Federal Relations update April 2023

Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request Appropriations Update

President Joe Biden recently sent his Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget request to Congress. The $6.9 trillion request includes $841 billion for non-defense discretionary programs (8 percent above FY 2023) and $886 billion for discretionary defense spending (3 percent above FY 2023).

While the president’s budget is an important document that highlights the administration’s priorities, Congress will ultimately determine what programs to fund and at which levels. The House and Senate have already begun congressional hearings to consider the president’s budget request, and in the coming months Congress will consider the 12 individual spending bills. Some Republicans would like to see spending bills cut to FY 2022 levels, but Democrats and President Biden reject that idea. It’s too early to tell if Congress will be able to pass the spending bills or whether lawmakers will need to resort to a full-year continuing resolution (CR) that would maintain FY 2023 spending levels.

Below are a few highlights of the FY 2024 budget proposal that may be of interest to the campus community:

Federal Agency/Program FY 2023 President’s FY 24 Proposal % Change
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative
$455 million $550 million 21%
Department of Education
Pell Grant Maximum Grant
$7,395 $8,215 11%
Department of Education
Title VI International Education Program
$85.7 million $85.7 million 0%
National Institutes of Health $47.5 billion $48.3 billion 2%
National Science Foundation $9.5 billion $11.3 billion 18%
Science Mission Directorate
$7.8 billion $8.3 billion 6%
Department of Energy
Office of Science
$8.1 billion $8.8 billion 9%
Department of Defense
Basic Research
$2.9 billion $2.5 billion -15%
National Endowment for the Humanities $207 million $211 million 2%

Chancellor Mnookin Visits DC

Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin traveled to Washington, DC last month to discuss the university’s fiscal year 2024 priorities for federal spending legislation. She had great meetings with both of Wisconsin’s senators, and she was able to meet with the majority of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation. UW–Madison continues to receive a warm reception on Capitol Hill, and the Chancellor will return to Washington, DC later this month for additional Hill visits and agency meetings.

Chancellor Mnookin meets with Wisconsin Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson.

Pictured above: Chancellor Mnookin meets with Wisconsin Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson.

UW–Madison Day in Washington, DC

The Wisconsin Alumni Association celebrated UW–Madison Day in Washington, DC last week. On Wednesday, more than 100 current Badgers and alumni participated in events on Capitol Hill. After an organizing breakfast, participants walked to the Capitol to lobby members of Congress and their staffs about college affordability and accessibility, as well as the importance of federal funding to research at UW–Madison. Meetings were held with both Wisconsin Senators, the Wisconsin House delegation, and additional members of Congress who represent districts where participating alumni currently live. A lunch was held mid-day during which Badgers were treated to a presentation by professors Paul Wilson and Steffi Diem about fusion energy research and the importance of Department of Energy funding for their work. The day ended with a well-attended reception in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office Building where Badgers from across the Mid-Atlantic – including the many alumni currently working on Capitol Hill – were treated to Babcock ice cream, refreshments, and fellowship into the evening.

Following UW Day, UW–Madison’s Steffi Diem spoke on a panel at a WisPolitics breakfast. Her panel, which included researchers from Marquette University and UW-Milwaukee, told the audience about the importance of federal research dollars and how their research relates to their respective institutions. Diem is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Physics who leads the Pegasus-III Experiment, a fusion energy project. Prior to the research panel, Congressman Mark Pocan talked about current events, including the state of the federal spending bills.

UW Day in DC

Pictured above: UW–Madison supporters meet with Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (left) and Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin (right).

Dean Markel Visits Wisconsin Congressional Delegation in Washington

School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) Dean Mark Markel visited Washington this spring during the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges annual advocacy day. Dean Markel met with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation to provide an overview of SVM, inform them about the great work being done on campus, and provide an update on the ongoing construction project. He also highlighted the Association’s legislative priorities, which include the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program.

Dean Mark Markel meets with Representative Derrick Van Orden

Pictured above: Dean Mark Markel meets with Representative Derrick Van Orden (WI-3).

CALS Dean Makes Rounds on Capitol Hill

In mid-March, Glenda Gillaspy, Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, visited Washington, DC as part of the annual meeting of the APLU Board on Agriculture’s Council on Agriculture, Research, Extension and Teaching. Dean Gillaspy was joined by two citizen delegates – Outagamie County Board Member Nadine Miller and Bob Wills, owner of Cedar Grove Cheese (with production facilities in Plain and Milwaukee). Together, they visited with staffers who cover agricultural issues for the Wisconsin delegation.

Medora Jones with Dean Glenda Gillaspy

Pictured above: Mark Pocan (WI-2) staffer Medora Jones with Dean Glenda Gillaspy.

Dean Robertson Advocates for NSF and CHIPS & Science Funding in DC

UW–Madison College of Engineering Dean Ian Robertson visited Washington, DC. in February to share information about the return on investment for federal research in Wisconsin. Dean Robertson was joined by UW-Milwaukee’s College of Engineering & Applied Science Dean Brett Peters. The two met with members of the Wisconsin delegation in addition to joining other colleagues to meet with staff from the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Knowledge, Science, and Related Agencies, where they made the case to increase funding for the National Science Foundation.

Ian Robertson and Brett Peters

Pictured above: Deans Ian Robertson and Brett Peters visit Washington, DC.

Financial Aid Director Helen Faith Shares Bucky’s Pell Pathway with Congress

In February, Helen Faith, UW–Madison’s Director of Financial Aid, traveled to Washington, DC to highlight the launch of Bucky’s Pell Pathway, a UW–Madison program that meets the full financial need for all Pell-eligible, first-year Wisconsin resident students for four years. Sixty-five percent of UW–Madison undergraduates graduate without student debt, and this program will help increase that number in the years to come. Additionally, Director Faith shared with education staff in Wisconsin’s congressional delegation the need to increase the maximum Pell Grant award allowed by law, the need to simplify the student loan application and repayment process, and the importance of work-study programs.

Helen Faith, Financial Aid Director, and Katy Weisenburger, Assistant Director of Federal Awards, meet with Representative Glenn Grothman (WI-6)

Pictured above: Helen Faith, Financial Aid Director, and Katy Weisenburger, Assistant Director of Federal Awards, meet with Representative Glenn Grothman (WI-6).

Fusion Day

UW–Madison and Realta Fusion participated in the annual Fusion Day on Capitol Hill last week. The advocacy day focuses on investment in the Department of Energy’s Office of Science Fusion Energy Science program. Wisconsin was represented by Paul Wilson, Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Chair of the Department of Engineering Physics, Steffi Diem, Assistant Professor of Engineering Physics, Kieran Furlong, CEO and Co-Founder at Realta Fusion, Kelly Garcia, PhD student in Engineering Physics, and Kevin Walters, Public Affairs Analyst at WARF. The group met with staff from the Wisconsin delegation and discussed the importance of fusion energy and the advances in fusion research happening in Wisconsin.

Pictured above: at left, Chair of UW–Madison’s Department of Engineering Physics Paul Wilson greets Representative Don Beyer, a fusion champion in Congress. At right, staff of Representative Mike Gallagher (WI-8) and UW–Madison supporters pose for a picture after discussing the importance of fusion research.

Wisconsin in Washington Student Interns Launching their Careers

This Spring, a dozen Wisconsin in Washington (WiW) student interns are launching their professional careers by interning at organizations across Washington, DC. While interning, students take three courses taught by UW–Madison Ambassador in Residence Donald Planty, International Policy Advisor Cynthia Williams, and alum Sam Cornale, Executive Director of the DNC.

In addition to their courses and internships, the students are taking full advantage of Washington by attending professional networking events, WAA DC Chapter events, book talks, and think tank panels, as well as visiting Smithsonian Museums, the Library of Congress, the White House and the U.S. Capitol. Student interns meet with local Badger alumni volunteer mentors and are encouraged to maintain the professional connections they make in DC. Looking ahead, the 30 Summer 2023 WiW student interns are actively applying for their next opportunities, and the Fall 2023 cohort is beginning the application process.

Spring 2023 Wisconsin in Washington student interns

Pictured above: Spring 2023 WiW student interns.

Stay in Touch with the Office of Federal Relations

For updated information about Congress and the administration, please visit the Office of Federal Relations’ website or follow us on Twitter (@UWFedRelations). The Office of Federal Relations also produces a weekly update on federal activities specific to research and science when Congress is in session. Members of the UW—Madison community can sign up for that newsletter here.

As always, if you have any questions or if you would like additional information, please contact Director of Federal Relations Mike Lenn or Associate Director of Federal Relations David Bagby.