Capitol Hill

Controversy Over NSF Grants Continues

Lamar Smith's (R-TX) August 27 letter cites various court decisions that he states affirms that “Congress’s authority to obtain information, including but not limited to, confidential information is extremely broad.”  He later writes “There can be no dispute about the Committee’s authority to oversee the NSF. This controversy continues to cause significant conflict between Smith and the most senior Democrat on the committee, Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).

White House to seek budget relief deal in Congress

The Obama administration will press Congress next year to ease planned austerity measures that threaten to drag on the economy, a White House official said on Tuesday. Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said he wants to build on a deal reached in Congress last year that provided a temporary reprieve against so-called sequestration budget cuts.

New Science Policy Resources From AGU

The American Geophysical Union proudly announces two new resources aimed at increasing member and public engagement with policymakers on pressing science policy issues.

The first is a brand new grassroots advocacy portal, the AGU Action Center. The website provides the tools necessary to take action through email, phone calls, and social media, as well as member and candidate look-up functions. Also within the site, the “Share Your Story” feature provides a great opportunity for scientists and the public to share stories and experiences of how science impacts and is impacted by policymakers.

The other grassroots tool is AGU’s Top Science Policy Issues in Congress. This interactive website allows members and the public to learn about the most pressing science policy issues facing their state, handing them the knowledge they need to effectively discuss issues surrounding drought, extreme weather, energy, water resources, space science, and many more.

Washington needs tech policy reboot

Ultimately, government must do a better job of listening and understanding the tech industry.  Right now, government is stuck in an analog mindset, while innovators have moved the rest of the country into the digital age. -- Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)

Why Is the Computer Science Education Act Now the Most Broadly Co-Sponsored Education Bill in the House?

The Computer Science Education Act and the Computer Science Education and Jobs Act are important steps forward in ensuring that our students remain competitive and are afforded the opportunity to explore and engage in computer science, among the most transformative fields in education today.

Congress punts hacker fight to 2015

Congress is punting the fight against hackers to next year. Lawmakers have indicated that they are already preparing ways to protect against the scourge of data breaches, even though they have largely failed to mount a successful response to major attacks at stores like Target and Home Depot.

House Science Committee Hearing on NASA’s Planetary Science Programs

Committee members are enthusiastic supporters of NASA's Planetary Science Division.  There were few partisan differences expressed between the members, although the Obama Administration's budget requests for the Division were criticized by Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) as being insufficient.

Senator Jay Rockefeller: Bill will support innovation, education in science and technology

To make sure Congress is living up to this obligation, I introduced the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014. The bill supports a wide range of critical research efforts both at government agencies and at non-government research institutions while also advancing STEM education and working to move our best research results from the lab to the marketplace. COMPETES was first passed seven years ago to secure long-term investments in science and technology.

House Passes Exascale Computing Bill

"The American Super Computing Leadership Act, is an important update to a current statute which will ensure that America stays at the forefront of supercomputing technology for the benefits it brings to our national security, the economy, and, more broadly, our research capabilitiesas a Nation," said Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) describing this legislation which he introduced in June 2013. Hultgren was joined by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) in sponsoring the bill, as well as 21 other representatives from both parties.

Fight Over Digital Accessibility

At issue is a four-page provision in Senator Tom Harkin’s massive proposal to rewrite the Higher Education Act that would require a federal board to establish guidelines for evaluating whether instructional materials and other technology used on campuses are accessible to students with disabilities.

Brown sponsors bill to boost U.S. manufacturing innovation, teamwork

Brown is the sponsor of a bill that would create a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, bringing together industry, higher-education institutions, federal agencies and other levels of government to push manufacturing innovation. That bill passed the House by voice vote this week. In the Senate, it awaits a full vote after it passed a committee in April.

Manufacturing Bill Passes House

Tom Reed’s Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act, or “RAMI,” passed the House today with a strong showing of support from Members on both sides of the aisle.

Senators unveil new bill to protect emails

The Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad (LEADS) Act would require that police obtain a warrant before being able to search through someone’s emails and other online documents and would also prevent authorities from using a warrant to nab data stored in servers overseas.

Millions for 'pointless' research

Given this unequivocal determination, why are American taxpayers underwriting efforts to actively undermine matters that have been settled by FDA itself? Why is one executive branch agency spending millions of dollars to attack the findings of another agency?

Senate calls hearing on energy tax policy

The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing on the “outdated” energy tax code and proposals to reform and improve it. The Sept. 17 hearing will be led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who became chairman of the Finance Committee earlier this year and has committed to comprehensively reforming the entire tax code since he became chairman.


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