science

Opinion: From the Vatican, a Challenge to Bring Promise to Patients
Conference urges support for innovations in science and medicine in a collaborative, safe and ethical manner

The Pontifical Council for Culture and the Cura Foundation hosted the “Unite to Cure” conference at the Vatican last month. (Courtesy the Cura Foundation/Unite To Cure: Fourth International Vatican Conference)

The power of medical research is rapidly moving from the lab to the patient.

Since the 21st Century Cures Act was passed in 2016, we’ve seen exponential progress in personalized, data-driven medicine and regenerative and gene therapies that will help prevent and treat disease, and even cure patients. Swift advances in science hold great promise for patients in need. At the same time, we must maintain our national standards for safety and ethical responsibility.

Opinion: America Needs to Recommit to Investing in Science
The recent omnibus spending package is a good first step

A research technician at the New York Genome Center in 2013. Reviving federal investment in scientific research is crucial given the high costs associated with new technologies, Stockwell writes. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images file photo)

When it comes to science, the United States is getting its lunch handed to it by countries such as China, which not only invests more dollars into scientific research and development but also produces more undergraduate science and engineering majors than we do stateside.

The National Science Foundation’s Science & Engineering Indicators recently warned that U.S. dominance in scientific advancement is under serious threat. This warning was reaffirmed by the 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index, in which the U.S. did not even rank among the top ten most innovative countries in the world anymore.

Overview: Where the Omnibus Money Is Going
Congress last week passed a $1.3 trillion government spending bill

Last week Congress passed, and the president signed, a 12-bill omnibus spending package that funds the government through September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ignoring President Donald Trump’s budget request in some cases, lawmakers last week passed a fiscal 2018 omnibus spending package with a discretionary funding level of $1.29 trillion — 10 percent higher than fiscal 2017 thanks to the budget agreement reached last month.

Here’s a look at how the enacted omnibus, previously proposed spending levels by the House and Senate, and the president’s FY18 request stack up:

Capitol Ink | The Birds

Pence: Give Police, Families Tools for Mentally Disturbed
VP vows massive job creation via beefed-up space program

Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., D-Va., speaks with D.C.-area students and supporters as they hold a protest against gun violence with a lie-in outside of the White House on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump administration intends to give law enforcement and families the “tools they need to deal with” people who have health issues that might drive them to commit violent acts like mass shootings, Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday.

As during similar remarks late last week, however, the vice president did not specify how much that might cost or whether the administration will seek emergency funds or push Congress to include the required monies in fiscal 2018 and 2019 spending measures.

Winners and Losers in the Trump Budget in One Chart
Administration released its budget request Monday

The president’s budget request includes $1.1 trillion in discretionary funds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump administration submitted its fiscal 2019 budget request to Capitol Hill on Monday, outlining the president’s priorities for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

Roll Call analyzed the documents and put together the following graphic on the departmental winners and losers in the proposed budget:

Opinion: Is There Room for Science and Evidence in Trump’s Budget?
Administration should not ignore this key protocol in policymaking

President Donald Trump would be wise to follow the model of his predecessors, including Barack Obama, in using science and evidence in his budget’s policy proposals, Hart and Shea write. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than a year after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, it is surprisingly difficult to know where the administration stands in the debate about evidence-based policymaking. Inconsistent signals across government agencies suggest the lack of a uniform philosophy about how science and evidence inform policy decisions that affect the American public.

Policymaking informed by evidence can improve outcomes, make public policies more effective and efficient, and help restore flagging trust in our government institutions. Because of the existing bipartisan support for evidence-based policymaking, we remain optimistic that the administration can and will responsibly support the use of science and evidence.

Threats Force Raskin to Cancel Panel on How Trump Inspires Violence
Maryland Democrat has questioned president’s mental fitness for office

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., canceled a panel on President Donald Trump’s mental fitness for office due to threats of violence against the event. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Jamie Raskin was forced to cancel an event with mental health experts on Donald Trump’s mental fitness to be president after the congressman’s office received a string of threats.

The event was scheduled for Thursday at a senior center in Maryland and intended to cover issues such as Trump’s perceived tendency to inspire violence.

Northeastern Lawmakers Unite Against Trump Offshore Drilling Plan
Republicans and Democrats from region join Florida and West Coast colleagues blasting plan

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, penned a joint letter on Monday to resist the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plans off their state’s coast. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers in the Northeast united across party lines on Monday to hazard against President Donald Trump’s offshore drilling plan to re-open more than 90 percent of the U.S. coastline to oil and gas companies.

Roughly 94 percent of the coastline, including the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts, remains off limits to oil and gas drilling. But Trump’s Interior Department revealed a five-year plan proposing 47 potential lease sales to energy companies through 2024, including two in the North Atlantic region from Maine to New Jersey.

Democratic Candidate Misspeaks When Asked About Potential Influence
California’s Hans Keirstead suggested he would sit on an influential committee and become a chairman

Democratic candidate Hans Keirstead said leadership wanted to give him an “early appointment” on Appropriations. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic candidate Hans Keirstead faced a familiar question at a local party meeting in November: What kind of committees could you sit on, and how would that benefit the district?

But his answer has caused some confusion.