Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee

18 Sep 2018

Congress sent two bills to the president last week that provide policy direction to the Department of Energy Office of Science and Office of Nuclear Energy, respectively. The House also passed legislation to establish a National Quantum Initiative, which now awaits action in the Senate.

23 Aug 2018

University of Oklahoma meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier received broad, bipartisan praise from senators at a hearing on his nomination to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Droegemeier repeatedly stressed that science must be free from political influence and outlined his views on growing global R&D competition, particularly from China.

22 Aug 2018

At a recent hearing, senators and witnesses discussed NASA’s search for extraterrestrial life, weighing its benefits alongside science that has more direct societal applications. Witnesses also discussed ideas for improving the decadal surveys that guide NASA science.

7 Dec 2017

Barry Myers, the nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, went to great lengths at his confirmation hearing to assure senators he would respect and defend NOAA science as well as avoid any potential conflicts of interest arising from his connections to a weather company he co-founded.

7 Nov 2017

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), the nominee for NASA administrator, cast himself as a consensus builder during a contentious confirmation hearing on Nov. 1. While receiving unanimous support from Republicans, Democrats portrayed him as insufficiently qualified and too politically divisive to lead the agency.

28 Sep 2017

The nominees for National Institute of Standards and Technology director and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration deputy director received bipartisan praise and encountered no opposition during their Sept. 27 confirmation hearing. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee plans an Oct. 4 vote to advance them to the full Senate for consideration.

10 Mar 2017

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers are invoking the cause of scientific integrity and transparency to advance certain legislative proposals. The Democratic bills would codify standards of conduct and protections for federal scientists, while the Republican bills would reform the use of science in the federal rulemaking process.

10 Feb 2017

At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing with four inspector general witnesses, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) underscored their role in protecting whistleblowers and highlighted a bill he introduced to strengthen federal scientific integrity policies. Among the witnesses was the National Science Foundation’s inspector general, who described ongoing efforts to strengthen the foundation’s oversight of large facilities and reduce costs associated with its use of rotating personnel, among other management challenges.

12 Jan 2017

On Monday, the House passed a weather research and forecasting innovation bill that has been four years in the making. It is slightly different from a version the Senate passed in December which the House chose not to consider before the end of the 114th Congress.

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.

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