FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FYI This Month: June 2013

Richard M. Jones
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Highlights of Developments in Washington impacting the physics community from FYI, the American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News

Important Senate Hearing on National Nuclear Security Administration

A hearing before a subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee offered important insights into the views of the directors of the national weapons laboratories and the co-chairman of a National Research Council committee that is in the process of issuing a second report on the laboratories. 

Senate and House Subcommittees Examine NASA Spaceflight Opportunities and Challenges

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Science and Space held a hearing examining partnerships between NASA and private industry in space.  The House Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Space discussed possible options for space exploration that would enable the US to move closer to a human mission to Mars. 

Update on OMB Travel Restrictions

Scientific associations recently sent a letter to key Members of Congress about restrictions placed on federal employees traveling to conferences.   In addition, the Office of Management and Budget sent an alert to Chief Financial Officers recognizing scientific collaboration as an example of a circumstance “in which physical collocation is necessary to complete the [federal agency] mission.” 

ITER Program Focus of Senate Appropriations Hearing

For a second year in a row, Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) questioned the merits of the ITER program because of its projected cost and impact on the domestic fusion program and other research supported by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. 

FY 2014 House Department of Defense Funding Bill: S&T Programs

The House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY 2014 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill.  The bill provides $512.5 billion for the base budget, an amount that is approximately $5.1 billion less than the FY 2013 enacted budget, and $3.4 billion below the Administration’s request. 

The National Science and Technology Council's Committee on STEM Education Releases 5-Year Strategic Plan

A 5-year Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan defines the Administration’s path forward for the restructuring of federal STEM education programs.  The Strategic Plan was a requirement set by the America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2010 and was prepared by the Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM) of the National Science and Technology Council.  Included in the Plan is a FY 2011 inventory of STEM education programs. 

Science Committee Discusses President's STEM Education Reorganization Proposal

A hearing held by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee to review the Administration’s proposed consolidation and reorganization of federal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programs demonstrated bi-partisan hesitation about the plan. 

Science Committee Hearing on NASA and NSF Exoplanet Programs

A joint hearing by two subcommittees of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee provided ample evidence of enthusiastic bipartisan support for NASA and NSF programs to discover new planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. 

Balancing Act: House Science Committee Draft of New NASA Bill

A hearing by the House Subcommittee on Space demonstrated how difficult it will be to enact legislation providing budget and policy guidance to NASA for FY 2014 and FY 2015. 

Science Committee Discusses Exascale Computing Research and Development

A hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy demonstrated bi-partisan enthusiasm for advanced computing technology.

Richard M. Jones
Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
rjones@aip.org
301-209-3095