Federal Updates

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

Partial Federal Government Shutdown - Agency Contingency Plans and FAQs (OMB)

January 3, 2019

Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier Has Been Confirmed as OSTP Director

January 2, 2019

NIH Foreign Influence Letter to Grantees

August 20, 2018

Statement of Support for Kelvin Droegemeier As OSTP Director

Posted to COGR Listserv 8/1/18

Department of Education Response on Huawei Technologies

July 17, 2018

Letter from Members of Congress to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Huawei Technologies

June 19, 2018

Shutdown Memo from OMB

January 19, 2018:  So far, negotiations to prevent a government shutdown at midnight tonight, January 19, have failed. OMB has just released a memorandum - Planning for Agency Operations during a Potential Lapse in Appropriations - that includes FAQs regarding grants and contracts. These can be found in Section II, pages 3-9.  The link to the specific agency contingency plan is here.  To follow developments on budget negotiations minute by minute, the Washington Post is counting down the time to midnight.


Interior Department Grants To Be Screened in Political Review

January 9, 2018:  As reported by the Washington Post and Science Magazine, in a December 28 memo, the Interior Department announced it will now apply a political screening process to discretionary grants of any award over $50,000 to "a non profit organization that can legally engage in advocacy or to an institution of higher education" to ensure those awards "promote the priorities" of the Administration.  


Latest Developments on Proposal to Restrict F&A Payments

August 2017 Update:  COGR joined with over 100 other organizations Monday on a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to oppose the proposed cuts to NIH funding and facilities and administrative (F&A) costs in the Administration's FY18 budget. 

Among other things, the letter states that "If the Administration’s proposal to reduce NIH support for F&A moves forward, it will make research unaffordable for many institutions and ultimately lead to less research carried out across the country", and that "the economic impact could also be significant; communities will lose jobs, and the country will fall behind as our foreign competitors forge ahead in medical research. These consequences will hurt patients, scientists, and all Americans."

*Sent to COGR Listserv 8/24/17

June 2017:  The President's proposed budget for NIH for FY 18 includes a provision to limit Facilities and Administrative cost payments to 10% of the total amount awarded.  COGR is working with our colleagues in Washington and at our member institutions across the country to inform members of Congress, the Administration, Foundations, patient advocacy groups, and industry of the devastating impact such a cut in funding would have on the research enterprise.

The COGR letter is posted here, but institutions are encouraged to personalize letters for specific institutional impacts (i.e. funding amount lost, labs closed, research cut short, etc.)

For Director Mulvaney, letters can be sent to ombdirector@omb.eop.gov.

For Secretary Price, send letters to secretary@hhs.gov.  Please copy the COGR office at dkennedy@cogr.edu and AAU at FandAcomments@aau.edu.

Click here for additional information on F&A.

*Originally reported in June 8-9, 2017 COGR Meeting Report


Dramatic Reductions in the President's FY 18 Proposed Budget for Research

June 2017:  At the June COGR meeting, Matt Hourihan, Director of the AAAS Research and Development Budget and Policy Program, provided details for all Federal science departments and agencies in the President's FY 18 budget request, which includes a 21% reduction for NIH and an 11% reduction for NSF.  However, Congress takes very seriously its constitutional responsibility for federal agency appropriations, and during recent Congressional hearings many key members of Congress from both parties expressed their dismay at the proposed cuts to research at NIH and NSF.  We will update the COGR membership as additional information develops.

 *Originally reported in June 8-9, 2017 COGR Meeting Report


April 19 Update From OMB

(As sent to COGR Listserv):  

Regulatory Reform

On January 30th, the president signed an executive order to reduce regulations and regulatory costs. The executive order and associated OMB memorandum to agencies are available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/30/presidential-executive-order-reducing-regulation-and-controlling and https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/memoranda/2017/M-17-21-OMB.pdf.


On February 24th, the president signed a related executive order to enforce regulatory reform in order to lower regulatory burdens available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/02/24/presidential-executive-order-enforcing-regulatory-reform-agenda


Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch

On March 13th, the president signed an executive order directing OMB to propose a plan to reorganize and reform the government to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch. The executive order and associated OMB memorandum are available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/13/presidential-executive-order-comprehensive-plan-reorganizing-executive and https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/memoranda/2017/m-17-22.pdf.


To make sure that voices of the American people are heard, the White House is soliciting suggestions from the public at this website https://whitehouse.gov/reorganizing-the-executive-branch and we are encouraging grants community participation. These comments will be considered in the development of Agency Reform Plans.


Addressing Concerns Over F&A

April 5, 2017:  COGR Addresses Concerns Over F&A to COGR Membership


Legislative Updates


October 2, 2017:  NIH has released NOT-OD-17-124 indicating HHS continues to operate under a continuing resolution through December 8, 2017. 

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.