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National Institute of Standards and Technology

FYI focuses on NIST’s research laboratories and its diverse portfolio of research projects, especially as they relate to the physical sciences.


10 Oct 1995


15 Sep 1995

In both chambers of Congress, bills to dismantle the Department of
Commerce are making the rounds (see FYI #125).  The main bill in
the House, H.R. 1756, sponsored by Rep. Dick Chrysler (R-MI), has
been referred to 11 different committees, each of which has
jurisdiction over some part of it.  The House Science Committee,
chaired by Robert Walker (R-PA), held a hearing on the proposal on
September 12, and then on September 14 marked up the science- and
technology-related portion of Chrysler's bill.

13 Sep 1995

On Monday this week, The American Physical Society held a press
conference to release two letters calling on Members of Congress to
maintain funding for the laboratory program of the National
Institute of Standards and Technology.  Congress is now considering
legislation to dismantle the Commerce Department. 

The first letter was signed by twenty-five recipients of the Nobel
Prize in Physics.  It concluded:

15 Aug 1995

At this stage in the appropriations process, the House has passed
a bill (H.R. 2076) funding the Department of Commerce for FY 1996
(see FYI #103, 108.)  The Senate will take up the Commerce
appropriations bill after returning from its August break on
September 6.  Although the House-passed appropriations bill funds
the Department at 83 percent of its current level, its opponents
have received a promise from the House leadership that legislation
to eliminate the Department will be included in this fall's budget

30 Jun 1995

On June 28, the NIST Advanced Technology Program (ATP) was dealt a
double blow by the House, from which it is unlikely to recover.  On
that day, the House Commerce Appropriations Subcommittee voted to
phase out the program, and the House Science Committee did not
include the ATP when it passed authorizing legislation for NIST's
core laboratory programs.  The ATP, a program by which NIST
provides cost-shared grants to industry for the early stages of
technology development, is criticized by many Republicans as
"corporate welfare."

16 Jun 1995

Partisan squabbling highlighted yesterday's House Science
Subcommittee on Technology mark-up of two authorization bills for
the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  The
American Technology Advancement Act would authorize funding for
NIST's core laboratory programs and badly-needed construction.
NIST's cooperative programs with industry, the Advanced Technology
Program (ATP) and the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEP),
were addressed in a second bill, the NIST Industrial Technology

28 Mar 1995

In recent weeks, the Department of Commerce's Undersecretary of
Technology, Mary Good, and the director of NIST, Arati Prabhakar,
have appeared together at two separate hearings to defend the
Administration's civilian technology programs.

14 Feb 1995

A total of $1.023 billion has been requested for Fiscal Year 1996
for the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards
and Technology.  This is a 19.8 percent increase over the current
appropriation of $853.8 million.  Consistent with President
Clinton's belief in high technology's ability to create jobs and
improve competitiveness, the Administration has regularly requested
significant growth for NIST.  Congress has complied by granting
increases, although somewhat less than requested.  However, some

3 Feb 1995

"I continue to believe that programs like ATP are headed in the
right direction."
    --Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), subcommittee chairman