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Congress

FYI covers House and Senate activity related to the physical sciences, including their oversight of the federal science agencies as well as the development and consideration of legislation that sets policy for science and funds the science agencies.

 

15 Feb 2019

Final appropriations legislation enacted today provides steady or increased funding to research programs at science agencies that have been operating on stopgap spending from the outset of fiscal year 2019.

14 Feb 2019

The House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over science agencies have now finished filling out their leadership positions. These “authorization” committees conduct oversight of federal R&D programs and are gatekeepers for science policy legislation. Funding is handled through separate appropriations committees, which have also finished organizing for the current Congress.

12 Feb 2019

The House Science Committee has commenced business under its new Democratic majority, which has granted all five of its subcommittee leadership positions to new committee members.

6 Feb 2019

Over the past two years, Congress passed legislation updating and endorsing a wide range of federal R&D activities, including marquee bills focused on quantum information science, energy research, weather forecasting, and hazard preparedness.

1 Feb 2019

Efforts by Congress and the Department of Energy to spur the development and commercialization of advanced nuclear reactors have gained steam in recent months, though some moves have received criticism.

25 Jan 2019

The Democratic takeover of the House has brought new leadership to the appropriations subcommittees that write spending legislation for federal science programs, while the top members of the counterpart panels in the Senate are unchanged from the previous Congress.

4 Jan 2019

The enactment of the National Quantum Initiative Act on Dec. 21 creates a multiagency program spanning the National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation, and Department of Energy. As part of the initiative, NSF and DOE will each establish between two and five competitively awarded research centers.

8 Nov 2018

The 2018 midterm election’s immediate effects on federal science policy will manifest primarily through changes in the composition of congressional committees, with the Democratic takeover of the House bringing new leadership to science policy and spending panels.

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.

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