Congressional floor and conference action

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.

6 Feb 2019

Over the past two years, Congress passed legislation updating and endorsing a wide range of federal R&D activities, including marquee bills focused on quantum information science, energy research, weather forecasting, and hazard preparedness.

3 Jul 2018

As the conference committee for this year’s iteration of the National Defense Authorization Act begins its work, conferees will navigate numerous proposals for changes in defense R&D and innovation policy.

20 Apr 2018

By the narrowest margin in the history of the space agency, the Senate confirmed Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) as NASA administrator yesterday on a party-line vote of 50 to 49. The other chamber of Congress also made NASA news this week, with the House Science Committee advancing a NASA reauthorization bill after a contentious debate over funding recommendations for its Earth Science Division.

22 Dec 2017

Congress concluded its 2017 session with a week of productive legislating that included final passage of the Republican tax reform bill and an extension of federal spending through Jan. 19. The House also passed three bipartisan STEM education bills and a disaster relief spending package that, if enacted, would provide a one-time funding boost to several science agencies.

22 Nov 2017

A chorus of scientific societies and higher education associations has voiced deep concerns about provisions in the House’s tax reform bill that they argue could significantly increase the cost of graduate education. Higher education associations have also objected to several other provisions in the House bill and its Senate counterpart that they say could destabilize the finances of colleges and universities.

22 Sep 2017

The Senate passed its version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act on Sept. 18, sending the bill to conference committee. House and Senate conferees now must come to an agreement on a vast library of provisions, including many concerning R&D policy.

11 Sep 2017

After President Trump backed a Democratic proposal for a three-month extension of federal agency spending and the debt ceiling, Republican leaders quickly acceded. The law includes a key provision prohibiting the National Institutes of Health from altering research overhead reimbursements.

5 May 2017

The final appropriations agreement for fiscal year 2017 provides a 3.1 percent increase for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Planetary Science will receive a 12 percent increase and is instructed to proceed with a Europa lander mission. Heliophysics will receive a smaller increase while Earth Science funding will remain unchanged. As work on the James Webb Space Telescope ramps down, total funds allocated to Astrophysics activities will decrease.

21 Apr 2017

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has new congressional guidance for its weather research, forecasting, and observations programs, including authorizations for a new seasonal forecasting program, a greater focus on research-to-operations, and improved coordination across the U.S. weather enterprise.

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