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The Week in Science & Technology: FY18 Budget Increases STEM Funding; CDC Head Has Tainted Past; Congress and EPA Seek to Restrict Science-Based Policymaking

What you can do We're happy to announce our new partnership with Science Rising, a national mobilization effort to keep science and scientists involved in the political decision-making process. They will be publicizing local pro-science events and activities as we approach the 2018 midterm elections. Check them out at their website or join the conversation on Twitter (#ScienceRising). The April 14 March for Science in Washington, DC, is also sponsoring satellite marches around the world. On April 20 and 21, 314 Action will hold a training session in Chicago for STEM professionals interested in running for office. Change.org is circulating a petition to allow wireless users to block robocalls (see article below). Omnibus spending bill includes large research funding increase On March 23, despite earlier threats of a last-minute veto, President Trump signed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by Congress for FY18. Because of a February 2018 agreement...
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The Week in Science & Technology: Budget Deadline Approaches; OSTP Reports on Trump’s First Year; Trump Blocks Broadcom-Qualcomm Deal

What you can doOn March 24, March For Our Lives will hold its main march in Washington, DC, along with more than 700 events worldwide, to demand action against gun violence. The April 14 March for Science in Washington, DC, is also sponsoring satellite marches around the world.On April 20 and 21, 314 Action will hold a training session in Chicago for STEM professionals interested in running for office. FY18 budget deadline approachesCongress is reportedly making progress toward passing the FY18 budget, though it will need to pass its budget or a temporary continuing resolution by March 23 to avoid another government shutdown. Congress has already faced this deadline five times this year, and each time delayed the process by passing a continuing resolution. The last two deadlines led to brief government shutdowns as well. In response to the ongoing dysfunction in the congressional budget process, the Bipartisan Budget Act passed in February created a Joint Select Committee on Budget ...
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The Week in Science & Technology: ISS Privatization Proposal Draws Opposition; Net Neutrality Battle Heats Up; NSF to Close Three Overseas Offices

What you can do March for Science is planning a one-year-anniversary march in Washington, DC, and in locations around the world on April 14, and is also calling for the end of restrictions on gun violence research. Administration proposes controversial plan to privatize ISS The Trump administration's FY19 budget proposal, released on February 12, would end federal support for the International Space Station (ISS) after 2024, and the administration now--and controversially--favors fully privatizing its functions. In a February 20 letter to acting NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot and Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) expressed concerns about the end of support, and are still awaiting details of NASA's transition plan for the ISS. Retired NASA astronaut and ISS veteran Leroy Chiao also slammed the privatization proposal in a February 22 op-ed, citing the importance of the ISS to U.S. leadership in basic space ...
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Gun Violence Resources - Marginalized Communities

We shared a lot of resources on gun violence prevention last week. Today, we wanted to make sure we shared information on those groups working on gun violence issues in marginalized communities. This is a long post, so please bare with us. Existing/New Collaborative Efforts: Camp Solutions + Peacemaker Partnership Trainings- in 2018 we will host two types of trainings: Camp Solutions and the Peacemaker Partnership Trainings. Camp Solutions will be 4 (potentially more) large scale 1.5 day advocacy trainings camp for ANYONE who wants to become an advocate on gun violence prevention policy, organizing, or running for office. These free trainings will include tracks on civic engagement, leadership development, and an electoral lens of advocating for gun reform. We are working with some of the folks who developed the Camp Wellstone model and will have a curriculum that is a take away for people who attend. If you are interested in co-hosting or partnering with us, please let m...
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The Week in Science & Technology: Congress Reaches Budget Deal; President Proposes FY19 Budget

What you can doIf you are attending the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, TX, this week, join us on Saturday evening (February 17) for the 8th Annual Science Policy Shindig.Participate in the February 27 Internet Day of Action, aimed at getting #OneMoreVote to pass a Senate resolution restoring Net Neutrality.Join FreePress and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance in taking action to stop the FCC from curtailing its Lifeline program, a source of support for phone and Internet service for low-income households.Sign up for this year's March for Science, on April 14. No satellite march near you? Start one!Budget deal raises spending caps, but FY18 appropriations still to be determined On February 9, President Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act, which ended an overnight government shutdown, raised the debt ceiling,increased spending caps, and includes a continuing resolution to fund the government through March 23. The bill ends sequestration for FY18 and FY19 by raising the spendi...
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The Week in Science & Technology: Government Reopens After Shutdown, but Feb. 8 Deadline Looms; Senate Moves Nominations Forward; Republicans Target NIEHS Director

What you can doContact members of Congress to support restoration of net neutrality: Fight for the Future | Public KnowledgeShutdown ends with government funded through February 8, but more interruptions possible For the fourth time this year, the Republican-controlled Congress failed to pass a budget for FY18. The three previous times, a temporary continuing resolution was passed before the deadline to continue funding the government at current levels. However, no such deal was reached before January 19, causing a federal government shutdown, which ended three days later, with a deal that funded the Children's Health Insurance program for six years but postponed any action on immigration policy. However, the newest continuing resolution to fund the government runs out on February 8, risking another shutdown. An estimate of worker furloughs and office closures, based on the effects of the 2013 shutdown, shows their potential effects on science agencies: 95% of Environmental Protect...
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The Week in Science & Technology: Funding Showdown May Lead to Government Shutdown; GOP Tax Plan Passes; Net Neutrality Push Continues in Senate; Political Interference at Interior and CDC

This first edition of The Week in Science & Technology for 2018 covers events since our last edition (roughly the last month).What you can doJoin Fight for the Future in opposing the FCC's net neutrality repeal. Sign the petition posted by the March for Science to restore the nation's commitment to science.Time running out on government funding resolution; shutdown possibleOn December 21, Congress passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through January 19, but a longer-term spending bill remained out of reach -- risking a government shutdown -- after an angry outburst by President Trump imperiled a bipartisan immigration reform plan. A shutdown, such as the one in 2013, would temporarily suspend most government-funded research services, and would impact NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and other federal agencies that award and manage research grants and informational websites. GOP tax plan passes, with uncertain effects on r...
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The Week in Science & Technology: FCC Ends Net Neutrality; Temporary Spending Deal Reached; GOP Tax Plan Nears Vote

Programming Note: This is the final edition of The Week in Science & Technology for 2017, and summaries will return in January 2018. We wish all of our readers a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year.What you can doJoin the fight to push back against the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules.FCC repeals net neutrality rulesOn December 14, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal the net neutrality rules that currently regulate high-speed Internet as a utility and forbid providers from charging extra for some content. The three Republican FCC members, including chair Ajit Pai, voted for repeal, but the commission's two Democratic members, Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel, issued strongly worded dissents. The repeal plan drew the ire of consumers and technology companies, spurred in-person and online protests, and flooded the FCC's website with millions of comments by individuals as well as by automated bots; half a million comments supporting...
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​Call to Action: End Backdoor Searches of Americans and Other Abuses in U.S. Intelligence Law

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Congress will soon decide the fate of the law that governs America's main foreign intelligence spying program. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) will expire this December 31st, requiring Congressional approval to reauthorize. This sunset and reauthorization is an opportunity to implement needed reforms. One of the most important is to end "back door" searches. This reform would require law enforcement agencies like the FBI to get a probable cause warrant approved by a judge before they search the vast troves of NSA communications data for evidence of crimes that can be used against U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. End Backdoor Searches Although Section 702 is seen by many as a necessary and useful tool in U.S. foreign intelligence and anti-terrorism operations, it has a glaring flaw when it comes to protecting the privacy of U.S. persons. When an intelligence agency like the NSA collects communications data under Section 702, it is suppo...
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The Week in Science & Technology: Senate Passes Tax Bill; Appropriations Vote Approaches Shutdown Deadline; FCC Threatens Net Neutrality

Programming Note: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, this is a combined multi-week summary. The Week in Science & Technology will continue to be published at a reduced frequency through December and the winter holidays.What you can doIt's not too late! Indivisible has a list of actions you can take to oppose the GOP tax bill passed by the Senate on December 2.Speak up to save net neutrality! Join one of the public actions at Verizon stores across the country on December 7, and email and call the FCC and your Congressional representatives. Senate passes tax bill in post-midnight party-line vote; Democrats decry rushed processThe Senate passed its version of the Republican tax reform bill in the early morning hours on December 2, with all Democrats voting against it, joined by only one Republican, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). A blistering New York Times editorial called the bill a "historic tax heist" that would raise the federal deficit by $1.4 million over the next decade, make health...
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