capitol hill

May 24, 2016

The full House Appropriations Committee will take up a spending bill May 24 that would provide a windfall for NASA’s planetary science program but prevent the agency from spending any funds on its proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM).Besides increases for NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion specifically included in the bill, planetary science emerges as a big winner. The report allocates $1.846 billion to planetary science, $327 million above the agency’s request and $490 million above the level in a companion bill approved by Senate appropriators last month.

April 25, 2016

Sponsored by Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Blake Farenthold (R-TX) in the House and Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) in the Senate, the bill would make changes to the U.S. Code to institutionalize open data best practices, such as publishing government data, by default, using open and machine readable formats and with an open license that imposes no restrictions on reuse.

March 14, 2016

Today, as lead Democrat on the Senate’s Small Business Committee, I hope to carry forward Senator Rudman’s legacy by authoring legislation to make these successful programs permanent before they expire next year. To inform this legislation, I’m reaching out to high-tech small businesses in New Hampshire to get feedback on these important programs.

March 02, 2016

Now in its third year, the Making Our CASE: Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering program, organized by the Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and held each year at a Washington hotel, offers graduate students in the sciences a chance to learn how to make Washington work for them.

January 13, 2016

President Obama gave his final State of the Union address on Tuesday. In it, he discussed how far the country has come over the last year and where he sees it going in the future. But beyond the expected talk of a rebuilt, stronger economy, soaring high school graduation rates and new civil liberties, he laid out a bold plan to, as he puts it, make "technology work for us, and not against us."

January 11, 2016

While some have likened the passage of ESSA to throwing out NCLB, in fact, the new law mostly evolves official thinking on topics like standardized testing and gives states more ownership in crafting accountability plans for how every student will succeed. But one area with notable change is education technology. This law contains new definitions for technology and explicit permission to spend more money on technology.

January 11, 2016

Last month, President Obama signed an education reform bill that revised the so-called No Child Left Behind act. Surprisingly, the bill had bipartisan support from both the House and Senate, perhaps because the bill shifts power from the federal government to the states on issues of school performance and accountability. The new legislation called "Every Student Succeeds Act" does a great deal more, as we will undoubtedly come to better understand in the weeks and months ahead.

December 21, 2015

The GOP-controlled Congress delivered by the 2014 midterm elections shifted the political landscape in Washington, sparking new action this year in a host of policy fights. Lawmakers approved major bills on transportation, trade, healthcare and national security. Meanwhile, the Obama administration — intent on cementing its legacy in the face of opposition from the Republican majorities on Capitol Hill — forged ahead on the president’s environmental goals and brokered a sweeping international nuclear accord.

December 20, 2015

Privacy advocates were aghast in October when the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act by a vote of 74 to 21, leaving intact portions of the law they say make it more amenable to surveillance than actual security. Now, as CISA gets closer to the President’s desk, those privacy critics argue that Congress has quietly stripped out even more of its remaining privacy protections.

December 20, 2015

The House also passed a tax measure that is tied to the budget bill and is expected to be approved in the Senate. They warned if the bill didn’t pass, Republicans would still end up getting the tax cuts that were negotiated alongside the spending bill, and Democrats would be short-changing a host of programs they have fought to give more resources. Earlier on Friday, the Senate gave final congressional approval to the bill, which includes nearly $700 billion in tax breaks. The Senate adopted the Omnibus Appropriations Act by a vote of 65-33; the House did so by a 316-113 tally.