Harvard's federal relations team in Cambridge and Washington, D.C. works to maintain a positive and ongoing relationship between Harvard and the Congressional and Executive branches of government.

Washington Updates

Federal Update | Good Start on Congressional Appropriations Although Long Road Ahead

May 10, 2019

The House Appropriations Committee began the annual appropriations process in earnest this week, advancing the first of 12 funding bills for Fiscal Year 2020. In marked contrast to the President’s FY20 budget proposal, it was an encouraging start for University priorities, as appropriators approved substantial increases across student aid programs at the Department of Education and a $2 billion boost for the National Institutes of Health.

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Federal Update | President’s Budget Outline for FY20 Released

March 12, 2019

The White House yesterday released its topline budget request for Fiscal Year 2020, once again proposing increased spending on defense, large cuts to spending on non-defense and mandatory programs, and significant new funding for a border wall. Of these familiar themes, which were included in each of the President’s two prior budget requests, only a growing defense budget has come to fruition. With Democrats now in control of the House and the 2020 election cycle already underway, the President’s newest budget is no more likely to be enacted than previous versions. However, it does give...

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Federal Update | 116th Congress to be Sworn in as Partial Shutdown Continues

January 2, 2019

Congress officially returns on January 3 to begin the 116th Congress with Democrats taking control of the House on the strength of their strong returns in November. Divided control of government will face an immediate challenge in the stalled efforts to address the partial government shutdown which began December 22. The new House leaders have pledged to act immediately on legislation to end the shutdown, although Republican Senate leaders indicate they will follow the President’s lead and are unlikely to take up the House legislation. With the shutdown heading into its second...

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Federal Update: Strong Outcomes for FY19

September 18, 2018

The Senate today overwhelmingly passed a two-bill spending package for FY19 comprised of the two largest annual funding bills – Labor-HHS-Education and Defense – which together make up about 63 percent of annual discretionary spending. It is a particularly important package for research universities since it provides strong increases for NIH (+5.4%), DARPA (+11.7%) and defense basic research (+11.8%), as well as a $100 increase to the maximum Pell Grant. Notably, FY19 will be the fourth straight year that NIH will receive a boost of at least $2 billion, bringing total funding to $9 billion more than NIH’s FY15 level.... Read more about Federal Update: Strong Outcomes for FY19

Federal Update: September Outlook in Washington

September 5, 2018

With attention focused on the White House and the upcoming November midterm elections, Congress made notable progress this summer on FY19 funding measures but returns this week to a busy and likely contentious fall session. Members will be working against several major deadlines: the start of the new fiscal year October 1, which will drive attention to appropriations, and the start of the fall Supreme Court term also on October 1, which conservatives are eying as a deadline for confirmation of nominee Brett Kavanaugh. In addition, Congress and the Administration will increasingly be focused on the midterms with majorities in the House and Senate hanging in the balance. While we will have to wait until November for clarity on who controls Capitol Hill, we know now that there will be a lot of new faces in the next Congress, given near record Republican retirements, a well as turnover on the Democratic side – including last night in Massachusetts, where Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley defeated 10-term Representative Michael Capuano in a district that includes Allston and Longwood.... Read more about Federal Update: September Outlook in Washington

Federal Update: Progress on the Congressional To-Do List

June 29, 2018

While the White House continues to dominate the headlines, the House and Senate have been making steady progress on must-do legislation including FY19 funding measures and the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Recognizing the shortened legislative window in an election year, members continue to push for action on immigration, although so far these efforts have not proven successful at breaking the impasse. Heading into the July 4 congressional recess, we wanted to provide an update on Congress’s progress so far and give some indications of what to expect moving forward on University priorities.... Read more about Federal Update: Progress on the Congressional To-Do List


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News from the Harvard Gazette

Bionic leaf turns sunlight into liquid fuel

Bionic leaf turns sunlight into liquid fuel

June 2, 2016

Daniel Nocera, the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University, and Pamela Silver, the Elliott T. and Onie H. Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, have co-created a system that uses solar energy to split water molecules and hydrogen-eating bacteria to produce liquid fuels.

Alzheimer’s insights in single cells

Alzheimer’s insights in single cells

February 3, 2016

Building on research reported last year, Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have succeeded in identifying the neurons that secrete the substance responsible for the plaques that build up in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

4D-printed structure changes shape when placed in water

4D-printed structure changes shape when placed in water

January 25, 2016

A team of scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has evolved their microscale 3-D printing technology to the fourth dimension, time.

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Close The Innovation Deficit

The innovation deficit is the gap between actual and necessary federal investments in research and higher education. At a time when other nations such as China, India and Singapore are dramatically boosting research funding to develop the next great technological and medical breakthroughs, the share of the US budget devoted to research has been declining. This video explains the link between basic research and economic growth, and the risk that recent cuts pose to the United States' role as the global innovation leader.