11 Jan 1996

Keeping track of efforts to resolve long-term funding for NSF,
NASA, and NIST has almost been as difficult as tracking the snow
storms that have been hitting Washington.  Here is how things now
stand, and the outlook for the rest of FY 1996.

22 Dec 1997

"Funding for science without funding for facilities is a losing game." -- Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)

20 Nov 1997

The last of the 13 appropriations bills to be sent to the President before Congress could adjourn was H.R. 2267, the FY 1998 Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations bill. Passage of this bill was held up by controversy over methods for performing the 2000 census, which is funded through the Department of Commerce. The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) is also part of the Commerce Department and is funded by this bill.

17 Sep 1997

The White House has announced that President Clinton intends to submit to the Senate two nominations for science- and technology-related positions, one within the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and one within the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST.) With its rush to wrap up the appropriations bills before the new fiscal year begins on October 1, it is not known when the Senate might address these nominations.

15 May 1997

"The country's future is dependent on the success of federal agencies such as the two that we have before us today."
-- Sen. Bill Frist

14 Mar 1997

PENA CONFIRMED AS ENERGY SECRETARY: On March 12, Federico F. Pena was confirmed as Secretary of Energy. The Senate vote was 99-1, with only Senator Rod Grams (R-MN) voting against Pena. Grams' opposition was fueled by his disagreement with the Administration over policies for building a nuclear waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Grams argued that Pena "has not provided the needed answers or displayed the leadership necessary to help resolve this pressing national issue.... I cannot, in good conscience, today vote to confirm Mr.

28 Oct 1998

Several weeks into fiscal year 1999, Congress found itself with eight of the thirteen FY 1999 appropriations bills still incomplete. It bundled these remaining bills into a single, "omnibus" measure that the White House accepted after more than a week of intense, last-minute negotiating. This omnibus bill, H.R. 4328, contains FY 1999 appropriations for the Department of Commerce and many other federal departments and agencies, as well as some emergency funds.

19 Aug 1998

One of the last bills passed by the House before Members departed for the August recess was H.R. 4276, the FY 1999 Commerce, Justice and State appropriations bill, passed on August 6. The NIST section of the bill remains the same as that passed by the House Appropriations Committee on July 15 (see FYI #112.)

29 Jul 1998

On July 20, the House Appropriations Committee passed H.R. 4276, its version of the FY 1999 Commerce, Justice and State Appropriations bill, which funds NIST. (The Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version on June 25; it was then approved by the full Senate on July 23.)

19 Mar 1998

New NIST Director Ray Kammer took some heat as he testified in front of House Commerce Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) on March 11. Rogers, known to be harsh at times with NIST witnesses, did not spare Kammer.


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