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Ellen Smith, assistant vice president, represents and informs the Univesity on issues such as financial aid, Medicare and Medicaid, research funds and tax policies as they pertain to higher education.





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 VOL. 23, NO. 19APRIL 3, 1998 


LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Congress Is Busy Marking Up Bills


BY ELLEN S. SMITH

As the Easter recess nears, House and Senate members are working on a host of issues:

  • It is expected that the budget-busting House intermodal surface transportation bill will pass this week.

  • The Senate vote on a budget resolution also will occur this week. The resolution includes significant increases for the so-called ISTEA bill and for research.

  • The Labor and Human Resources Committee will mark up their version of the Higher Education Reauthorization Act on Wednesday.

  • The Senate Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on science, technology and space, chaired by Sen. Bill Frist (R.–Tenn.) hosts a hearing on Federal research and development this week.

  • Senate sponsors of S. 1305, to double civilian research spending, will testify along with White House Science Advisor Jack Gibbons. Senator Spencer Abraham (R.–Mich.) is also expected to mark up an Immigration bill that removes the H-1B cap; allows universities to use prevailing rates of other similar institutions for paying alien workers, and allows visiting scholars who enter the country on tourist visas to receive honorarium payments.

  • Copyright and intellectual property legislation is wending its way through the House Judiciary committee. Bills being considered would implement the world intellectual property organization (WIPO) treaty, define on-line service provider liability and clarify copyright issues in a digital environment.

  • The delay in a settlement regarding the tobacco bill leaves funding uncertain for portions of the discretionary budget, including recent research increases.

  • The National Science Board adopted a resolution opposing the creation of a separate National Institute for the Environment (NIE).

  For additional information, contact Ellen S. Smith, assistant vice president and director of federal relations, ess9@columbia.edu.






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