Share This



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.


16 Nov 2017

The House Science Committee held a hearing earlier this month at which witnesses testified to the value of the Department of Energy’s recently terminated research program on low dose radiation. Despite bipartisan congressional support for the research, DOE has been reluctant to continue work in the area.

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.

2 Nov 2017

At an Oct. 24 hearing, House Science Committee members and witnesses voiced concern that the U.S. could fall behind countries that are rapidly ramping up investments in quantum R&D, with some calling for a national initiative to bolster current efforts.

1 Nov 2017

Appropriators of both parties appear increasingly united in opposition to the Trump administration’s proposed 10 percent cap on research overhead reimbursements at the National Institutes of Health.

11 Oct 2017

At a hearing last week, members of the House Science Committee heard testimony about the status of domestic plutonium-238 supplies, an essential fuel for many robotic science missions. A Government Accountability Office report released at the same time recommends that the Department of Energy improve its long-term planning for producing Pu-238 and associated power systems.

4 Oct 2017

Last week, five representatives from the scientific community testified at a House Science Committee hearing on the August total eclipse, discussing eclipse-enabled research opportunities, future capabilities in heliophysics, and solar weather research and preparedness. They also spoke about the expansive public engagement efforts associated with the event.

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.

22 Sep 2017

The Senate passed its version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act on Sept. 18, sending the bill to conference committee. House and Senate conferees now must come to an agreement on a vast library of provisions, including many concerning R&D policy.

15 Sep 2017

At a Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee hearing this week on the Department of Energy’s national labs, committee members praised the labs’ technology development and commercialization activities. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) also announced his introduction of a bipartisan bill authorizing a DOE initiative for funding technology maturation projects.

11 Sep 2017

After President Trump backed a Democratic proposal for a three-month extension of federal agency spending and the debt ceiling, Republican leaders quickly acceded. The law includes a key provision prohibiting the National Institutes of Health from altering research overhead reimbursements.