DC Digest - December 17, 2010
In Today's Issue:
- Duke to Enhance DC Presence
- Congress Approves Tax Package
- FY11 Omnibus Funding Bill Dead; Short-Term CR Likely
- Senate to Consider House-Passed DREAM Act
- Table: Licensing Revenue and Patent Activity, FY2009
- Commitment to Investment in Research and Education in Deficit Commission Report
DUKE TO ENHANCE DC PRESENCE
Duke University is setting its sights on Washington, D.C. Duke has opened an interim office in Washington and is beginning the process of looking for a permanent outpost to serve as a hub for the growing number of faculty, student and staff activities in the nation's capital.
"Duke's engagement in D.C. has increased to such a degree that Duke could benefit considerably from our own ‘embassy' in Washington that would provide new opportunities to enhance our visibility and connect the university's programs and experts with policymakers, think tanks, the media and alumni," said Michael J. Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations.
Capital Connections (DukeNews)
CONGRESS APPROVES TAX PACKAGE
The House last night approved the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853) on a vote of 277 to 148, sending the measure to the President for signature. The Senate approved the package December 15 on a vote of 81 to 19.
The package, which was negotiated between the White House and congressional Republicans, would extend for two years the expired and expiring tax provisions of concern to higher education. The proposal would extend the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the student loan interest deduction, Section 127 employer-provided educational assistance, and Coverdell education savings accounts. It also would restore three tax benefits that expired at the end of 2009: the above-the-line deduction for qualified educational expenses, the IRA charitable rollover, and the R&D tax credit.
The higher education associations urged the extension of the higher education provisions in a letter that was sent to congressional tax leaders on November 30.
Tax Bill with Benefits for Colleges and Students Heads to President's Desk (Chronicle of Higher Ed)
FY11 OMNIBUS FUNDING BILL DEAD; SHORT-TERM CR LIKELY
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) last night gave up trying to move an FY11 omnibus appropriations package through the Senate, apparently settling for a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that would freeze most federal discretionary spending at FY10 levels for a few months into the New Year. Senator Reid was unable to overcome the broad resistance from Senate Republicans, several of whom had been expected to support the bill but reversed course following criticism that they had requested millions of dollars in earmarks in the bill.
The Majority Leader said he would work with Republican leaders to develop a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to extend federal funding “for a certain period of time” into the New Year. Such a short-term measure would provide Republicans an opportunity to modify FY11 spending decisions early next year, when they will control the House and have greater numbers in the Senate. The House-passed CR would last through the remaining nine months of the fiscal year.
If the House and Senate cannot agree on a single FY11 funding bill before midnight on December 18 when the current CR expires, they will need to approve another days-long CR to prevent a government shutdown.
$1.1 Trillion Spending Bill Collapsese as Republicans Yank Support (The Hill)
Democrats Concede Budget Fight to Republicans (Politico)
SENATE TO CONSIDER HOUSE-PASSED DREAM ACT
Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced he will file for cloture, which shuts off debate and moves legislation to a vote, on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The cloture vote is expected on Saturday morning.
The DREAM Act would provide a path to legalization for undocumented high school graduates who meet certain criteria and complete two years of college or military service. Last week, the House approved the bill but a Republican filibuster forced the Senate to table its version of the legislation. The measure up for consideration in the Senate tomorrow is the version the House approved last week.
The DREAM Act has the full support of the Obama administration, which has spent a great deal of time in recent weeks pushing it forward.
DREAM Act for Illegal Immigrants Faces Key Senate Vote (ABCnews.com)
TABLE: LICENSING REVENUE AND PATENT ACTIVITY, FY2009
The Chronicle of Higher Education has put together the below table comparing licensing income, patent applications, patents issued, and more among over 100 universities. Northwestern University earned the most in licensing revenue in fiscal year 2009, with $161,591,544. Duke ranked 19th in licensing revenue with $19,048,244.
Licensing Revenue and Patent Activity (Chronicle of Higher Ed)
INNOVATION TASK FORCE PRAISES COMMITMENT TO INVESTMENT IN FISCAL COMMISSION REPORT
The Task Force on American Innovation released a statement commending the report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, chaired by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. In its statement, the innovation task force highlighted the report's commitment to investment in research and education:
"Getting budget deficits and the national debt under control is essential to strengthening the nation’s economy and to improving the living standards of future generations of Americans. However, predictable and sustained federal investments in research and education are also essential to our country’s ability to remain competitive in the global economy. This is a principle that we endorsed in an October 13 letter to the Commission, and the Commission has endorsed it as well."
Innovation Task Force Praises Fiscal Commission Report For Committment to Investment in Research and Education (AAU.edu)