House Energy and Commerce Committee

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.

18 Oct 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.

12 Sep 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 Aug 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.

25 Jul 2016

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.

8 Apr 1999

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.

14 Dec 1993

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

17 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. 

4 Oct 1995

Since returning to work after Labor Day, Congress has focused a lot
of attention on the Department of Commerce.  Authorizing committees
in both the House and Senate debated the fate of the department,
while the Senate Commerce Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its
funding bill.

8 Sep 1995

This has been a busy week on Capitol Hill for the U.S. Department
of Commerce.  Three committee hearings have been held on
legislation to dismantle the department, and the House finished its
consideration of the department's FY 1996 appropriation.  What has
emerged is a very uncertain future for the Commerce Department.

27 Jul 1995


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