Federal Relations update August 2022

Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations Update

The House Appropriations Committee passed all 12 fiscal year (FY) 2023 spending bills, and 6 of the 12 have passed the full House. House leaders had hoped to pass all the bills before adjourning for the August recess, but the pace has slowed in recent weeks. Last week, the Senate Appropriations released its FY 2023 bills, but there are no plans to consider them.

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and Madison Congressman secured congressionally directed funding for three UW-Madison projects. These include $6 million for one of the agricultural research stations, $1 million to upgrade our aging helium plant, and $1 million to enable the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery to expand student-led research for new antibiotics and offer additional high-quality STEM opportunities.

Lawmakers have yet to agree on the total spending level and the split between defense and non-defense funding, and they are unlikely to resolve differences any time soon. Republicans are seeking more money for defense spending than the Democrats proposed, and with the waning number of legislative days left in the year an agreement will not happen until a lame duck session after the midterm elections.

Congress will need to pass a continuing resolution (CR) in September to extend current funding levels before government funding expires at midnight on October 1. The CR is likely to last until sometime in mid-November.

Below are FY 2023 funding highlights of interest to the campus community:

Federal Agency/Program President’s FY
23 Proposal
House action Senate action
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative
$564 million $500 million $455 million
Department of Education
Pell Grant Maximum Grant
$8,670 $7,395 $7,395
Department of Education
Title VI International Education Program
$78.2 million $88 million $86 million
National Institutes of Health $54.495 billion $47.459 billion $47.959 billion
National Science Foundation $10.5 billion $9.63 billion $10.338 billion
Science Mission Directorate
$7.98 billion $7.9 billion $8.046 billion
Department of Energy
Office of Science
$7.8 billion $8 billion $8.1 billion
Department of Defense
Basic Research
$2.376 billion $2.599 billion $3.361 billion
National Endowment for the Humanities $200.6 million $207 million $195 million


Congress passes “Chips and Science” Act

Last week, the House and Senate both passed the CHIPS and Science Act. While the bill’s centerpiece is more than $50 billion in funding and tax incentives to strengthen domestic semiconductor production, the bill also reauthorizes the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy Office of Science. A summary is available here.

Faculty at UW–Madison will be particularly interested to learn that the bill authorizes the National Science Foundation at $81 billion over 5 years, which is a substantial increase above the baseline. The legislation also authorizes up to six bioenergy research centers at $30 million per year, which is a $5 million increase from current levels—UW–Madison is home to the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. There are also authorizations for new fusion and high energy physics programs that our faculty should be able to capitalize on. The bill seeks to establish a program to reduce the consumption of helium and encourage helium recycling and reuse.

The bill also directs the Department to create 20 geographically distributed “regional technology hubs” to build regional innovation; $10 billion is authorized for this effort. These hubs will focus on technology development, job creation, and expanding U.S. innovation capacity. A 2019 Brookings Institution report indicates that Madison is the best positioned city in America to lead the technology growth.

Global Health Advocates Educate Lawmakers

Dr. Jorge Osorio, who leads UW–Madison’s Global Health Institute, visited Washington this week with Associate Director Calyn Ostrowski to give lawmakers and congressional staff an overview of GHI’s mission to improve health for Wisconsin and the world. The Global Health Institute has established a successful One Health Center in Colombia and is looking to expand to West Africa and India. In addition to scientific training and research, the centers conduct disease surveillance and pathogen discovery, which will advance global security and strengthen capacity of a pandemic-ready workforce across industries, ultimately carrying the Wisconsin Ideas to all parts of the world.

Pictured above: Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan (left) meets with leaders of UW–Madison’s Global Health Institute (GHI), including Calyn Ostrowski, Associate Director for Strategic Partnerships & Development (center), and Jorge Osorio, GHI’s Director.

People attending DC Meets Madison event

“DC Meets Madison” Event Returns to Nation’s Capital

The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual “DC Meets Madison” event earlier this summer. Participants met with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation, attended a private lunch with the delegation’s chiefs of staff, and joined hundreds of Wisconsin natives and friends at a rooftop reception overlooking the U.S. Capitol building.

College of Engineering associate professor Krishanu Saha represented UW–Madison in the congressional meetings, where he had the opportunity to explain how federal funds help advance his biomedical research and advocate for increased federal research funding.

UW Hosts Senate Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee Staff

The Senate Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee professional staff visited campus last month to learn more about our research funded by the Department of Agriculture. The staff write the annual funding bill that includes USDA research funding. Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin chairs the subcommittee.

The visit included a tour of the Meat Sciences and Animal Biologics Discovery Building, the Wisconsin Crop Innovation Center, the West Madison Agricultural Research Station, and the Center for Dairy Research. Some staff also visited a local cranberry marsh and the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, which is home to one of the nation’s premier dairy heifer research facilities.

Staff members from the USDA Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture pose with UW mascot Bucky Badger in front of Bascom Hall during a tour at the University of Wisconsin–Madison on July 7, 2022. From left to right staff members include, Sydney Scott, Legislative Assistant, Office of Senator Tammy Baldwin; Hannah Chauvin, Professional Staff Member; Bucky Badger; Dianne Nellor, Majority Clerk; Patrick Carroll, Professional Staff; Morgan Ulmer, Minority Clerk, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture; and Elizabeth Dent, Professional Staff. The bipartisan Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee staff visited campus July 7 and 8, 2022 to see some of the work the USDA funded over the years. (Photo by Althea Dotzour / UW–Madison)

Wisconsin in Washington Spring Semester Well Underway

This summer, 27 Badgers participated in the Wisconsin in Washington internship program. These talented students interned at a variety of placements, including The Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, Abernathy MacGregor, Leidos, Save the Children, and The National Conference of State Legislatures. Additionally, students worked in the congressional offices of Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and Wisconsin Representatives Bryan Steil, Tom Tiffany, and Mark Pocan.

While interning full time, students also completed a 3-credit course on Organizations and Professional Development with Wisconsin in Washington’s Interim Program Director, Dr. Cynthia Williams. In addition to attending special events including a WisPolitics breakfast, the DC Meets Madison reception, and museum visits, the summer cohort celebrated the 4th of July on the roof of the Department of the Interior with Secretary Deb Haaland [pictured above]. We can certainly say that these Badgers got the true inside DC experience this summer!

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