Here comes a new Congress – What can psychology expect?

Legislation on budget, Affordable Care Act repeal, and more on tap

Members of the 115th Congress were sworn in on January 3, 2017, and lost no time getting to work. There are seven new senators, including five Democrats and two Republicans (48 Democrats and 52 Republicans in total). The House will welcome 55 new members-- 26 Democrats and 29 Republicans (194 Democrats, 241 Republicans, total). Typically the beginning of a new Congress involves the approval of caucus rules, organization of committees, planning of hearings and introduction of legislation. The highest-profile bills will be the lower-numbered bills -- S. 1 is a budget bill that would kickstart repeal of the Affordable Care Act (more on that effort below). While we don’t yet know what H.R. 1 will be, we do know about some of the legislation that is coming our way.

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Showing Capitol Hill the importance of the National Institutes of Health

Showing Capitol Hill the importance of the National Institutes of Health

 On September 21-22, 2016, I took part in the 2016 Rally for Medical Research in Washington, DC on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA). The Rally for Medical Research is an annual advocacy event in which researchers, clinicians, patients and survivors from all over the country, representing about 300 different institutions and advocacy organizations, gather on Capitol Hill to speak with their members of Congress about importance of funding for research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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Psychological scientists featured in COSSA series on “wasteful” research

The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), of which APA is a founding member, has begun publishing a series of articles that gives scientists whose research has been the subject of a political attack a chance to answer back.  COSSA’s blog, “Why Social Science?” includes interviews with psychologists Kimberley Phillips of Trinity University and Lisa Neff of the University of Texas-Austin

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Congress weighing in on National Science Foundation’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget

Many of you have heard about (and perhaps watched) last week’s filibuster in the Senate, which Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) launched to force consideration on gun policy amendments in the wake of the shootings in Orlando.  What you may not have noticed was that the legislative vehicle for the Republican and Democratic amendments allowed as a result of the successful filibuster is a Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) Senate Appropriations bill. This “CJS” bill provides annual funding to the Departments of Commerce and Justice as well as a host of smaller, independent federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

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