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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.


13 Jul 2016

A House Science subcommittee hearing brought together leaders of the weather community to explore the preferred balance between the three sectors - government, academic, and private – that make up the U.S. weather enterprise.

11 Jul 2016

The House will soon vote on two bills that would create basic research initiatives at the Department of Energy focused on solar fuels and electricity storage, respectively. Although the House Science Committee cleared both with bipartisan support, committee members expressed divergent views at the markup on the proper role of the federal government in supporting energy R&D.

11 Jul 2016

House Environment Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Jim Bridenstine has convened another in a series of hearings on the nation’s weather satellite programs, building on his ongoing interest in the programs’ management and future.

30 Jun 2016

The House Science Committee convened thought leaders in space exploration last month for a hearing on the capabilities needed for NASA’s proposed human journey to Mars. Wide-ranging discussions touched on in-space propulsion, deep space habitation, and artificial gravity.

29 Jun 2016

Today, the Senate Commerce Committee approved the "American Innovation and Competitiveness Act" after amending it to authorize a four percent funding increase for NSF and NIST. However, a push to identify offsets for these increases may delay or derail passage of the bill by the Senate.

23 Jun 2016

The Senate’s bipartisan bill, released today, differs significantly from the House-passed America COMPETES bill, dropping the COMPETES name altogether and striking a different tone on scientific merit review.

21 Jun 2016

Two committees are staking out divergent stances on funding for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grant programs—with the House and Senate Small Business Committees both advancing bipartisan proposals to increase the fraction of agencies’ extramural R&D budgets allocated to these programs, while the House Science Committee appears united in opposing increases that would take resources away from other R&D programs.

17 Jun 2016

Over the past two months, a House Science Committee bill designed to tighten the NSF’s management and financial oversight of its large research facilities has moved quickly from introduction to full House passage.

3 Jun 2016

Last month, the House passed its version of the annual defense policy bill. The legislation contains various controversial components, including a provision which directs the Missile Defense Agency to begin development of a space-based missile defense system.

27 May 2016

After declining to take up the contentious America COMPETES bill which the House passed narrowly last spring, the Senate appears close to releasing its bipartisan take on the bill.