House Energy and Commerce Committee

22 Mar 2017

Last week, experts in advanced materials testified before a House subcommittee on the potential of their work and the challenges they face. Warning of declining U.S. leadership in their field, they urged increased federal support for R&D as well as policy changes to speed technology commercialization.

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.

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.

12 Sep 2016

If the energy bill is to become law before the end of this Congress, the conference committee led by Sen. Lisa Murkowski will have to successfully hash out differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill, including on research and advanced nuclear reactor development at the Energy Department and critical minerals exploration at the Interior Department.

25 Aug 2016

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is poised to move from preliminary studies of licensing requirements for advanced nuclear reactors to the development of an actual licensing program. A number of bills currently making their way through Congress provide funding and authorization for such a program, but a final legislative framework has not yet emerged.

25 Jul 2016

Committee members and witnesses reflected on the feasibility of consent-based approaches to siting nuclear waste facilities and on whether scientific safety reviews and expanded nuclear R&D in Nevada could prove instrumental in securing public support for Yucca Mountain serving as a nuclear waste repository.

8 Apr 1999

In the Senate, most authorizing legislation for physics-related programs is drafted by the Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space of the Senate Commerce Committee. While this Senate subcommittee has jurisdiction over most of the federal civilian science and technology programs, its counterpart in the House is a full committee, the Science Committee. The House Science Committee has four separate subcommittees to oversee different areas of science and technology.

14 Dec 1993

One tenet of the Clinton Administration is that "technology is the
engine of economic growth."  While the newly-established National
Science and Technology Council (see FYI #158) is charged with
coordinating technology initiatives across the federal government,
the Department of Commerce is working at coordinating its own
science and technology programs.

17 Oct 1995

On October 13, House Republicans announced consensus on a proposal
to dismantle the Department of Commerce.  Their plan is based on a
bill (H.R. 1756) sponsored by Dick Chrysler (R-MI) (see FYI #125).
The bill had to run a gamut of 11 different House committees, each
with jurisdiction over some of its elements.  Many of the
committees made changes which were incorporated into the final
proposal, including Robert Walker's (R-PA) Science Committee.   The
Republican leadership intends to roll the bill into their major

4 Oct 1995

While various proposals to dismantle the Department of Commerce
make their way through Congress, the FY 1996 funding bill for the
Department, H.R. 2076, has now passed the Senate and is ready to go
to a House-Senate conference.  The appropriations bill was approved
by the Senate Appropriations Committee on September 12, and the
full Senate on September 29.  During discussion on the Senate
floor, funds were added to increase the total NIST budget.  Below
are highlights of the Appropriations Committee's actions and
changes made on the floor. 


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