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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.

 

15 Feb 2017

The House and Senate have announced who will lead the appropriations subcommittees for the 115th Congress, and there are a few new faces atop the four subcommittees that oversee the lion’s share of federal R&D spending.

10 Feb 2017

At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing with four inspector general witnesses, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) underscored their role in protecting whistleblowers and highlighted a bill he introduced to strengthen federal scientific integrity policies. Among the witnesses was the National Science Foundation’s inspector general, who described ongoing efforts to strengthen the foundation’s oversight of large facilities and reduce costs associated with its use of rotating personnel, among other management challenges.

9 Feb 2017

At a House Science Committee hearing, Republican and Democratic committee members squared off on the question of whether regulatory activity at EPA currently meets high standards of scientific quality or requires reform. Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) also used the hearing to air a new allegation of scientific misconduct at NOAA.

3 Feb 2017

The chairman’s plans include reforming the use of science in EPA rulemaking, prioritizing basic research at the Department of Energy, promoting STEM education, overseeing cybersecurity investigations, and adjusting NASA’s mission portfolio.

27 Jan 2017

The House energy research and innovation bill would provide the first-ever comprehensive policy guidance to the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

27 Jan 2017

The Senate is expected to confirm Rick Perry as secretary of energy following a relatively uncontentious hearing on Jan. 19, at which the former Texas governor vowed to be a champion for all Department of Energy activities. However, Perry’s support has been partially overshadowed by a report that the Trump administration plans to target DOE for deep budget cuts and program eliminations.

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.

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