Congress

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FYI covers House and Senate activity related to the physical sciences, including their oversight of the federal science agencies as well as the development and consideration of legislation that sets policy for science and funds the science agencies.

 

12 Jan 2017

On Monday, the House passed a weather research and forecasting innovation bill that has been four years in the making. It is slightly different from a version the Senate passed in December which the House chose not to consider before the end of the 114th Congress.

5 Jan 2017

The House and Senate failed to reach a compromise on a sweeping energy policy bill with numerous R&D-related provisions before the end of the 114th Congress. The effort may be revived in the new Congress, but the character of the bill could change considerably since the Republicans will control the White House as well as both chambers of Congress.

27 Dec 2016

In the final days of the 114th Congress, the Senate passed legislation to provide new policy guidance to NASA for the first time since 2010. But, by the time the bill arrived in the House, lawmakers had already left Washington for the year. While the original version of the bill introduced in September addressed NASA’s science activities only briefly, the final version contained a number of additional science-related provisions.

21 Dec 2016

As Donald Trump's presidential transition continues, both supporters and opponents of the scientific consensus on climate change have begun to ponder the implications for climate research. A flurry of activity in the past two weeks has stirred anxieties in the climate science community and could presage other battles to come.

20 Dec 2016

In what one senator called an “overtime victory for science in the closing days of 2016,” the House passed the Senate’s “American Innovation and Competitiveness Act,” a bipartisan successor to the America COMPETES Acts of 2007 and 2010. President Obama is expected to sign it into law.

19 Dec 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has selected former Texas Governor Rick Perry as his nominee for Secretary of Energy. Perry is a critic of the federal bureaucracy who has advocated for DOE’s elimination and derided climate science as systematically biased, but he is also an advocate for innovation in clean energy.

13 Dec 2016

The president’s budget and House and Senate appropriations proposals for fiscal year 2017 included multiple funding and programmatic changes for the federal science agencies, but these changes are in limbo after lawmakers extended the federal government’s spending on a continuing resolution through April 28.

9 Dec 2016

Both the House and Senate have passed the fiscal year 2017 “National Defense Authorization Act." The NDAA is a bill, passed annually, that authorizes and sets policy for defense programs at the Defense and Energy Departments, including defense R&D.

8 Dec 2016

Congress has passed a sweeping biomedical innovation bill that President Obama has said he will sign. The bill provides the National Institutes of Health with $4.8 billion in extra money over 10 years to support three of the Obama administration’s biomedical research initiatives, although this funding has to be approved annually.

1 Dec 2016

The House easily passed the bipartisan “21st Century Cures Act” yesterday. Among its numerous provisions, the bill allocates $4.8 billion over 10 years to the National Institutes of Health in support of the Obama administration’s Cancer Moonshot, BRAIN, and Precision Medicine Initiatives, and creates a Research Policy Board tasked with identifying means of reducing administrative burdens.

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