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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.


15 Jul 2020

House appropriators have advanced legislation that would provide billions of dollars in one-time “emergency” funding to DOE, citing a need to support economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The additional funds include $6.25 billion for research facilities and equipment projects within the DOE Office of Science.

26 Jun 2020

Acting head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Neil Jacobs and other top agency officials are at odds over an independent investigation that concluded he violated the agency’s scientific integrity policy during the controversy that erupted last fall over Hurricane Dorian forecasts.

8 Apr 2020

The Department of Defense is seeking a marginal decrease in its Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation budget, which is currently at a record-high level of $109 billion. Prioritizing work on near-term technologies, the department proposes a 13% cut for its early-stage Science and Technology accounts.

27 Mar 2020

Coronavirus response legislation signed into law today includes funding to expand federal research efforts and aid universities disrupted by the pandemic.

12 Mar 2020

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s long-awaited energy innovation legislation is in limbo after a dispute broke out during floor debate over proposed add-on provisions.

25 Feb 2020

A Senate hearing this month explored ways to support “missions of national need” that underpin preparedness efforts for asteroid impacts, space weather, and orbital debris.

20 Feb 2020

Legislative efforts are under way in the House and Senate to advance broad policy legislation for NASA, with potential implications for scientific activities. In the House, lawmakers are seeking to exert particularly strong control over the agency’s plans for the Moon and Mars.

13 Feb 2020

New policy proposals circulating in Congress and floated on the campaign trail suggest that politicians in both parties have an appetite for significantly increasing federal R&D spending.

5 Feb 2020

The budget for the Defense Department’s Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation activities is continuing to rise dramatically in fiscal year 2020, with a focus on late-stage prototyping and testing. Funding for earlier-stage R&D accounts is rising by 1% to $16.1 billion.

8 Jan 2020

The American Geophysical Union has revised its position statement on climate change to declare that the situation represents a “crisis.” It has also submitted input to the House Climate Crisis Committee, which plans to make legislative recommendations this spring.