget request for fiscal year 2019 that spare the Department of Energy Office of Science, National Science Foundation, and National Institutes of Health from proposed cuts. But other science agencies and programs are again slated for double-digit cuts or elimination.

9 Feb 2018

In the second half of his first year in office, President Trump increased his pace in making nominations to science-related positions in the federal government. However, many Senate-confirmed positions still lack nominees and some nominees have faced difficulties with Senate confirmation, resulting in an unprecedented number of long-term vacancies.

22 Dec 2017

Congress concluded its 2017 session with a week of productive legislating that included final passage of the Republican tax reform bill and an extension of federal spending through Jan. 19. The House also passed three bipartisan STEM education bills and a disaster relief spending package that, if enacted, would provide a one-time funding boost to several science agencies.

4 Oct 2017

On Sept. 25, President Trump directed the Department of Education to annually commit at least $200 million of existing grant funds to activities that expand access to STEM and computer science education. The order makes clear that STEM education is an administration priority, although it contrasts with Trump’s budget request for fiscal year 2018, which called for the elimination of several DOEd programs that support STEM education.

2 Oct 2017

Science agencies have stable funding as they begin fiscal year 2018 under a continuing resolution. However, their long-term outlook is less clear, as they wait for annual appropriations to be finalized and prepare for the fiscal year 2019 budget request. The deadline has just passed for them to submit “agency reform plans” detailing workforce and program cuts to be implemented over the next several years.

11 Sep 2017

After President Trump backed a Democratic proposal for a three-month extension of federal agency spending and the debt ceiling, Republican leaders quickly acceded. The law includes a key provision prohibiting the National Institutes of Health from altering research overhead reimbursements.

23 Aug 2017

To date, President Trump has retained the directors of the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, but has not appointed a science advisor or nominated heads for most of the federal science agencies. This pace puts him behind his predecessors, who had completed most of these appointments by the summers of their first years in office.

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