September 21, 2018
Capitol Update

In this issue:


NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH TO RECEIVE $2 BILLION INCREASE IN FY19

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget will receive a $2 billion increase in FY19, bringing its total budget to $39 billion. The joint House and Senate Conference Committee recently approved a two-bill Appropriations “minibus”, which includes the Department of Defense, and the Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) Appropriations bills for FY19. The NIH falls under HHS.

Of the $39 billion allocated to NIH, $429 million is allocated to continued funding of the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative. This is a $425 million increase from FY18. The bill also provides $562 million to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a $25 million increase from FY18. BARDA is located under the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF), which also falls under the NIH.

In addition to NIH, the bill provides the Department of Education with an FY19 budget of $71.5 billion. This is a $581 million increase over FY18 funding levels. Of this $71.5 billion, $1.9 billion is allocated to Career, Technical and Adult Education, an almost $95 million increase over FY18. The bill also includes a “Continuing Resolution” to keep the federal government open until all Appropriations funding bills can be signed into law, extending current funding levels for all federal agencies until December 7.

The bill will now be sent to both the House and Senate for final approval before going to the President for signature.

To view a summary of the bill, click here: https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/minibus_2_-_fy_2019_labor_hhs_appropriations_bill_-_summary.pdf


NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2019 ALAN T. WATERMAN AWARD

The National Science Foundation recently announced that it is accepting applications for the 2019 Alan T Waterman award. The Alan T Waterman award is NSF’s most prestigious award for early career scientists and engineers. Candidates must be under 40 years of age, or have a career of 10 years or less. Candidates must have accomplished significant achievements in scientific or engineering research, with innovation, originality and impact on the field also taken into consideration.

The nominee selected for the Waterman award will receive a $1,000,000 grant over a five-year period for scientific research or advanced study in any field of science or engineering supported by the NSF, at any institution of the recipient's choice. Women, members of underrepresented groups in science and engineering, and persons with disabilities are particularly encouraged to apply.

To submit a nomination, please submit a nomination package with four letters of reference by October 22.

 For further information, click here: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/honawards/


NEW CYBERSECURITY LEGISLATION PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESSES IS SIGNED INTO LAW

Roughly 16 months after it was first introduced in Congress, the President recently signed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Small Business Cybersecurity Act into law. The bipartisan law, authored by Senators Brian Schats (D-HI) and James Risch (R-ID), provides resources to help protect small businesses from cyber attacks.

In a press release following the enactment of the law, Senator Schatz, lead Democrat on the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and Internet remarked: “As businesses rely more and more on the internet to run efficiently and reach more customers, they will continue to be vulnerable to cyberattacks. But while big businesses have the resources to protect themselves, small businesses do not, and that’s exactly what makes them an easy target for hackers… This new law will give small businesses the tools to firm up their cybersecurity infrastructure and fight online attacks.”

To view the law in full, click here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/770


NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH SELECTES DR. BRUCE TROMBERG TO LEAD BIOENGINEERING-FOCUSED INSTITUTE

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced that it has selected Dr. Bruce J. Tromberg, Ph.D. to serve as the new director for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). Dr. Tromberg presently serves as a professor in both the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).  His anticipated start date in his new role is the beginning of next year.

In his role as Director, Dr. Tromberg will be responsible for NIBIB’s annual budget, which totals roughly $378 million. He will also oversee a staff around 230 employees responsible for the research and development of new biomedical imaging and bioengineering technologies.

Dr. Tromberg’s academic and scientific career goes back more than 30 years. He has extensive experience conducting NIH-supported research, having spent 20 years as the principal investigator for the NIH National Biomedical Technology Resource Center Laser Microbeam and Medical Program (LAMMP).


WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT LEGISLATION SPOTLIGHTING NEED FOR CYBERSECURITY COMPETENCY IS INTRODUCED INTO CONGRESS

A new bipartisan “Cyber Ready Workforce Act” was recently introduced to the House. The bill would establish a grant program under the Department of Labor to help boost workforce development in cybersecurity by developing and expanding cybersecurity apprenticeship programs through initiatives such as linking local businesses with those interested in pursuing the program. The bill further stipulates that cybersecurity certifications also be offered under the grant program. The bill was introduced by Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and cosponsored by Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Dan Donovan (R-NY).

“The demand for talent in cybersecurity is sky-high, and we’re putting ourselves at risk if we don’t address this shortage in our workforce,” Rep Rosen said in a statement. “I’m committed to ensuring that businesses and government have the skilled people and critical tools they need to enhance our nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure, help industry thrive, and strengthen our national security. Everything we do in today’s economy is shaped by technology, and I will continue to work with my House colleagues to ensure our families and communities are better protected against cyber threats.”

To view the text of the bill in full, click here: https://rosen.house.gov/sites/rosen.house.gov/files/documents/ROSENV_096_xml.pdf


SENATORS CALL STATE DEPARTMENT’S CYBERSECURITY STANDARDS INTO QUESTION IN LETTTER TO SECRETARY POMPEO

A bipartisan group of senators recently sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling on the State Department to adopt stronger cybersecurity standards in line with federal regulations.
In their letter, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ed Markey (D-MA), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) noted that, “According to a 2018 General Service Administration (GSA) assessment of federal cybersecurity, the Department of State had only deployed enhanced access controls across 11% of required agency devices…Similarly, the Department of State’s Inspector General (OG) found last year that 33% of diplomatic missions failed to conduct even the most basic cyber threat management practices…”
The letter requests responses to three questions regarding the State Department’s cybersecurity status by October 12:

  • What actions has the Department of State taken in response to the OMB’s designation of the Department of State’s cyber readiness as “high risk”?
  • What actions has the Department of State taken to rectify the near total absence of multifactor authentication systems for accounts with elevated privileges accessing the agency’s network, as required by federal law?
  • Please provide us with statistics, for each of the past three years, detailing the number of cyber attacks against Department of State systems located abroad.  Please include statistics about both successful and attempted attacks.

To view the letter in full, click here: https://www.wyden.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/state-dept-cybersecurity-letter-from-wyden-gardner-paul-markey-shaheen.pdf

Effective communication, consent and data protection of our members, customers and volunteers are top priorities of ASME's. A new European legislation impacting consent and data policies with global implications went into effect in May 2018 therefore, ASME is updating our policies to require permission to contact you.

To continue to receive Capitol Updates, please visit the ASME Preference Center and select Capitol Updates under the Newsletter category. All you need to access the Preference Center is your ASME account login to manage the communications you want to receive. The Preference Center provides you with full control of your email preferences - with more options to fine-tune what you receive from us than ever before. We hope you'll find this improves your experience with ASME.