Federal Science Bill Tracker

Up-to-date information on recent authorization bills in Congress relevant to the physical sciences


Bill Index

Bill Index

The bill index lists authorization bills that FYI is tracking during the current Congress as well as highly significant bills passed near the end of the previous Congress. It should not be considered a comprehensive list of science-related bills. For the text of the bill, click the bill number; for further details, see the tab(s) indicated in parentheses following the bill title.

House Bills

115th Congress

H.R.255 — Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act (NSF, STEM Education & Workforce) — enacted 2/28/2017

H.R.321 — INSPIRE Women Act (NASA, STEM Education & Workforce) — enacted 2/28/2017

H.R.353 — Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act (NOAA) — enacted 4/18/2017

H.R.431 — Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (DOE, Nuclear Energy)

H.R.589 — Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act (DOE)

H.R.590 — Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act (Nuclear Energy)

H.R.1358 — Scientific Integrity Act (Research Management)

H.R.1430 — Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment (HONEST) Act (Regulatory Science)

H.R.1431 — EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act (Regulatory Science)

H.R.1464 — NIST SUCCESS Act (NIST)

H.R.1569 — American Innovation Act (DOE, NASA, NSF, DOD)

H.R.1675 — National Landslide Preparedness Act (USGS, NSF)

H.R.2353 — Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (STEM Education & Workforce)

H.R.2653 — STEM Opportunities Act (STEM Education & Workforce)

H.R.2810 — National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (DOD)

H.R.3086 — Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act (NASA, NSF, DOD, NOAA)

H.R.3427 — Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (Research Management)

H.R.3681 — ARPA–E Reauthorization Act (DOE)

H.R.3750 — Energy Technology Maturation Act (DOE)

114th Congress

H.R.34 — 21st Century Cures Act (NIH) — Enacted 12/13/2016

 

Senate Bills

115th Congress

S.42 — INSPIRE Women Act (NASA, STEM Education & Workforce) — House version enacted 2/28/2017

S.83 — Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act (NSF, STEM Education & Workforce) — House version enacted 2/28/2017

S.97 — Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (DOE, Nuclear Energy)

S.141 — Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act (NASA, NSF, DOD, NOAA)

S.338 — Scientific Integrity Act (Research Management)

S.346 — National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System Act (USGS)

S.442 — NASA Transition Authorization Act (NASA) — enacted 3/21/2017

S.512 — Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (Nuclear Energy)

S.578 — Better Evaluation of Science and Technology Act (Regulatory Science)

S.641 — American Innovation Act (DOE, NASA, NSF, DOD)

S.698 — National Landslide Preparedness Act (USGS, NSF)

S.1270 — STEM Opportunities Act (STEM Education & Workforce)

S.1425 — Coordinated Ocean Monitoring Research Act (NSF, NOAA)

S.1460 — Energy and Natural Resources Act (DOE, STEM Education & Workforce)

S.1519 — National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (DOD)

S.1701 — Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (Research Management)

S.1768 — National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act (NSF, NIST, USGS)

S.1794 — Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment (HONEST) Act (Regulatory Science)

S.1799 — Energy Technology Maturation Act (DOE)

S.1973 — BASIC Research Act (NSF, Research Management)

114th Congress

S.1777 — Every Student Succeeds Act (STEM Education & Workforce) — enacted 12/10/2015

S.2943 — National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (DOD) — enacted 12/23/2016

S.3084 — American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (NSF, NIST, STEM Education & Workforce) — enacted 1/6/2017

 

Major Authorization Bills

Major Authorization Bills

Major authorization bills provide extensive policy guidance to one or more federal agencies, covering a large number of agency activities. Often, authorization bills address activities that agencies are already pursuing, in which case the intent is simply to provide the activity with legislative backing, signaling that it is to be treated as a priority. While authorization bills may specify funding levels for agencies for one or more years, those levels only serve as guidelines. In any given year, congressional appropriators are generally free to allocate whatever funding levels they choose, and it is those levels that determine agency budgets.

Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act, H.R.589

Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

Current Status: Passed House on a voice vote (1/24/2017); Introduced (1/20/2017)

Purpose: "To establish Department of Energy policy for science and energy research and development programs, and reform National Laboratory management and technology transfer programs, and for other purposes."

Overview of Selected Provisions:

  • Provides the first ever full authorization of the DOE Office of Science, establishing statutory descriptions of its primary research program offices and other major programs such as Energy Innovation Hubs and Energy Frontier Research Centers
  • Many provisions derive from the "North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2016," a major energy policy bill that came close to passing during the 114th Congress
  • Directs DOE to continue identifying opportunities to conduct and support crosscutting R&D, demonstration, and commercialization efforts
  • Authorizes research initiatives in solar fuels and electricity storage, and re-establishes the low-dose radiation research program
  • Directs DOE to construct an advanced nuclear research reactor featuring a versatile fast neutron source, and establishes a National Reactor Innovation Center to enable private-sector collaboration

Relevant FYI Bulletins:

 

Energy and Natural Resources Act, S.1460

Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

Current Status: Introduced (6/28/2017)

Committee Report: S.Rept. 114-138 (on the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which contained similar provisions)

Purpose: "To provide for the modernization of the energy and natural resources policies of the United States, and for other purposes"

Overview of Selected Provisions:

  • Many provisions derive from the "North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2016," a major energy policy bill that came close to passing during the 114th Congress
  • Research-related provisions are similar to those in the House's "Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act"
  • Authorizes a coordinated interagency program to conduct R&D at the "energy–water nexus"
  • Authorizes a gradual increase in funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy
  • Authorizes funding levels for the DOE Office of Science that rise to over $7 billion by 2022
  • Establishes in statute the position of the under secretary for science and energy and assigns it an inter-office coordinating function

Relevant FYI Bulletins:

 

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, H.R.2810

Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA)

Current Status: Conference bill passed Senate on voice vote (11/16/2017); Conference bill passed House on vote of 356 to 70 (11/14/2017); Passed House on vote of 344 to 81 (7/14/2017); Reported from committee (7/6/2017); Introduced (6/7/2017)

Committee Report: H.Rept. 115-200 (Part 1); H.Rept. 115-200 (Part 2)

Purpose: "To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes."

Summary of Selected Provisions:

  • This list refers to the original House bill
  • Establishes a Space Corps within the Department of the Air Force
  • Directs DOD and DOE to conduct a pilot program to facilitate the licensure, transfer, and commercialization of innovative technologies
  • Directs DOD to assess the status of its STEM, maintenance, and manufacturing workforce, and to develop a plan of action to address future needs
  • Makes permanent DOD's authority to award prizes for achievements in advanced technology and allows for the issuance of non-monetary awards
  • Directs DOD to conduct a nuclear weapon design competition

 Relevant FYI Bulletins:

 

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, S.1519

Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

Current Status: See H.R.2810 for conference bill; Passed Senate on a vote of 89 to 8 (9/18/17); Reported from committee (7/10/2017)

Committee Report: S.Rept. 115-125

Purpose: "To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes."

Summary of Selected Provisions:

  • Authorizes the under secretary of defense for research and engineering (USD(R&E)) to initiate reviews of DOD policies that inhibit the mission of the department's innovation, research, and engineering enterprise
  • Establishes USD(R&E) as the official with principal responsibility for directed energy weapons and authorizes $200 million to perform a program of prototyping and demonstration of those weapons
  • Designates additional "Science and Technology Reinvention Laboratories," extending to them special authorities, such as hiring authorities, that are already granted to other such DOD research facilities
  • Establishes new mechanisms through which DOD can establish cooperative arrangements "to facilitate expedited access to university technical expertise"
  • Differentiates R&D activities from "service" activities to facilitate the implementation of contracting procedures designed to accommodate the peculiarities of R&D work
  • Modifies statutory language to expand competitive selection for awards from "basic research" to include all "research and development"

Relevant FYI Bulletins:

 

NASA Transition Authorization Act, S.442 — Enacted

Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)

Current Status: Became law (3/21/2017); Passed House on a voice vote (3/7/2017); Passed Senate by unanimous consent (2/17/2017); Introduced (2/17/2017)

Committee Report: S.Rept. 114-390 (on the nearly identical 2016 version of the same bill)

Purpose: "To authorize the programs of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and for other purposes."

Summary of Selected Provisions:

  • Authorizes directorate-level funding roughly in-line with appropriators' proposals for fiscal year 2017
  • Expresses support for the James Webb Space Telescope, Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope, Mars 2020 Rover, and Europa Clipper missions
  • Requires a study of the value of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission
  • Directs NASA to seek reimbursement for instrumentation and measurements that NASA conducts when responsibilities for them are transferred from other agencies
  • Changes cadence of senior reviews for mission extensions to a three-year schedule

Relevant FYI Bulletins:

 

Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act, H.R.353 — Enacted

Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR); Sen. John Thune (R-SD), and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) on earlier versions of the bill

Current Status: Became law (4/18/2017); Passed House on a voice vote (4/4/2017); Passed Senate with an amendment by unanimous consent (3/29/2017); Passed House on a voice vote (1/9/2017); Introduced (1/6/2017)

Purpose: "To improve the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather research through a focused program of investment on affordable and attainable advances in observational, computing, and modeling capabilities to support substantial improvement in weather forecasting and prediction of high impact weather events, to expand commercial opportunities for the provision of weather data, and for other purposes."

Summary of Selected Provisions:

  • Authorizes a comprehensive atmospheric research program at NOAA, and directs NOAA to collaborate with the rest of the U.S. weather research community
  • Creates a new joint technology transfer initiative and tornado warning improvement and extension program in NOAA’s research office, and maintains the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program
  • Establishes a new seasonal forecasting program within the National Weather Service
  • Authorizes NOAA to purchase weather observations data from private companies, and requires NOAA to enter into at least one contract and assess the effectiveness of incorporating private data into its models
  • Charters multiple new exchange programs and coordinating committees to improve weather communication and coordination across the U.S. weather enterprise
  • Requires NOAA to maintain its tsunami warning centers, develop a rapid tsunami forecast capability, and study tsunami risk and triggering phenomena
  • For a more detailed summary, see FYI's bulletin on the bill's enactment

Relevant FYI Bulletins:

 

American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, S.3084 (114th Congress) — Enacted

Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)

Current Status: Became law (1/6/2017)

Committee Report: S.Rept. 114-389

Purpose: "To invest in innovation through research and development, and to improve the competitiveness of the United States."

Summary of Selected Provisions:

  • Establishes seven goals that the National Science Foundation's broader impacts criteria for evaluating grant applications should address
  • Directs NSF to reform its management of the construction and operation of large facilities
  • Directs NSF to evaluate needs related to mid-scale research infrastructure and to develop a strategy to address them
  • Directs NSF to contract with the National Academies to conduct a study of research reproducibility and replicability in interdisciplinary research
  • Establishes an interagency working group on research regulation, and directs it to establish a centralized database of researcher profiles
  • Offers numerous directions related to STEM education
  • For a more detailed summary of the bill's provisions, see FYI's bulletin on the bill's passage by Congress

Relevant FYI Bulletins:

 

Every Student Succeeds Act, S. 1177 (114th Congress) — Enacted

Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Current Status: Became law (12/10/2015)

Committee Report: S.Rept. 114-231

Purpose: “To reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to ensure that every child achieves.”

Summary of Selected Provisions:

  • Authorizes provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 thought fiscal year 2020
  • Provides funding through grants to the states for STEM education and programs, professional development for STEM teachers, and creation and enhancement of STEM-focused specialty schools
  • Establishes a STEM Master Teacher Corps to recruit and recognize STEM teachers in high-need and rural schools
  • Retains requirement that all states must test all students in science, once each in elementary, middle and high school
  • Adds computer science as a core academic subject, as part of what constitutes a “well-rounded education”
  • Does not renew funding the Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership Program

Relevant FYI Bulletins:

 

DOE

Bills Related to the Department of Energy

 

Appropriations Legislation

For information on appropriations bills, please see the Federal Science Budget Tracker and relevant FYI bulletins, listed below.

Current Funding Proposals:

Relevant FYI Bulletins:

 

Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act, H.R.589

Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

Current Status: Passed House on a voice vote (1/24/2017); Introduced (1/20/2017)

Purpose: "To establish Department of Energy policy for science and energy research and development programs, and reform National Laboratory management and technology transfer programs, and for other purposes."

Overview of Selected Provisions:

  • Provides the first-ever full authorization of the DOE Office of Science, establishing statutory descriptions of its primary research program offices and other major programs such as Energy Innovation Hubs and Energy Frontier Research Centers.
  • Many provisions derive from the "North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2016," a major energy policy bill that came close to passing during the 114th Congress.
  • Directs DOE to continue identifying opportunities to conduct and support crosscutting R&D, demonstration, and commercialization efforts
  • Authorizes research initiatives in solar fuels and electricity storage, and re-establishes the low-dose radiation research program
  • Directs DOE to construct an advanced nuclear research reactor featuring a versatile fast neutron source, and establishes a National Reactor Innovation Center to enable private sector collaboration

Relevant FYI Bulletins:

 

Energy and Natural Resources Act, S.1460

Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

Current Status: Introduced (6/28/2017)

Committee Report: S.Rept. 114-138 (on the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which contained similar provisions)

Purpose: "To provide for the modernization of the energy and natural resources policies of the United States, and for other purposes"

Overview of Selected Provisions:

  • Many provisions derive from the "North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2016," a major energy policy bill that came close to passing during the 114th Congress.
  • Research-related provisions are similar to those in the House's "Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act."
  • Authorizes a coordinated interagency program to conduct R&D at the "energy–water nexus"
  • Authorizes a gradual increase in funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy
  • Authorizes funding levels for the DOE Office of Science that rise to over $7 billion by 2022
  • Establishes in statute the position of the under secretary for science and energy and assigns it an inter-office coordinating function

Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    ARPA–E Reauthorization Act, H.R.3681

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA)

    Current Status: Introduced (9/6/2017)

    Purpose: "To amend the America COMPETES Act to reauthorize the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA–E), and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions: 

    • Directs ARPA–E to maintain the confidentiality of propriety information received from awardees
    • Authorizes increased funding for ARPA–E, rising to over $390 million by 2022

    Relevant FYI Bulletins: 

     

    Energy Technology Maturation Act, S.1799 / H.R.3750

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) / Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) and Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)

    Current Status: Introduced (9/12/2017)

    Purpose: "To amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to facilitate the commercialization of energy and related technologies developed at Department of Energy facilities with promising commercial potential."

    Summary of Selected Provisions: 

    • Authorizes an Energy Technology Maturation Program that is substantially similar to the existing Energy Technology Commercialization Fund administered by DOE's Office of Technology Transitions
    • Establishes the fund's current awards caps of $150,000 for projects that aim to attract private industry partners, and $750,000 for projects pursued with a private industry partner

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, H.R.431

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX)

    Current Status: Incorporated into "DOE Research and Innovation Act" (H.R.589); Introduced (1/11/2017)

    Committee Report: H.Rept. 114-438 (on the nearly identical 2016 version of the bill)

    Purpose: "To enable civilian research and development of advanced nuclear energy technologies by private and public institutions, to expand theoretical and practical knowledge of nuclear physics, chemistry, and materials science, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs the Department of Energy to establish a National Reactor Innovation Center through which industry will work with national laboratories to test and demonstrate advanced reactor concepts
    • Directs DOE to establish a fast neutron source user facility
    • Directs DOE to establish a program of high-performance computational modeling and simulation in service of advanced reactor R&D
    • Directs DOE to develop budget plans for civilian nuclear energy R&D that includes the new initiatives
    • Senate version establishes a cost-sharing program at DOE to assist industry in obtaining licenses for advanced reactors

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, S.97

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)

    Current Status: Approved by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee (3/30/2017); Introduced (1/11/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 115-115

    Purpose: "To enable civilian research and development of advanced nuclear energy technologies by private and public institutions, to expand theoretical and practical knowledge of nuclear physics, chemistry, and materials science, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Most provisions are identical to those in the House version of the bill (H.R.431)
    • Senate version also establishes a cost-sharing program at DOE to assist industry in obtaining licenses for advanced reactors

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    American Innovation Act, S.641 / H.R.1569

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) / Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL)

    Current Status: S.641 Introduced (3/15/2017), H.R.1569 Introduced (3/16/2017)

    Purpose: "To prioritize funding for an expanded and sustained national investment in basic science research."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Authorizes large expansions in funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science, the NASA Science Mission Directorate, the National Science Foundation, Defense Department S&T programs, and National Institute of Standards and Technology science programs

     

    NASA

    Bills Related to NASA

     

    Appropriations Legislation

    For information on appropriations bills, please see the Federal Science Budget Tracker and relevant FYI bulletins, listed below.

    Current Funding Proposals:

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    NASA Transition Authorization Act, S.442 — Enacted

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)

    Current Status: Became law (3/21/2017); Passed House on a voice vote (3/7/2017); Passed Senate by unanimous consent (2/17/2017); Introduced (2/17/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 114-390 (on the nearly identical 2016 version of the same bill)

    Purpose: "To authorize the programs of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Authorizes directorate-level funding roughly in-line with appropriators' proposals for fiscal year 2017.
    • Expresses support for the James Webb Space Telescope, Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope, Mars 2020 Rover, and Europa Clipper missions
    • Requires a study of the value of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission
    • Directs NASA to seek reimbursement for instrumentation and measurements that NASA conducts when responsibilities for them are transferred from other agencies
    • Changes cadence of senior reviews for mission extensions to a three-year schedule

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act, S.141 / H.R.3086

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) / Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)

    Current Status: H.R.3086 introduced (6/27/2017); S.141 approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee (3/30/2017); S.141 introduced (1/12/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 115-21

    Purpose: "To improve understanding and forecasting of space weather events, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science and Technology Council to coordinate space weather research and preparedness efforts
    • Delineates the responsibilities for space weather-related research, forecasting, preparedness, and response among the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the military services, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Aviation Administration
    • Directs NOAA, in coordination with the Defense Department and NASA, to establish requirements for further solar observation instrumentation 
    • Encourages NASA and NSF to support competitively awarded Heliophysics Science Centers

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act, H.R.321 / S.42 — Enacted

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) / Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

    Current Status: Became law (2/28/2017); Passed Senate on a voice vote (2/14/2017); Passed House on a voice vote (1/10/2017); Introduced (1/5/2017)

    Purpose: "To inspire women to enter the aerospace field, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, through mentorship and outreach."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs NASA to encourage women and girls to study STEM and pursue careers in aerospace
    • Requires NASA to submit a plan for engaging K-12 female STEM students in STEM fields and helping them pursue careers in aerospace

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    American Innovation Act, S.641 / H.R.1569

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) / Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL)

    Current Status: S.641 Introduced (3/15/2017), H.R.1569 Introduced (3/16/2017)

    Purpose: "To prioritize funding for an expanded and sustained national investment in basic science research."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Authorizes large expansions in funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science, the NASA Science Mission Directorate, the National Science Foundation, Defense Department S&T programs, and National Institute of Standards and Technology science programs

     

    NSF

    Bills Related to the National Science Foundation

     

    Appropriations Legislation

    For information on appropriations bills, please see the Federal Science Budget Tracker and relevant FYI bulletins, listed below.

    Current Funding Proposals:

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act, H.R.255 / S.83 — Enacted

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) / Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)

    Current Status: Became law (2/28/2017); Passed Senate on a voice vote (2/14/2017); Passed House on a voice vote (1/10/2017); Introduced (1/4/2017)

    Purpose: "To authorize the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurial programs for women."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs the National Science Foundation to encourage recruitment and support for women for its entrepreneurial programs

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, S.3084 (114th Congress) — Enacted

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)

    Current Status: Became law (1/6/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 114-389

    Purpose: "To invest in innovation through research and development, and to improve the competitiveness of the United States."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Establishes seven goals that the National Science Foundation's broader impacts criteria for evaluating grant applications should address
    • Directs NSF to reform its management of the construction and operation of large facilities
    • Directs NSF to evaluate needs related to mid-scale research infrastructure and to develop a strategy to address them
    • Directs NSF to contract with the National Academies to conduct a study of research reproducibility and replicability in interdisciplinary research
    • Establishes an interagency working group on research regulation, and directs it to establish a centralized database of researcher profiles
    • Offers numerous directions related to STEM education
    • For a more detailed summary of the bill's provisions, see FYI's bulletin on the bill's passage by Congress

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act, S.141 / H.R.3086

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) / Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)

    Current Status: H.R.3086 introduced (6/27/2017); S.141 approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee (3/30/2017); S.141 introduced (1/12/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 115-21

    Purpose: "To improve understanding and forecasting of space weather events, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science and Technology Council to coordinate space weather research and preparedness efforts
    • Delineates the responsibilities for space weather-related research, forecasting, preparedness, and response among the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the military services, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Aviation Administration
    • Directs NOAA, in coordination with the Defense Department and NASA, to establish requirements for further solar observation instrumentation 
    • Encourages NASA and NSF to support competitively awarded Heliophysics Science Centers

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    National Landslide Preparedness Act, S.698 / H.R.1675

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) / Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA)

    Current Status: Introduced (3/22/2017)

    Purpose: "To establish a national program to identify and reduce losses from landslide hazards, to establish a national 3D Elevation Program, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Authorizes U.S. Geological Survey and the National Science Foundation to create a grant program for research on landslide hazards
    • Most other provisions pertain to the U.S. Geological Survey; see the USGS tab for details.

     

    National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act, S.1768

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

    Current Status: Introduced (9/6/2017)

    Purpose: "To reauthorize and amend the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Provides the first reauthorization of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program since 2004
    • Removes references to earthquake prediction in the organic statute, emphasizing instead understanding, forecasting, and early warning
    • Directs the program to publish a "systematic set of maps of active faults and folds, liquefaction suceptibility, susceptibility for earthquace induced landslides, and other seismically induced hazards
    • Revises the responsibilities of NIST (the program's lead agency), USGS, NSF, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
    • Directs USGS to develop a five-year management plan for the Advanced National Seismic System
    • Directs NIST and FEMA to convene an assessment of seismic building standards
    • Directs the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a review of risks posed by earthquakes to the United States

     

    Coordinated Ocean Monitoring and Research Act, S.1425

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) 

    Current Status: Approved by committee (8/2/2017); Introduced (6/22/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 114-354 (on the nearly identical 2016 version of the bill)

    Purpose: "To reauthorize the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Most provisions pertain to the Integrated Ocean Observation System (IOOS), which is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in partnership with regional authorities
    • Amends the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2009 so that National Science Foundation-funded research activities encompass additional environmental stressors

     

    BASIC Research Act, S.1973

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

    Current Status: Introduced (10/17/2017)

    Purpose: "To provide for Federal research grant reform.”

    Summary of Selected Provisions: 

    • Provides that federal research grant review panels should include at least one individual who is not an expert in the field of the grant application, and at least one individual serving as a “taxpayer advocate”
    • Establishes a new position of Special Inspector General and Taxpayer Advocate for Research, to be created from the existing National Science Foundation Office of Inspector General
    • Incorporates open access provisions from the “Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act”
    • Directs that all research grant applications be made publicly available
    • Prohibits research grant applicants from recommending review panel members

    Relevant FYI Bulletins: 

     

    American Innovation Act, S.641 / H.R.1569

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) / Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL)

    Current Status: S.641 Introduced (3/15/2017), H.R.1569 Introduced (3/16/2017)

    Purpose: "To prioritize funding for an expanded and sustained national investment in basic science research."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Authorizes large expansions in funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science, the NASA Science Mission Directorate, the National Science Foundation, Defense Department S&T programs, and National Institute of Standards and Technology science programs

     

    DOD

    Bills Related to the Department of Defense

     

    Appropriations Legislation

    For information on appropriations bills, please see the Federal Science Budget Tracker and relevant FYI bulletins, listed below.

    Current Funding Proposals:

     

     

     

    National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, H.R.2810

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA)

    Current Status: Conference bill passed Senate on voice vote (11/16/2017); Conference bill passed House on vote of 356 to 70 (11/14/2017); Passed House on vote of 344 to 81 (7/14/2017); Reported from committee (7/6/2017); Introduced (6/7/2017)

    Committee Report: H.Rept. 115-200 (Part 1); H.Rept. 115-200 (Part 2)

    Purpose: "To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • This list refers to the original House bill
    • Establishes a Space Corps within the Department of the Air Force
    • Directs DOD and DOE to conduct a pilot program to facilitate the licensure, transfer, and commercialization of innovative technologies
    • Directs DOD to assess the status of its STEM, maintenance, and manufacturing workforce, and to develop a plan of action to address future needs
    • Makes permanent DOD's authority to award prizes for achievements in advanced technology and allows for the issuance of non-monetary awards
    • Directs DOD to conduct a nuclear weapon design competition

     Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, S.1519

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

    Current Status: See H.R.2810 for conference bill; Passed Senate on a vote of 89 to 8 (9/18/17); Reported from committee (7/10/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 115-125

    Purpose: "To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Authorizes the under secretary of defense for research and engineering (USD(R&E)) to initiate reviews of DOD policies that inhibit the mission of the department's innovation, research, and engineering enterprise
    • Establishes USD(R&E) as the official with principal responsibility for directed energy weapons and authorizes $200 million to perform a program of prototyping and demonstration of those weapons
    • Designates additional "Science and Technology Reinvention Laboratories," extending to them special authorities, such as hiring authorities, that are already granted to other such DOD research facilities
    • Establishes new mechanisms through which DOD can establish cooperative arrangements "to facilitate expedited access to university technical expertise"
    • Differentiates R&D activities from "service" activities to facilitate the implementation of contracting procedures designed to accommodate the peculiarities of R&D work
    • Modifies statutory language to expand competitive selection for awards from "basic research" to include all "research and development"

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, S.2943 (114th Congress) — Enacted

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

    Current Status: Became law (12/23/2016)

    Committee Report: H.Rept. 114-840 (Conference Report)

    Purpose: "To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2017 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions

    • Directs DOD to create a new position of under secretary for research and engineering and that the existing under secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics become the under secretary for acquisition and sustainment
    • Establishes in statute a Laboratory Quality Enhancement Program comprising four panels that will make recommendations to the secretary of defense
    • Modifies and expands the discretionary spending ("section 219") authorities granted to lab directors
    • Directs DOD to formulate a plan to transfer acquisition authority for space-based environmental monitoring missions from the Air Force to the National Reconnaissance Office
    • Directs DOD to establish a new position for a senior official with principal responsibility for directed energy weapons
    • For additional details, see FYI's bulletin of the bill's passage.

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act, S.141 / H.R.3086

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) / Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)

    Current Status: H.R.3086 introduced (6/27/2017); S.141 approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee (3/30/2017); S.141 introduced (1/12/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 115-21

    Purpose: "To improve understanding and forecasting of space weather events, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science and Technology Council to coordinate space weather research and preparedness efforts
    • Delineates the responsibilities for space weather-related research, forecasting, preparedness, and response among the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the military services, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Aviation Administration
    • Directs NOAA, in coordination with the Defense Department and NASA, to establish requirements for further solar observation instrumentation 
    • Encourages NASA and NSF to support competitively awarded Heliophysics Science Centers

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    American Innovation Act, S.641 / H.R.1569

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) / Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL)

    Current Status: S.641 Introduced (3/15/2017), H.R.1569 Introduced (3/16/2017)

    Purpose: "To prioritize funding for an expanded and sustained national investment in basic science research."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Authorizes large expansions in funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science, the NASA Science Mission Directorate, the National Science Foundation, Defense Department S&T programs, and National Institute of Standards and Technology science programs

     

    NIST

    Bills Related to the National Institute of Standards and Technology

     

    Appropriations Legislation

    For information on appropriations bills, please see the Federal Science Budget Tracker and relevant FYI bulletins, listed below.

    Current Funding Proposals:

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act, S.1768

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

    Current Status: Introduced (9/6/2017)

    Purpose: "To reauthorize and amend the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Provides the first reauthorization of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program since 2004
    • Removes references to earthquake prediction in the organic statute, emphasizing instead understanding, forecasting, and early warning
    • Directs the program to publish a "systematic set of maps of active faults and folds, liquefaction suceptibility, susceptibility for earthquace induced landslides, and other seismically induced hazards
    • Revises the responsibilities of NIST (the program's lead agency), USGS, NSF, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
    • Directs USGS to develop a five-year management plan for the Advanced National Seismic System
    • Directs NIST and FEMA to convene an assessment of seismic building standards
    • Directs the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a review of risks posed by earthquakes to the United States

     

    NIST SUCCESS Act, H.R.1464

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA)

    Current Status: Introduced (3/9/2017)

    Purpose: "To direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology to convene an effort to make available to standard-developing organizations a consistent, authoritative set of climate information, and for other purposes.”

    Summary of Selected Provisions: 

    • Directs NIST to identify a “consistent, authoritative set of climate information” to assist federal and non-federal organizations in developing standards, building codes, and voluntary certifications.
    • Directs NIST to coordinate and contribute to agencies’ efforts to set standards and codes relating to facilities and systems that depend on accurate climate information and projections.

     

    American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, S.3084 (114th Congress) — Enacted

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)

    Current Status: Became law (1/6/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 114-389

    Purpose: "To invest in innovation through research and development, and to improve the competitiveness of the United States."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Expands the scope of NIST's activities in cybersecurity, including to research relating to future requirements arising from developments in quantum cryptography
    • Directs NIST to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for improvements to its labortory programs, including partnerships with academic and industrial researchers
    • Removes caps on NIST grants
    • Authorizes NIST to expend funds on education, outreach, and fellowship programs
    • For a more detailed summary of the bill's provisions, see FYI's bulletin on the bill's passage by Congress

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    American Innovation Act, S.641 / H.R.1569

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) / Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL)

    Current Status: S.641 Introduced (3/15/2017), H.R.1569 Introduced (3/16/2017)

    Purpose: "To prioritize funding for an expanded and sustained national investment in basic science research."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Authorizes large expansions in funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science, the NASA Science Mission Directorate, the National Science Foundation, Defense Department S&T programs, and National Institute of Standards and Technology science programs

     

    NOAA

    Bills Related to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

     

    Appropriations Legislation

    For information on appropriations bills, please see the Federal Science Budget Tracker and relevant FYI bulletins, listed below.

    Current Funding Proposals:

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act, H.R.353 — Enacted

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR); Sen. John Thune (R-SD), and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) on earlier versions of the bill

    Current Status: Became law (4/18/2017); Passed House on a voice vote (4/4/2017); Passed Senate with an amendment by unanimous consent (3/29/2017); Passed House on a voice vote (1/9/2017); Introduced (1/6/2017)

    Purpose: "To improve the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather research through a focused program of investment on affordable and attainable advances in observational, computing, and modeling capabilities to support substantial improvement in weather forecasting and prediction of high impact weather events, to expand commercial opportunities for the provision of weather data, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Authorizes a comprehensive atmospheric research program at NOAA, and directs NOAA to collaborate with the rest of the U.S. weather research community
    • Creates a new joint technology transfer initiative and tornado warning improvement and extension program in NOAA’s research office, and maintains the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program
    • Establishes a new seasonal forecasting program within the National Weather Service
    • Authorizes NOAA to purchase weather observations data from private companies, and requires NOAA to enter into at least one contract and assess the effectiveness of incorporating private data into its models
    • Charters multiple new exchange programs and coordinating committees to improve weather communication and coordination across the U.S. weather enterprise
    • Requires NOAA to maintain its tsunami warning centers, develop a rapid tsunami forecast capability, and study tsunami risk and triggering phenomena
    • For a more detailed summary, see FYI's bulletin on the bill's enactment.

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Coordinated Ocean Monitoring and Research Act, S.1425

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) 

    Current Status: Introduced (6/22/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 114-354 (on the nearly identical 2016 version of the bill)

    Purpose: "To reauthorize the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Reauthorizes the Integrated Ocean Observation System (IOOS) through fiscal year 2021, which is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in partnership with regional authorities
    • Directs IOOS to implement a process by which observations are transformed into more easily used information products
    • Amends the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2009 so that mandated National Science Foundation-funded research activities encompass additional environmental stressors
    • Requires submission to Congress of an Ocean Chemistry Coastal Community Vulnerability Assessment every five years

     

    Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act, S.141 / H.R.3086

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) / Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)

    Current Status: H.R.3086 introduced (6/27/2017); S.141 approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee (3/30/2017); S.141 introduced (1/12/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 115-21

    Purpose: "To improve understanding and forecasting of space weather events, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science and Technology Council to coordinate space weather research and preparedness efforts
    • Delineates the responsibilities for space weather-related research, forecasting, preparedness, and response among the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the military services, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Aviation Administration
    • Directs NOAA, in coordination with the Defense Department and NASA, to establish requirements for further solar observation instrumentation 
    • Encourages NASA and NSF to support competitively awarded Heliophysics Science Centers

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

     

    USGS

    Bills Related to the U.S. Geological Survey

     

    Appropriations Legislation

    For information on appropriations bills, please see the Federal Science Budget Tracker and relevant FYI bulletins, listed below.

    Current Funding Proposals:

     

    National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System Act, S.346

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

    Current Status: Approved by Energy and Natural Resources Committee (3/30/2017); Introduced (2/08/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 115-113

    Purpose: "To provide for the establishment of the National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs USGS to establish a National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System “to organize, modernize, standardize, and stabilize” the work of the nation’s volcano observatories
    • Stipulates that modernization activities should include “the comprehensive application of emerging technologies, including digital broadband seismometers, real-time continuous Global Positioning System receivers, satellite and airborne radar interferometry, acoustic pressure sensors, and spectrometry to measure gas emissions”
    • Authorizes the appropriation of “such sums as are necessary” to implement the legislation

     

    National Landslide Preparedness Act, S.698 / H.R.1675

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) / Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA)

    Current Status: Introduced (3/22/2017)

    Purpose: "To establish a national program to identify and reduce losses from landslide hazards, to establish a national 3D Elevation Program, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs USGS to establish a National Landslide Hazards Reduction Program, which would “identify, map, assess, and research landslide hazards,” and respond to landslide events
    • Directs USGS to establish a 3D Elevation Program to obtain and provide three-dimensional elevation data coverage for the U.S.
    • Requires USGS to develop a national strategy for landslide hazards and risk reduction
    • Directs USGS to establish a National Landslide Hazards Database
    • Directs USGS and the Department of Commerce to expand the nation’s early warning system for flash floods and debris flow
    • Authorizes USGS and the National Science Foundation to create a grant program for research on landslide hazards

     

    National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act, S.1768

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

    Current Status: Introduced (9/6/2017)

    Purpose: "To reauthorize and amend the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Provides the first reauthorization of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program since 2004
    • Removes references to earthquake prediction in the organic statute, emphasizing instead understanding, forecasting, and early warning
    • Directs the program to publish a "systematic set of maps of active faults and folds, liquefaction suceptibility, susceptibility for earthquace induced landslides, and other seismically induced hazards
    • Revises the responsibilities of NIST (the program's lead agency), USGS, NSF, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
    • Directs USGS to develop a five-year management plan for the Advanced National Seismic System
    • Directs NIST and FEMA to convene an assessment of seismic building standards
    • Directs the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a review of risks posed by earthquakes to the United States

     

    NIH

    Bills Related to the National Institutes of Health

     

    Appropriations Legislation

    For information on appropriations bills, please see the Federal Science Budget Tracker and relevant FYI bulletins, listed below.

    Current Funding Proposals:

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    21st Century Cures Act, H.R.34 (114th Congress) — Enacted

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)

    Current Status: Became law (12/13/2016)

    Committee Report: H.Rept. 114-190 (on an earlier version of the bill)

    Purpose: “To accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of 21st century cures, and for other purposes.”

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Creates an “NIH Innovation Account” that provides $1.8 billion for the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, $1.5 billion for the BRAIN Initiative, $1.4 billion for the Precision Medicine Initiative, and $30 million for a regenerative medicine research program.
    • Authorizes an overall funding level for NIH of $34.9 billion in fiscal year 2018, $35.6 billion in FY 2019, and $36.5 billion in FY 2020
    • Establishes a Research Policy Board charged with recommending ways to modify and harmonize research regulations across the government

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Nuclear Energy and Weapons

    Bills Related to Nuclear Energy and Weapons

     

    Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, H.R.431

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX)

    Current Status: Incorporated into DOE Research and Innovation Act (HR.589); Introduced (1/11/2017)

    Committee Report: H.Rept. 114-438 (on the nearly identical 2016 version of the bill)

    Purpose: "To enable civilian research and development of advanced nuclear energy technologies by private and public institutions, to expand theoretical and practical knowledge of nuclear physics, chemistry, and materials science, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs the Department of Energy to establish a National Reactor Innovation Center through which industry will work with national laboratories to test and demonstrate advanced reactor concepts
    • Directs DOE to establish a fast neutron source user facility
    • Directs DOE to establish a program of high-performance computational modeling and simulation in service of advanced reactor R&D
    • Directs DOE to develop budget plans for civilian nuclear energy R&D that includes the new initiatives
    • Senate version establishes a cost-sharing program at DOE to assist industry in obtaining licenses for advanced reactors

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, S.97

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)

    Current Status: Approved by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee (03/30/2017); Introduced (01/11/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 115-115

    Purpose: "To enable civilian research and development of advanced nuclear energy technologies by private and public institutions, to expand theoretical and practical knowledge of nuclear physics, chemistry, and materials science, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Most provisions are identical to those in the House version of the bill (H.R.431)
    • Senate version also establishes a cost-sharing program at DOE to assist industry in obtaining licenses for advanced reactors

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act, H.R.590

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH)

    Current Status: Passed House on a voice vote (1/23/2017); Introduced (1/20/2017)

    Committee Report: H.Rept. 114-737 (on the nearly identical 2016 version of the bill)

    Purpose: "To foster civilian research and development of advanced nuclear energy technologies and enhance the licensing and commercial deployment of such technologies."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to develop a plan to implement a licensing framework for advanced reactors

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act, S.512

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)

    Current Status: Approved by the Environment and Public Works Committee (3/22/2017); Introduced (3/2/2017)

    Committee Report: S. Rept. 115-86

    Purpose: "To modernize the regulation of nuclear energy."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs NRC to implement a licensing framework for advanced reactors, with a fully technology-inclusive framework completed by 2025
    • Establishes a cost-sharing program at Department of Energy to assist industry in applying for reactor licenses
    • Establishes a sunset provision for the current NRC budget structure, which mandates that 90 percent of it should derive from user fees

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Regulatory Science

    Bills Related to Regulatory Science

    EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, H.R.1431

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK)

    Current Status: Passed House on a vote of 229 to 193 (3/30/2017); Introduced (3/08/2017)

    Committee Report: H.Rept. 115-63

    Purpose: "To amend the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 to provide for Scientific Advisory Board member qualifications, public participation, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Specifies that the Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board should have membership representation distributed among the "scientific and technical points of view"
    • Stipulates that at least 10 percent of the board's members shall be from state, local, or tribal governments
    • Stipulates that no board member shall have a current grant from EPA or may apply for a grant within three years of service on the board
    • Stipulates that nominations for board membership shall be solicited from relevant federal agencies, institutions of higher education, and "scientific and research institutions based in work relevant to that of the board"
    • Establishes new requirements for public comment on prospective advisory activities

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment (HONEST) Act, H.R.1430 / S.1794

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) / Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD)

    Current Status: S.1794 introduced (9/12/2017); H.R.1430 passed House on a vote of 228 to 194 (3/29/2017); H.R.1430 introduced (3/8/2017)

    Committee Report: H.Rept. 115-59

    Purpose: "To prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating regulations or assessments based upon science that is not transparent or reproducible."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Stipulates that new Environmental Protection Agency regulations must be based on the "best available science"
    • Stipulates that EPA regulations must be based on "scientific and technical information" that is "publicly available online in a manner that is sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results"
    • Specifies that "scientific and technical information" comprises materials, data, protocols, computer codes and models, recorded factual materials, and descriptions of how such information can be accessed and used
    • Stipulates that personally identifiable information, trade secrets, and other sensitive information should be redacted prior to research being made public
    • Specifies that no standing regulations should be repealed, reissued, or modified as a result of the enactment of the bill

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Better Evaluation of Science and Technology (BEST) Act, S.578

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)

    Current Status: Introduced (3/8/2017)

    Purpose: "To amend title 5, United States Code, to provide requirements for agency decision making based on science."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Stipulates that all agencies should make science-based decisions using "scientific information, technical procedures, measures, methods, protocols, methodologies, or models, employed in a manner consistent with the best available science"
    • Stipulates that these agencies should make public a "nontechnical summary of each risk evaluation" conducted, and a list of all studies considered

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Research Management

    Bills Related to Research Management

     

    Scientific Integrity Act, S.338 / H.R.1358

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) / Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY)

    Current Status: S.338 Introduced (2/7/2017) / H.R.1358 Introduced (3/2/2017)

    Purpose: "To protect scientific integrity in Federal research and policymaking, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Establishes in statute Obama-era requirements that agencies that fund or conduct scientific research must implement scientific integrity policies
    • Directs agencies to commission a National Academy of Public Administration review of existing scientific integrity policies

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act, H.R. 3427

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA), Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)

    Current Status: Introduced (7/26/2017)

    Purpose: “To provide for Federal agencies to develop public access policies relating to research conducted by employees of that agency or from funds administered by that agency.”

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs all federal agencies with extramural research budgets of more than $100 million to implement policies for increasing public access to publications resulting from research they fund
    • Requires research papers to be in formats and under terms that enable productive reuse, including computational analysis by state-of-the-art technologies
    • Requires all manuscripts resulting from federally funded research to be made publicly available online no more than 6 months after their publication in a peer-reviewed journal
    •  Requires production of an online bibliography of all research papers that are publicly accessible that links to the corresponding free online full text

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act, S. 1701

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)

    Current Status: Introduced (8/2/2017)

    Purpose: “To provide for Federal agencies to develop public access policies relating to research conducted by employees of that agency or from funds administered by that agency.”

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Most provisions are identical to those in the House version of the bill (H.R. 3427)
    • Senate version would require all manuscripts resulting from federally funded research to be made publicly available online no more than 1 year after their publication in a peer-reviewed journal

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    BASIC Research Act, S.1973

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

    Current Status: Introduced (10/17/2017)

    Purpose: "To provide for Federal research grant reform.”

    Summary of Selected Provisions: 

    • Provides that federal research grant review panels should include at least one individual who is not an expert in the field of the grant application, and at least one individual serving as a “taxpayer advocate”
    • Establishes a new position of Special Inspector General and Taxpayer Advocate for Research, to be created from the existing National Science Foundation Office of Inspector General
    • Incorporates open access provisions from the “Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act”
    • Directs that all research grant applications be made publicly available
    • Prohibits research grant applicants from recommending review panel members

    Relevant FYI Bulletins: 

     

    STEM Education & Workforce

    Bills Related to STEM Education and Workforce Issues

     

    Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, H.R. 2353

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Rep. Draw Ferguson IV (R-GA), Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), Rep. James Langevin (D-RI), Rep. Richard Nolan (D-MN)

    Current Status: Passed House on a voice vote (6/22/2017); Introduced (5/4/2017)

    Purpose: “To reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.”

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Authorizes Department of Education’s Basic State Grants, National Programs, and Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Career and Technical Institutions programs
    • Eliminates DOEd’s authority to withhold funds from the states for a lack of improvement in career and technical education (CTE) program performance
    • Allows states to set performance goals with input from local CTE communities instead of from DOEd
    • Direct DOEd to establish a grant program that would identify and support innovative strategies and activities to improve CTE and align workforce skills with labor market needs

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Energy and Natural Resources Act, S.1460

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

    Current Status: Introduced (6/28/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 114-138 (on the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which contained similar provisions)

    Purpose: "To provide for the modernization of the energy and natural resources policies of the United States, and for other purposes."

    Overview of Selected Provisions:

    • Research-related provisions are similar to those in the House's Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act
    • Directs the DOE to establish a 21st Century Energy Workforce Advisory Board “to develop a strategy for the support and development of a skilled energy workforce”
    • Directs DOE and the Departments of Labor and Education to establish an energy workforce pilot grant program
    • Directs DOE, DOL, and NSF to conduct an assessment on critical minerals workforce
    • Directs DOE and DOL to establish a critical minerals competitive grant program  

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    STEM Opportunities Act, H.R.2653 / S.1270

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) / Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

    Current Status: Introduced (5/25/2017)

    Purpose: "To direct the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to carry out programs and activities to ensure that Federal science agencies and institutions of higher education receiving Federal research and development funding are fully engaging their entire talent pool, and for other purposes."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs research-funding agencies to make allowances for caregiver needs in managing grant awards
    • Directs research-funding agencies to collect and maintain demographic data on federal grant awardees, to be compiled by the National Science Foundation
    • Directs NSF to compile demographic data on STEM faculty in institutions of higher education
    • Directs NSF and federal labs to identify best practices and to implement policies to expand STEM workforce participation
    • Directs NSF to award grants to support reform projects to increase diversity in STEM career tracks

     

    Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act, H.R.321 / S.42 — Enacted

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) / Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

    Current Status: Became law (2/28/2017); Passed Senate on a voice vote (02/14/2017); Passed House on a voice vote (01/10/2017); Introduced (01/05/2017)

    Purpose: "To inspire women to enter the aerospace field, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, through mentorship and outreach."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs NASA to encourage women and girls to study STEM and pursue careers in aerospace
    • Requires NASA to submit a plan for engaging K-12 female STEM students in STEM fields and helping them pursue careers in aerospace

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act, H.R.255 / S.83 — Enacted

    Primary Sponsor(s): Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) / Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)

    Current Status: Became law (2/28/2017); Passed Senate on a voice vote (2/14/2017); Passed House on a voice vote (1/10/2017); Introduced (1/4/2017)

    Purpose: "To authorize the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurial programs for women."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Directs the National Science Foundation to encourage recruitment and support for women for its entrepreneurial programs

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, S.3084 (114th Congress) — Enacted

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)

    Current Status: Became law (1/6/2017)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 114-389

    Purpose: "To invest in innovation through research and development, and to improve the competitiveness of the United States."

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Reaffirms congressional support for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program
    • Establishes a STEM Education Advisory Panel to serve the National Science Foundation, Department of Education, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA
    • Directs the While House Office of Science and Technology Policy to establish an interagency working group focused on increasing diversity and inclusion in STEM fields
    • Amends the Stevenson-Wyler Technology Innovation Act to "carry out a grant program to identify the need for skilled STEM workers" and expand apprenticeship programs in STEM fields
    • Directs NSF to continue to award grants to entities to increase participation of underrepresented populations in STEM fields

    Relevant FYI Bulletins:

     

    Every Student Succeeds Act, S. 1177 (114th Congress) — Enacted

    Primary Sponsor(s): Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

    Current Status: Became law (12/10/2015)

    Committee Report: S.Rept. 114-231

    Purpose: “To reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to ensure that every child achieves.”

    Summary of Selected Provisions:

    • Authorizes provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 thought fiscal year 2020
    • Provides funding through grants to the states for STEM education and programs, professional development for STEM teachers, and creation and enhancement of STEM-focused specialty schools
    • Establishes a STEM Master Teacher Corps to recruit and recognize STEM teachers in high-need and rural schools
    • Retains requirement that all states must test all students in science, once each in elementary, middle and high school
    • Adds computer science as a core academic subject, as part of what constitutes a “well-rounded education”
    • Does not renew funding the Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership Program

    Relevant FYI Bulletins: