9 April: Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (S. 1468) Passes a Voice Vote: U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller (D-WV), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), released the following statements after the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation passed S. 1468, the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013, which seeks to strengthen collaborations between the government and the manufacturing sector. The legislation now awaits action by the full Senate.
"Today’s action means we're one step closer toward increasing our support for American innovation and manufacturing. We must continue to invest in programs that help transform the brilliant scientific discoveries currently taking place in university laboratories into real-world applications on the factory floor," said Rockefeller. "With this bill, we can bridge the gap from basic research to manufacturing that has doomed so many promising inventions before they’re able to reach the market. Senator Brown has been relentless in his support for workers and the manufacturing industry, and I thank him for all his work on this bill. I also want to thank Ranking Member Thune for his support. Now, it's time for the full Senate to act on this legislation that will create jobs and boost our economy."
"Our workers can compete against anyone in the world," Brown said. "Establishing a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation would create thousands of jobs and ensure the United States remains the global leader in advanced manufacturing. I thank Chairman Rockefeller, Ranking Member Thune, and the entire Commerce Committee for supporting this bipartisan legislation and helping it take another step towards becoming law." Read full press release
8 April: On the Record: Representatives Signing Recent Letters Supporting NSF and DOE Office of Science: Representatives recently were asked to sign two letters to House appropriators in support of FY 2015 funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Science Foundation. Eighty-one members signed the letter for the Office of Science; 132 members signed the letter for the National Science Foundation. Read more
7 April: Office of Science and Technology Policy Releases Report on Coordinating STEM Education Programs: The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 called for a Federal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education 5-Year Strategic Plan. The Act similarly requires that a report provide an update on the implementation of the Strategic Plan, the efficiency and coherence of federal STEM programs, and dissemination of STEM education research and resources. This Progress Report was recently published by the Office of Science and Technology Policy and includes an overview of the STEM education FY 2015 budget request and the strategic plan, a discussion about reducing fragmentation and duplication of STEM programs, and plans to improve dissemination of federal STEM education resources. Read more
26 March: OSTP Director Holdren Appears Before House Science Committee: There was little that Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren and the Republican members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee agreed about at a recent two-hour hearing on the Administration's FY 2015 S&T budget request. Predictability, there was disagreement about climate change, the National Science Foundation's grant-making process, and NASA's programs. Read more
21 March: Overview of H.R. 4186, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act: The House Subcommittee on Research and Technology considered and voted to send H.R. 4186, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act of 2014 to the full House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) predicted that the full committee will consider the bill within the next few weeks.
The 130-page bill has attracted considerable attention in the science policy community, with much of the focus on Title I of the legislation pertaining to the National Science Foundation. The bill authorizes NSF funding in the current year and in FY 2015, and would make changes in the foundation’s operations. H.R. 4186 also authorizes federal STEM education programs; the Office of Science and Technology Policy; the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and Networking and Information Technology Research and Development. A review of selected provisions of this bill follows. Note that this is not a complete summary of all of the wide-ranging provisions in this lengthy bill. Read more
19 March: FY 2015 S&T Administration Budget Requests: The Ups and Downs: The FY 2015 appropriations cycle is underway. Next week House appropriations subcommittees will consider the budget requests for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Science Foundation. The appropriations committees will have little additional money to work with. An agreement between Congress and the Obama Administration that was codified into law limits the increase in total discretionary funding in FY 2015 to just 0.2 percent. See more information on the budget requests with links to documents
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