Department of Defense

The House of Representatives approved the National Defense Authorization Act last Friday by a vote of 269-151 on a mostly party line vote.  Disputes regarding how the bill worked around strict spending limits imposed by the Budget Control Act caused many Democrats to vote against H.R. 1735, including Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA).

This bill sets policy and program spending limits for the Department of Defense and the nuclear weapons programs of the Department of Energy.  Actual funding is provided by appropriations bills.

19 May 2015

“We urge you to support all of this valuable work” said Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, when discussing various programs to maintain U.S. military superiority.  “But most of all, we urge you to permanently repeal the threat of sequestration.  Removing this specter would do more than any other single act to spur innovation and preserve our military technological superiority.”

8 May 2015

The Coalition for National Security Research (CNSR), “a broadly-based coalition of industry, research universities, and associations united by a commitment to a stronger Defense S&T base” has issued an FY 2016 funding statement recommending a higher level of funding for science and technology programs than that requested by the Obama Administration.  The American Institute of Physics and two of its Member Societies, the American Physical Society and The Optical Society, are members of CNSR.

13 Apr 2015

Three major themes were discussed during the March 26 hearing of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee reviewing defense science and technology programs.  On each, there was consensus on both sides of the witness table. 

7 Apr 2015

The Obama Administration has requested an increase of 0.1 percent in the budget for the three science and technology programs of the Department of Defense in FY 2016.  Under this request, sent to Congress on Monday, the total budget would increase from $12,252.0 million to $12,266.6 million.

5 Feb 2015

Congress is nearing completion of the FY 2015 appropriations cycle with yesterday’s House approval of a $1.1 trillion bill providing funding through September 30, 2015 for all departments and agencies with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security that will be funded through early 2015.  Senate action is expected within a day. 

12 Dec 2014

The agenda for the November 14 meeting of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) was wide-ranging, with upbeat briefings on NASA science, corporate investments in the BRAIN Initiative, DARPA, and the federal government’s response to Ebola.   PCAST is co-chaired by OSTP Director John Holdren and Eric Lander, President and Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

3 Dec 2014

The Coalition for National Science Funding and the Coalition for National Security Research have issued separate letters to Members of Congress urging the passage of funding legislation providing the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense’s basic research program with budget increases in FY 2015.  It is uncertain if Members will be given an opportunity to vote on an omnibus appropriations bill with these increases before short term funding expires on December 11.

21 Nov 2014

A Defense Science Board Task Force recommends a 30% increase in university science and technology funding to enable the Department of Defense to better access new S&T and engineering capabilities. This was one of four major recommendations in the "Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on the Technology Capabilities of Non-DoD Providers," written in response to a provision in the FY 1998 defense authorization act, which recently became available.

30 Nov 2000

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