Victory for Access to CRS Reports

July 3, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Posted in Advocacy and Gov't Relations | Leave a comment

Please read below about a significant development in the quest to make all Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports available to the public:

Dear Advocates,

I’m happy to report that the House Appropriations Committee just took a giant leap toward making Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports available to the public. During its mark up of the Fiscal Year 2018 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, the full Committee approved language directing CRS to report back to the Committee within 90 days of enactment with a plan to make its non-confidential reports available to the public.

This has been more than 20 years in the making, and it was only possible thanks to the hard work of the many advocates−including many of you–who have written, called, tweeted, and spoken to their members of Congress about CRS over the years.

While there are still some hurdles to get over (namely, the bill must pass the House, and there must be a companion bill in the Senate), the report language in legislative branch appropriations bills is generally adhered to even if not passed into law.

Please join us in celebrating this win for public access! AALL will continue to work hard to make sure public access to these valuable reports becomes a reality in the coming months. We’ll will provide more analysis and information about next steps in the July Washington eBulletin, out on Monday.

Here is the appropriations report language:

“Public Access to CRS Reports: The Committee directs the Library of Congress’s Congressional Research Service (CRS) to make available to the public, all non-confidential reports. The Committee has debated this issue for several years, and after considering debate and testimony from entities inside the legislative branch and beyond the Committee believes the publishing of CRS reports will not impede CRS’s core mission in any impactful way and is in keeping with the Committee’s priority of full transparency to the American people. Within 90 days of enactment of this act CRS is directed to submit a plan to its oversight committees detailing its recommendations for implementing this effort as well as any associated cost estimates. Where practicable, CRS is encouraged to consult with the Government Publishing Office (GPO) in developing their plan; the Committee believes GPO could be of assistance in this effort.”

This message was posted by Mary Langman from the MLA national office.

 

[Submitted by Gary Atwood, Chair, NAHSL Govt. Relations Comm.]

Taxation Without Information

June 30, 2017 at 8:23 am | Posted in Advocacy and Gov't Relations, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

As this article from The Scholarly Kitchen points out, we as taxpayers are being denied access to information that we’ve paid for and continue to pay for in some instances. As the author cleverly notes, this “taxation without representation” isn’t just an academic argument. It has real consequences as the people of Flint Michigan know all too well.

So as we gather to celebrate the 4th of July and remember the cry of “No taxation without representation!” let’s also stop and think about the consequences of “no taxation without information” for ourselves and our nation.

Happy 4th of July!

(Credit to M.J. Tooey from the University of Baltimore for posting a message about this article on the AAHSL listserv.)

[Submitted by Gary Atwood, Chair, NAHSL Govt. Relations Comm.]

Reaction to the Senate’s Healthcare Bill

June 27, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Posted in Advocacy and Gov't Relations, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Senate released the details of its healthcare bill this week and it did not take long for several key healthcare associations to issue statements critical of the proposal. See the links below for specific statements:

[Submitted by Gary Atwood, Chair, NAHSL Govt. Relations Comm.]

NIH Funding Roundup

June 6, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Posted in Advocacy and Gov't Relations, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

There have been a huge number of stories related to President Trump’s proposed budget and the impact that it would have on medical research in general and the National Institute of Health’s budget in particular. Here are some of the stories that you might want to check out:

I believe that everyone should be able to access all of the stories linked above, but please let me know (gatwood at uvm dot edu) if any are blocked for some reason.

[Submitted by Gary Atwood, Chair, NAHSL Govt. Relations Comm.]

Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus Relaunches

May 15, 2017 at 8:28 am | Posted in Advocacy and Gov't Relations, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Association of American Medical Colleges released a statement on May 11th announcing the relaunch of the Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus. According to the statement, the caucus is “dedicated to maintaining and strengthening our nation’s medical education system and promoting and supporting excellence in physician training, medical research, and patient care.” The caucus is chaired by Representatives Kathy Castor (D-FL) and Phil Roe (R-TN). You can read more about the caucus on this page. Please note that a number of caucus members are from New England and may be good contacts on issues related to NAHSL:

  • Capuano, Mike (D-MA)
  • Courtney, Joe (D-CT)
  • Kennedy, Joe (D-MA)
  • Kuster, Ann McLane (D-NH)
  • Lynch, Stephen (D-MA)
  • McGovern, James (D-MA)
  • Neal, Richard (D-MA)

[Submitted by Gary Atwood, Chair, NAHSL Govt. Relations Comm.]

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