Countdown to New Year ... And New Funding?

21 December 2017
AGU Science Policy Alert 17-24

Thank You to Everyone Who Took Action on Tax Reform

This week, Congress is scheduled to vote on the finalized tax reform bill. The final bill does not tax graduate school tuition waivers as income and maintains the student loan interest tax deduction. The inclusion of these two provisions in the tax bill would have been detrimental to higher education. Thanks to the thousands of citizens, including hundreds of AGU members, who wrote or called their legislators, we were able to get this language removed. Thank you again to everyone who took action!

Appropriations Watch: Keep the Pressure On

The good news: Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR), a spending bill that funds the government at the previous fiscal year’s level, just before the 8 December deadline, avoiding a government shutdown. 

The bad news: The new CR is set to expire in 1 day.

It’s expected that both chambers will pass another CR that gives them a few more weeks to agree on both a top-line budget deal as well as spending allocations for federal agencies and programs. If Congress does not agree to a budget deal before this newest CR expires, the sequestration budget caps will kick in, cutting science funding.

Now is the time to keep the pressure on and tell your legislators to ensure robust funding for our federal science agencies, and to keep parity in funding between non-defense funding (including funding for our science agencies) and defense funding. Visit our action center NOW to tell your legislators why science is essential. 

Interested in Working in Policy for a Year? 

 AGU is now accepting applications for the 2018–2019 AGU Congressional Science Fellowship program. The fellowship offers young scientists the opportunity to work in science policy in Washington, D.C. The AGU-sponsored fellow spends one year in the personal office of a senator or representative, or on a House or Senate committee. Fellows’ responsibilities may include writing legislation, preparing for congressional hearings, and meeting with lobbyists and constituents.   

All application materials are due by 15 January 2018. Visit the AGU website for more information on the fellowship, application requirements, and profiles of past fellows.

AGU members are also eligible for the Congressional Science Fellowship sponsored by American Geosciences Institute and are encouraged to apply to that fellowship as well.

Nominations Being Accepted for the National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group (UAG)

The National Space Council is tasked with advising and assisting the President on national space policy and strategy. The UAG is a new advisory committee that will ensure that the interests of industry and other non-Federal entities are represented in the deliberations of the National Space Council. NASA is accepting nominations to the UAG until 10 January 2018. More information is available in the Federal Register.