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: Congress Passes Tax Reform, Avoids Shutdown, will Adjourn for the Year

December 21, 2017

In its final week before adjourning for the year, Congress moved to clear the deck of some major outstanding issues, beginning with final passage of the tax reform bill (more information here) on Wednesday. With that package headed to the President’s desk for his signature, Congress turned its attention to funding the government ahead of the December 22 expiration of the current continuing resolution (CR). Unprepared to finalize spending for the year, lawmakers passed yet another short-term CR to provide stopgap funding at current spending levels through January 19.... Read more about Federal Update: Congress Passes Tax Reform, Avoids Shutdown, will Adjourn for the Year

Federal Update: Tax Bill Emerges from Conference: A Mixed Bag for Higher Education

December 16, 2017

Continuing at breakneck speed, conferees agreed Friday to a final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and released the language of the bill to the public late in the day. Final votes are expected in the House and Senate next week. After last minute jockeying by members, leadership has solidified Republican support for the bill and we do not anticipate further changes or roadblocks to its passage.... Read more about Federal Update: Tax Bill Emerges from Conference: A Mixed Bag for Higher Education

Federal Update: Senate Approves Tax Package while Partisan Fights Stoke Fears of December Shutdown

December 2, 2017

With the end of the year in sight, Capitol Hill is pushing forward in key areas. The list of legislative items in play with implications for the University are growing in urgency and in number, as tax reform efforts continue to advance, a major fiscal deadline looms, and lawmakers take the first steps on a long path toward reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Republicans are increasingly frustrated and worried with their lack of tangible legislative victories, particularly with the approaching midterm elections. We have seen that dynamic with the tax bill, which has moved quickly and with little appetite for careful examination of the details. On funding, politics and partisan gamesmanship are overshadowing serious negotiations over the top-line spending levels that are an essential first step in finalizing FY18 funding. Following is a more detailed overview of these recent activities in Washington and the outlook for the next several weeks.... Read more about Federal Update: Senate Approves Tax Package while Partisan Fights Stoke Fears of December Shutdown

Federal Update: Returning from Summer Recess, Congress Faces a Full Schedule

September 8, 2017

After a month-long recess, Congress returned this week to a challenging slate of must-do items, looming deadlines, emergency funding requests for hurricane aid, and the rescinding of the DACA program. As congressional leaders consider how to address such an extensive list, they must navigate between the White House’s shifting priorities, limited consensus in their own ranks and mainly united Democratic opposition. Further, their strategy will now have to be reconsidered, as the President struck a surprise deal with Democrats this week to package emergency hurricane aid with a temporary stopgap funding measure and short-term suspension of the debt limit.... Read more about Federal Update: Returning from Summer Recess, Congress Faces a Full Schedule

Federal Update: President Trump Releases Full FY18 Budget Request

May 23, 2017

Following up on March’s FY18 “skinny budget,” the Administration released the full FY18 presidential budget request today (full budget available here), titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness.”  The full budget provides the details missing from the March outline (first reported here), but the overall themes are consistent: deep, fundamental cuts to many government agencies and programs, including research and education, and large increases for national and border security accounts.  On the top line, the budget proposal claims it would reduce the deficit $5.6 trillion over a decade, assuming significant economic growth.  The plan would cut $1.6 trillion over the next 10 years in non-Defense discretionary spending and would save a total of $3.6 trillion, in large part from cuts to mandatory funding of social safety nets like Medicaid, SNAP, Children’s Health Insurance, and Social Security Disability Insurance, hitting these low-income assistance programs particularly hard.  The budget also proposes lifting the sequester cap in 2018 for Defense spending by $54 billion and lowering the non-Defense cap by a similar amount – an adjustment that would require a change in current law.... Read more about Federal Update: President Trump Releases Full FY18 Budget Request

Federal Update: Fiscal Year 2017 Funding

May 1, 2017

After months of delay, Congress will move forward this week on a final Fiscal Year 2017 funding measure. Congressional leadership and appropriators announced a deal late last night that sidesteps major partisan differences and provides strong funding, including a $2 billion increase for NIH.  It is expected the House will take up the measure toward the middle of the week with Senate action following and White House approval before the May 5 expiration of current stopgap funding.... Read more about Federal Update: Fiscal Year 2017 Funding

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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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Multimedia

Service: Cambridge to Capitol Hill
A Harvard education includes a healthy dose of service, as illustrated by students working in positions from Cambridge to Capitol Hill.
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Harvard Stem Cell Institute - First 5 years
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Harvard's green commitment
Harvard's fall 2008 sustainability celebration included panels, tours, fairs, film screening, coffee-house style discussions - and the very convenient appearance of former Vice President Al Gore.
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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.