Capitol Hill

Ted Cruz advocates for human space exploration

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz isn't a proponent of big government programs, but on Tuesday the Tea Party Republican championed NASA's human space exploration program as a national priority that deserves congressional support.

GOP denounces 'power grab over the Internet'

The rules are a “317-page power grab over the Internet,” added Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the head of the House Commerce Committee. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), meanwhile, said in a speech on the chamber floor that the rules would “strike a blow to the future of innovation in our country.”  “Republicans, Democrats, consumer groups, and investors all agree that we need sustainable protections to preserve the Internet as we know it,” GOP members of the House subcommittee said. “A 3-2 party-line vote is not the policy consensus this issue deserves.”

Rep. Kennedy and Latino STEM Alliance push for equal access to job training education

U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III joined the Latino STEM Alliance on Monday for a roundtable regarding expanding access to education in science, technology, education and math fields. The collaboration took place following the reintroduction of Kennedy’s STEM Gateways Act, which would ensure that federal STEM efforts are put toward reaching minorities, women and low-income communities, according to a Monday press release.

Obama's 2016 Budget Request For National Network For Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) Reaches Beyond $600 Million

The Obama administration is seeking a substantial increase in funding for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), which has suddenly become a very large government-wide manufacturing program. In adding up the budget requests for NNMI centers that have been or will be created in 2016, the total amount for NNMI comes to $608 million. The large-scale "Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation" will be funded by the Departments of Defense, Energy, Commerce and Agriculture.

FCC poised to favor Internet users over service providers

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to adopt a contentious set of rules Thursday that, in order to preserve the freedom of consumers and content providers online, dramatically limits the freedom that Time Warner Cable, AT&T and other Internet service providers have long enjoyed.

Net neutrality neuters innovation

Today the Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote on whether to regulate the Internet under Title II, or “common carrier,” regulations as a public utility, and all indications are that the Commission will do so.

Why FCC Meeting Matters for Ed Tech

Each month the FCC’s five commissioners convene, and tomorrow’s meeting will cover a lot of ground. The Commission will be voting on two significant issues—net neutrality and community broadband—both of which have considerable implications for schools and libraries.

Esty bill on tech education passes House

The House on Wednesday approved legislation co-authored by Rep. Elizabeth Esty that would expand computer science and other tech-related education in the K-12 years. “The STEM Education Act of 2015 supports teachers who are preparing students to be the engineers, manufacturers, and scientists of tomorrow,” Esty said on the House floor shortly before the vote.

Some Dems prepared to override Obama's veto

Some Senate Democrats are already saying they will vote to override President Obama's veto of legislation authorizing the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Bob Casey (Pa.) will vote to override Obama’s veto, according to aides, and it’s possible that several other Democrats will follow suit. Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said the "Senate will soon vote on an override" of the veto, with the action coming "not later than March the 3rd."

President’s Budget Would Increase Funding for Renewable Technologies But Defund Fossil Energy Research

On February 11, 2015, the House Energy and Power Subcommittee held a hearing on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) FY 2016 Budget request to examine DOE’s funding priorities, major changes, energy-related rulemakings, priority science and research, loans and grants, and management reforms. The President’s Budget (PB) proposed $29.9B for DOE for FY 2016, requesting an overall 9.2 percent increase, $2.52B above the FY 2015 enacted level.

Keystone bill to arrive at White House Tuesday

Republican leaders plan on Tuesday to send President Obama legislation that would authorize construction of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. GOP leaders have pushed Obama to reconsider his veto threat, arguing Keystone will create thousands of jobs and help the nation move toward energy independence. The White House has repeatedly said the president will veto the bill, arguing it circumvents the ongoing review by the State Department.

Legislation introduced to invest in STEM educators

U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rep. Mike Honda (DCalif.) introduced a key bill earlier this month to help prepare students across the country for jobs in today’s economy by investing in educators who teach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum. The STEM Master Teacher Corps Act would offer career advancement opportunities and pay boosts to the best STEM teachers. The Corps members will, in turn, mentor other teachers and share best practices with the STEM education community to improve the ability of all teachers.

U.S. must invest to keep ahead of China in space

"China right now is experiencing its Apollo years," Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College, told the hearing. "China gets the funding its needs." While the budget of the U.S. space agency NASA has been cut substantially, China's space program has benefited from its economic boom and political support from President Xi Jinping down, said Kevin Pollpeter, a China technology expert at the University of California-San Diego.

H-1B Overhaul Increases U.S. Dependence on Skilled Foreign Workers

Many high-tech supply chain managers looking for qualified talent to fill jobs across their supply chain network will be thrilled with recently introduced immigration legislation. New guidelines triple the cap on the number of skilled foreign workers allowed in under the H-1B visa program.

STEM PREP Act, H.R. 922

Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) along with Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-4), and Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11) introduced her first bill, the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Professional Readiness Education Preparation Act or STEM PREP Act, H.R. 922. The legislation would create a competitive grant program to fund career and technical education training within the STEM field.

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