Delaware Section Government Affairs Committee Meets with Senator Tom Carper
John Gavenonis, Delaware Section Councilor
Tiffany Hoerter, Delaware Section Chair
Members of the Delaware Section Government Affairs Committee meet with Senator Tom Carper in Wilmington on March 15, 2013. Participants are (from left to right) John Gavenonis, Al Denio, Senator Tom Carper, Martha Hollomon and Tiffany Hoerter.
On Tuesday, March 15, as part of the ACS Contact Congress initiative, Al Denio, John Gavenonis, Tiffany Hoerter and Martha Hollomon of the Delaware Section Government Affairs Committee (GAC) met with United States Senator Tom Carper in his Wilmington office. The meeting was also attended by Stephanie Swain (Staff Assistant) and Colin Peppard (Legislative Assistant, via phone). The group gathered to discuss the predictable and sustained investments in key science engineering and technology agencies including the NSF, NIH, DOE-SC, NIST, DoEd, DOD and EPA, flexibility in the sequestration process, the continuing resolution to avoid government shut down on March 27th and investment in science research,which provides an important economic and societal return These are key areas for ACS policy advocacy. Position statements addressing these topics and others can be found at the ACS website (http://tinyurl.com/acspolicystatements) or by contacting John Gavenonis at email@example.com.
The ACS members expressed their concern about the dramatic cut in research funding resulting from the Sequestration and inquired about the addition of flexibility to allow science funding agencies more latitude to implement cuts. While the Sequestration has very little flexibility in its current state, the Senate is addressing some of the major concerns in their approach to the continuing resolution (CR). By combining the CR with an ominbus approach, the Senate hopes to temper some of the effects of the Sequestration on specific areas including: Defense; Military Construction; Homeland Security; Commerce, Justice, Science; Agriculture; Energy and Water; Interior and Environment; Financial Service; Transportation; Labor HHS, State-Foreign Ops and the Legislative Branch. There is some limited additional funding for NIH in the current version. The Senate will reserve further funding changes to research agencies for their budget proposal.
Senator Carper informed the ACS members that Senator Tom Udall (d-NM) has become the chair of the Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health Subcommittee of the US Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works. This committee handles the TSCA legislation. The section plans to reconnect with Senator Carper's office when TSCA legislation is proposed later this year.
Senator Carper is a strong proponent of the R&D tax credit. He is working in a bipartisan fashion to make these credits permanent and increase them to 25%. Additionally, the Senate would like to support start-ups and small businesses through the Startup Innovation Credit Act, which would make the R&D tax credit available to start-ups. The ACS members plan to have a teleconference with Chris Prendergast to discuss this further.
The Delaware Section Government Affairs Committee thanks Senator Carper and his staff for taking the time to review policy items of interest to ACS.