FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FYI This Month: June 2014

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

House Passes FY 2015 Funding Bill for NASA, NIST, NOAA, and NSF

By a wide margin the House passed an FY 2015 bill to fund a wide range of federal agencies, including NASA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation.

On the Record: Senators in Support of Defense Basic Research Program Funding

Eighteen senators signed a letter voicing their support for providing total FY 2015 funding for the Department of Defense’s 6.1 Basic Research programs at “an amount closer to the level enacted for fiscal year 2014, if not higher.” 

Science Committee Examines the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report Process

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing to evaluate the process that the United Nations used in producing an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report.  Committee members were divided along party lines on issues including data analysis, data quality, transparency in author and study selection and whether the report provided biased information.  The hearing preceded President Obama’s announcement of new greenhouse gas emission standards for power plants.

Senate Hearing on Defense S&T

A hearing of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee reviewed the Obama Administration’s FY 2015 budget request for the science and technology programs of the Department of Defense.  Senior Pentagon officials discussed the potential of revolutionary offensive and defensive systems and the impacts on their programs of significant budgetary pressures.

Senate Appropriations Bill Approved

The Senate Appropriations Committee released its report accompanying the FY 2015 Commerce Justice, Science Appropriations Bill.  Report 113-181 provides the appropriators’ recommendations regarding the following agencies:
National Science Foundation
NASA
National Institute of Standards and Technology
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Office of Science and Technology Policy

National Academies Publishes Pathways to U.S. Human Space Exploration Report

The National Academies of Science published a human spaceflight study to review “the long-term goals, core capabilities, and direction of human spaceflight and make recommendations to enable a sustainable U.S. human spaceflight program” as mandated by the NASA Authorization Act of 2010. 

Subcommittees Discuss Administrative Burdens Faced by U.S. Researchers

A joint hearing of the Oversight and Research and Technology Subcommittees of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee gave Members an opportunity to examine the administrative workload associated with federally funded research. 

Upbeat Hearing on P5 Report

The House Energy Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing to review a report by the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5). 

American Physical Society Letter on P5 Report

An APS letter commenting on the report “Building for Discovery: Strategic Plan for U.S. Particle Physics in the Global Context” was made part of the record at a joint subcommittee hearing.

House FY 2015 DOD Appropriations Bill: S&T Programs

The House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill. 

House FY 2015 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill

The House Appropriations Committee approved an FY 2015 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.  The $34 billion bill provides funding for the Department of Energy, including the Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Office of Science
National Nuclear Security Administration
Yucca Mountain

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Discusses Securing Radiological Materials

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing to focus on the threat of crude explosives using radiological materials and efforts to secure these materials. 

House Subcommittee Discusses Earthquake Early Warning System Development

The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources of the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to discuss the potential benefits of earthquake early warning systems.  Representatives heard from witnesses about warning systems used in other countries including Japan, Mexico, Romania and Mongolia and discussed the cost benefits of developing a national warning system for the United States. 

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