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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.

 

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.

29 Nov 2016

At a Senate hearing, appropriations subcommittee leaders disagreed on the advisability of the federal government embarking on an effort to spur the development and deployment of new types of nuclear reactors.

18 Nov 2016

Congressional leaders have said that passage of a “21st Century Cures Act” is a top priority for the remainder of the current Congress. This bill could provide a multi-billion dollar funding boost to the National Institutes of Health outside of the regular appropriations process.

15 Nov 2016

With Republicans winning one-party control of the federal government in last Tuesday’s election, the party now has more latitude to advance its priorities. Implications for science will begin to unfold in the “lame duck” session of Congress that opened yesterday.

18 Oct 2016

Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), Congress’s only physicist member, is leading a group of 38 House Democrats in asking the House Rules Committee to withdraw a recent rule change that permitted House committees to delegate their subpoena authority to their chairs. Among their objections, critics of this unilateral authority argue it is being used to harass scientific researchers.

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