Federal Updates

Check back often for updates on changes in federal policy as they become available.

Regulatory Freeze

January 27, 2017:  On January 20, the  White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memorandum to all executive departments and agencies to freeze new or pending regulations -- giving the new administration time to review them. The memo asks that the agencies not  send any regulation to the Federal Register until reviewed by someone selected by the President.  For those that have been sent but not published, the White House ordered the regulations withdrawn.   For regulations that have been published but have not reached their effective date, the memo postpones the effective date for 60 days pending review -- with a potential that a new notice for reopening the regulation could occur.  The memo makes an exception for "critical health, safety, financial, or national security matters," and asks agencies to identify any regulations that can't be delayed for other reasons.  See the link below for a spreadsheet showing the regulations impacting research issued in 2016 that could be affected by this regulatory freeze, or pending legislation that would similarly require suspension or withdrawal of recent regulations.

Impact of Federal Regulatory Freeze on Research Regulations

January 24, 2017.  The Office of Management and Budget has released a notice in the Federal Register to the Heads of Departments and Agencies regarding a freeze on pending regulations.

 

Award Restrictions

January 30, 2017:  On January 26, the EPA lifted restrictions on grants made to states.  As reported by USA Today:

"EPA spokesman Doug Ericksen said Thursday that an internal review of about $3.8 billion in grants the agency annually sends to states for basic environmental programs such as clean air and water monitoring has been completed.  “We finished our review process,” said Ericksen, a GOP State Sen. from Washington who is temporarily acting as the agency’s spokesman. “As of now, nothing has been delayed. Nothing has been cut. There was simply a pause and everything’s up and running.”

January 27, 2017:  On January 23, the EPA was directed to "freeze" grants and contracts. This clearly applies to issuance of new awards, but it was not clear whether it applies to spending on existing awards. The latest information now being reported is that the freeze does not apply to existing grants and contracts. 

This is what was reported by Reuters news:

"The agency was asked by the White House on Monday to temporarily halt all contracts and grants pending a review, according to multiple sources. The EPA awards billions of dollars worth of grants and contracts every year to support programs around environmental testing, cleanups and research. "EPA staff have been reviewing grants and contracts information with the incoming transition team," EPA spokeswoman Julia Valentine said in a statement. "The goal is to complete the grants and contracts review by the close of business on Friday, Jan. 27."

 

Legislative Updates

February 14, 2017 -  A number of bills recently signed into law include provisions aimed at reducing research regulatory burden, including the CURES Act, the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, and a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act.  See COGR's February Update and the presentation slides from the February 23-24 meeting in Washington DC for more information.

January 10, 2017 - COGR Releases Matrix of Recent Legislative Actions Taken to Reduce Regulatory Burden

Legislative Matrix

 

Communication Restrictions

Click here to be redirected to the Sunlight Foundation and keep up to date with the latest status of communication restrictions on federal agencies.