The Senate passed a landmark competitiveness policy package this week containing the Endless Frontier Act proposal for a multi-billion-dollar technology R&D initiative. Key members of the House are now crafting a compromise proposal they regard as better-suited to existing agency strengths.
The House Science Committee has introduced a bipartisan bill that recommends Congress ramp up funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science from $7 billion to nearly $11 billion over the next five years. It also updates policy guidance for the office’s research programs and sets funding targets for its major facility projects.
The House Science Committee held a hearing last week to solicit ideas for bolstering the U.S. research enterprise, seeking to inform bipartisan innovation bills that it plans to advance in the coming months.
In a new report on employment trends across federal science agencies, Democratic staff of the House Science Committee conclude some agencies have experienced significant “brain drain” over the past decade while others have expanded despite facing political pressures.
The House Science Committee has introduced a bill proposing to double the National Science Foundation budget over five years and add a directorate to the agency focused on “societal challenges.” The committee views the bill as an alternative to the Endless Frontier Act, which proposes appending a massive technology-focused directorate to NSF.
The $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package that is advancing rapidly through Congress does not include the research recovery funds proposed in the bipartisan Research Investment to Spark the Economy Act.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said yesterday the Senate is preparing major competitiveness policy legislation centered around his Endless Frontier Act, which proposes to reconfigure the National Science Foundation. He also said the package could include emergency funding for a new semiconductor chip manufacturing initiative.
A product of two years of legislative work, the Energy Act of 2020 overhauls policy across the Department of Energy’s applied energy and fusion R&D programs, including by recommending substantial funding increases and greatly expanding efforts aimed at reducing carbon emissions.