Further review of the FY 2014 omnibus appropriations bill reveals language that was included that will make about half of federally funded research accessible to the public.
This provision requires federal agencies under the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education portion of the bill with research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to the research that they fund within 12 months of publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
According to the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Council, this means that approximately $31 billion of the total $60 billion annual investment in federal research will become openly accessible.
The language in the omnibus bill mirrors that in the White House open access memorandum from last year, as well as a National Institutes of Health public access program enacted in 2008.
New Task Force on College Sexual Assaults
President Obama signed a memorandum creating a task force to respond to college sexual assaults after the White House released a report that highlights a stunning prevalence of rape on college campuses. The report states that one in five female students has been assaulted and only one in eight report that assault.
The task force, comprised of administration officials, was given 90 days to come up with recommendations for colleges to prevent and respond to the crime of sexual assault, increase public awareness of each school’s track record and enhance coordination among federal agencies to hold schools accountable.
Now that the FY 2014 appropriations issue has been resolved, Congress is beginning to focus on the issue of increasing the debt limit that must be addressed in February.
Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray released a letter last week saying that Democrats will not heed any Republican demands in exchange for increasing the debt limit next month. She is calling on Republicans to pledge that they will commit to supporting a clean debt limit increase bill.
House Speaker John Boehner, however, has said that a clean debt limit bill will not pass out of the House.
FY 2015 Budget
The Office of Management and Budget has announced that President Obama will release his FY 2015 budget Tuesday, March 4.