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Congress

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.

 

17 May 2019

The Trump administration has amended its latest budget request for NASA, seeking additional funds for its bid to return astronauts to the Moon in 2024. Meanwhile, the agency’s lunar science plans are focusing heavily on the lunar south pole region, where the crewed landing would take place.

22 Apr 2019

Efforts in the Senate to promote technology innovation as a way to combat climate change are beginning to progress. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has renewed his push to “double energy research funding,” while the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has begun to develop legislation to promote technology development and commercialization.

12 Apr 2019

President Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget request for the Department of Energy includes a $2 billion cut to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and smaller but still sizeable cuts to nuclear and fossil energy R&D programs. The request proposes increases for electric grid resilience programs that would support new R&D efforts.

2 Apr 2019

The president’s fiscal year 2020 budget request calls for a $1 billion, 16 percent cut to the Department of Energy Office of Science, which would erase much of the budget increase Congress has provided it over the last two budget cycles. Beneath its toplines, the request also proposes small amounts to begin planning on a variety of new experiments and facilities.

14 Mar 2019

Research community leaders warned the House Science Committee last week that the U.S. could face an acute shortage or oversupply of STEM workers if it does not carefully manage investments in R&D, remain welcoming to international talent, and better develop its domestic workforce.

12 Mar 2019

Energy R&D has emerged as a focal point for bipartisan collaboration in the new Congress. At recent hearings, lawmakers heard testimony in favor of large spending increases spread across a variety of technologies.

28 Feb 2019

With the enactment of fiscal year 2019 appropriations, the budget for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate is rising 11 percent to $6.9 billion. Missions to Jupiter’s moon Europa and a new lunar research initiative are among the beneficiaries of the increase. The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope is funded at a lower level than the mission’s plans anticipated.

25 Feb 2019

By the end of this week, the House will have held more than a dozen hearings focused on climate change. The House Science Committee’s first hearing on the subject under its new Democratic leadership showcased a different dynamic from ones in recent Congresses, with little dissension over climate science and both parties calling for investment in clean energy technology.

15 Feb 2019

Final appropriations legislation enacted today provides steady or increased funding to research programs at science agencies that have been operating on stopgap spending from the outset of fiscal year 2019.

14 Feb 2019

The 116th Congress has ushered in new leaders for several committees with jurisdiction over science agencies.

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