FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FYI This Month: January 2012

Richard M. Jones

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Final Outcome: FY 2012 Appropriations

The FY 2012 appropriations cycle concluded on December 23 when President Barack Obama signed into law the second of two large appropriations measures.  There were notable increases and decreases in FY 2012 physics-related program budgets. 

Of Note: Selected Quotations from FYI in 2011

A review of quotations by Members of Congress, administration officials, and others.

2011 in Review: Policy and Budget Highlights from FYI

A brief summary of key developments reviewed in FYI last year.

Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce Issues STEM Education Report

A recent report provides insight on topics such as STEM occupations, wages, work interests and competencies, minorities and women in STEM fields, and information regarding those who divert from those disciplines. 

Letter to House Leadership Seeks Changes in “Troubling Provisions” of GRANT Act

Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Rep. David Price (D-NC) sent a Dear Colleague to other Members of the House asking them to sign a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) regarding H.R. 3433, the Grant Reform and New Transparency Act of 2011.  The letter asks that “troubling provisions be addressed before the House acts on this bill.” 

House Science Committee Hearing Highlights Concerns About Webb Space Telescope

A hearing by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee exhibited continued support for the telescope with concern and occasional outrage about its growing cost. 

House and Senate Calendars for 2012

The calendars can be used in planning a trip to Washington or for meeting with a representative or senator in their local office.  A link also provides guidance on arranging and meeting with a senator or representative or their staff.

Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the House Science Committee Hearing on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The subcommittee received an update on accountability, transparency, and performance issues associated with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  The hearing focused on efforts by agency Inspector General Offices; the Government Accountability Office (GAO); and the Recovery, Accountability, and Transparency Board to monitor ARRA stimulus spending.

Science and Technology in the State of the Union

President Barack Obama spoke of the importance of science and technology and the role that the federal government plays in the support of research in his State of the Union.  It is notable that previous State of the Union addresses by President Obama and President George W. Bush commented on the need for strong federal funding of research programs.

Defense Secretary Panetta: FY 2013 Budget Request Protects Science and Technology Programs

Despite “the significant fiscal constraints that have been imposed on the department,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the FY 2013 request protects science and technology program funding.

PCAST Briefed on Science and Technology Activities and a New Report on US Competitiveness

Members of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology were briefed on the science and technology activities at the State Department and were also given an overview of the activities of the US Chief Information Officer.  Also discussed at the meeting was the Commerce Department’s new report on “The Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States.”

Richard M. Jones
Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics