Investment in social sciences has led to advances in national defense, health, and industry among other areas, according to a report by the non-governmental National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Why it matters: When legislators are asked to make cuts to science funding, the social sciences are often at the top of the list. By commissioning an independent report, the NSF appears to be trying to lend credence to their argument that the directorate is valuable and its funding should be untouched.

"One can imagine that the NSF was looking for an authoritative, independent and objective voice to speak to questions about the value of the social, behavioral, and economic sciences," says Ed Liebow, executive director of the American Anthropological Association. Much of anthropology research is funded through NSF grants.

Go deeper: The Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences directorate has been a frequent target of Republican legislators. In a March 21 hearing, for example, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) almost exclusively cited social science studies as examples of waste. Other proposals have tried to direct NSF funding to four main directorates – biology, computer science, physics, and engineering – or to increase government oversight of the NSF's grant-review process.

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Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 31,175,205 — Total deaths: 962,076— Total recoveries: 21,294,229Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 6,829,956 — Total deaths: 199,690 — Total recoveries: 2,590,695 — Total tests: 95,121,596Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

McConnell: Senate has "more than sufficient time" to process Supreme Court nomination

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a floor speech Monday that the chamber has "more than sufficient time" to confirm a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election, and accused Democrats of preparing "an even more appalling sequel" to the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Why it matters: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said "nothing is off the table next year" if Republicans push ahead with the confirmation vote before November, vowing alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to use "every procedural tool available to us to ensure that we buy ourselves the time necessary."

House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Democrats on Monday released their proposal for short-term legislation to fund the government through December 11.

Why it matters: This is Congress' chief legislative focus before the election. They must pass a continuing resolution (CR) before midnight on Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown — something both Hill leaders and the White House have claimed is off the table.