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This blog from ASPB's public affairs unit will provide updates on policy developments in Washington and other plant biology news impacting the ASPB community. Please send any news, comments, or suggestions to ASPB's public affairs director, Adam Fagen, at afagen@aspb.org Policy Archives available under Group Pages.

 

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House of Representatives Passes Revised 2013 Farm Bill

Posted By Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, Wednesday, July 17, 2013

 

Policy Update: U.S. House of Representatives Passes Revised 2013 Farm Bill

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – July 17, 2013

On July 11, a divided U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, on a second try to move a Farm Bill through the legislative process. The House Republican leadership had to depend solely on its caucus to pass the bill, which it did on a vote of 216 to 208 after experiencing a humiliating defeat on the House floor when a bipartisan version of the Farm bill (H.R. 1947) failed to pass (195 to 234) on June 20. The bill only passed after the House Agriculture Committee Chairman, Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK), stripped the nutrition title (Title IV) from the bill, leaving a significant difference in the House and Senate bills that must be reconciled in conference to negotiate a final bill. On June 10, the Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill (S. 954) with a strong bipartisan vote of 66 to 27 (for a description of the Senate bill, which remained largely the same as reported by the Senate Agriculture Committee, please see the Lewis-Burke report from June 4).

The Obama Administration strongly opposes the House-passed bill. The President’s senior advisors have recommended that the President veto the bill. The Administration states that the House bill has insufficient reforms to the commodity and crop insurance programs. It also takes issue with the lack of funding for USDA’s renewable energy programs, which would be made subject to annual funding by Congress. The White House also objects to the decision to strip the nutrition title from the bill, and leave reauthorization of these programs to separate legislation.

Striking the nutrition title from the House bill eliminated previously proposed savings of $20.5 billion over ten years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamps). The Senate-passed bill would save $4 billion in nutrition programs over ten years.

The remainder of the House bill is largely as originally reported with some amendments adopted during floor consideration of H.R. 1947 incorporated into the new bill. The House-passed bill would save a net total of $12.8 billion over ten years below current law compared to $33.3 billion in savings in the original House bill. Including small revenue changes, the House-passed bill would reduce the federal deficit by $12.9 billion over ten years.

As does the Senate-passed version of the Farm Bill, the House bill would achieve most of the deficit reduction by eliminating direct and countercyclical payments for major commodity programs, such as wheat, corn, soybeans, etc. The House bill replaces these programs with a Farm Risk Management Election program focused on either price loss coverage or revenue loss coverage. These provisions save an estimated $18.7 billion in outlays over ten years. The House bill also repeals the 1949 permanent law governing commodity programs. The House bill would revamp crop insurance programs with an estimated net cost of $10.1 billion over ten years.

The House Agriculture Committee focused on eliminating duplication in federal programs by consolidating 23 existing conservation programs into 13 programs and adopting various program reforms. The House-passed bill would save an estimated $4.8 billion over ten years from these reforms.

The House version of the Farm Bill continues strong support for research programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The House bill would largely extend existing authorizations for research programs through the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). As does the Senate bill, the House bill extends the authorization for NIFA’s extramural competitive grants through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) at the current $700 million annual level. The House Committee cited budget constraints as the reason to reduce authorization levels for various programs (not actual spending) by an estimated $500 million. The House bill also replaces open-ended ("such sums as may be necessary”) authorizations with specific authorization levels. The House Committee removes USDA’s authority to fund non-competitive grants.

As does the Senate-passed bill, the House bill would continue current formula grants programs to support land-grant institutions. Formula programs authorized under the Hatch Act and the Smith-Lever Act are extended through FY 2018. Both bills also extend the authorizations for the Extension Service and for Hispanic-Serving Institutions through FY 2018.

Neither the Senate nor House bills address the indirect cost rate as the 2008 Farm Bill did. Thus, under the proposed bills, the indirect cost rate remains at the current level of 30 percent established in the Agriculture title of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013. The 2008 Farm Bill increased the indirect cost rate from 19 percent to 22 percent.

A provision getting some scrutiny in the research title of the House bill is a requirement (Section 6128) for USDA to institute a 1:1 match for new research grants. Land-grant institutions, USDA research entities, and institutions partnering with either would be exempt from this requirement, leaving other public and private research institutes likely subjected to the requirement to match federal funding from USDA on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

The Administration takes issue with Senate and House provisions (Sections 7512 and 6513, respectively) barring USDA from obligating appropriated funding for extramural competitive research grants unless USDA submits a comprehensive spending plan to Congress for its approval.

Both the House and Senate bills reinstate the authorization of mandatory funding for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, the Organic Research and Extension Initiative, and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program. These programs expired with other Farm Bill authorities last year when Congress failed to extend existing law.

CBO estimates mandatory spending for research, extension, and related matters in the House bill at $760 million over ten years. The House bill would provide $555 million over ten years for Specialty Crop Research; $100 million over five years for Organic Agriculture Research and Extension; and $100 million over five years for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development grants, also broadening eligibility to military veterans, and providing a set-aside of not more than five percent for this purpose. The Senate-passed bill would provide $581 million over ten years for these programs.

Both bills also create a Veterinary Services Investment program to help address the shortage of veterinarians. The bills authorize $10 million for each fiscal year beginning in FY 2014 for activities to recruit, train, support, and retain veterinarians.

The House Committee does not include an authorization for a new Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR). The Senate-passed bill would authorize FFAR and would provide $200 million in mandatory funding over five years to capitalize the Foundation for research projects, which must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis from non-federal funding. FFAR would promote a public-private partnership to leverage additional funding for agriculture research.

The House-passed Farm Bill reauthorizes existing energy programs affecting rural areas for five years through FY 2018, including the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) at $20 million annually. The House bill would also make these programs subject to annual appropriations by Congress, whereas the Senate bill provides mandatory funding totaling $880 million over ten years, which would require no further action by the Congress.

Sources and Additional Information:

· To view the House-passed bill, please see http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c113:1:./temp/~c1139wvU57::

· The Statement of Administration Policy on the House-passed bill can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/113/saphr2642r_20130710.pdf.

Tags:  Farm Bill  House 

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House of Representatives Passes Energy-Water Development Appropriations Bill

Posted By Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, Wednesday, July 17, 2013

 

On July 10, the U.S. House of Representatives approved by a 227 to 198 vote a $30.4 billion Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill to fund the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Energy (DOE), and other independent agencies for fiscal year (FY) 2014. The House bill overall is $2.9 billion below the FY 2013 enacted level and approximately $700 million below the enacted level after sequestration. Please note that comparisons to the FY 2013 enacted level do not reflect the across-the-board reductions required under sequestration. The House bill is $4.1 billion below the President’s budget request. This is the first domestic spending bill that reflects the significant spending reductions that would be needed under the House-passed budget resolution and in the absence of an overall long-term deficit reduction plan that would replace sequestration.

House Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) highlighted the "hard choices” the Subcommittee had to make to meet its spending allocation. The priorities for the bill include DOE’s national security programs, including nuclear weapons; national and regional infrastructure programs through the Army Corps of Engineers; nuclear clean-up; and programs to promote economic competitiveness. The funding recommendations in the bill reflect the decision of the House Republican majority to write the FY 2014 bills to an overall discretionary total of $967 billion, the post-sequester spending cap level enacted in the Budget Control Act of 2011. The House allocation is $91 billion overall below the $1.058 trillion requested by the President and embraced by Senate Democrats that assumes the sequester is overturned and a comprehensive budget agreement is reached this fall.

During House debate on the bill, the Republican majority held back numerous amendments to restore funding to the DOE Office of Science, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), and to the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). Both Representatives Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and Bill Foster (D-IL) offered amendments to add back $223 million and $500 million, respectively, to DOE’s Office of Science, reducing the nuclear weapons R&D program within the bill to offset the proposed increases. Both amendments were defeated. An amendment to prohibit funding for wind energy programs within EERE was also defeated. After two amendments by Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and by John Garamendi (D-CA) to restore funding to ARPA-E were defeated, the House adopted an amendment by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) to add $20 million to ARPA-E, bringing the program total to $70 million.

The House bill would reduce DOE’s energy programs by $1.4 billion below the FY 2013 enacted level before sequestration. For the DOE Office of Science, the House bill would provide $4.653 billion, which is a reduction of about $223 million (4.6 percent) below the FY 2013 enacted level. The House bill is nearly $500 million (9.7 percent) below the President’s request for the Office of Science. The Committee indicates that it has given priority to research, such as the basic research done by the Office of Science, which only the federal government is likely to do. Within the Office of Basic Energy Sciences, the House bill fully funds the President’s budget request of $24.2 million for each of two Energy Innovation Hubs relating to Fuels from Sunlight and Batteries. The House bill includes $60 million to support the Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs), a reduction of $40 million below the President’s request. The Committee does not approve the request of an additional $68.7 million to fully fund additional centers. The Committee also approves the budget request for exascale computing totaling $68.58 million. Chairman Frelinghuysen indicated that, as it did last year, the Subcommittee restores cuts to the Fusion Energy program proposed by the President.

The House Committee makes the deepest funding cuts in programs deemed a priority by the Administration. For the Advanced Research Projects Agency- Energy (ARPA-E), the House-passed bill would provide $70 million, which is a reduction of $195 million (73.6 percent) below the FY 2013 enacted level. The House bill is $309.0 million (81.5 percent) below the President’s request for ARPA-E.

The House bill would consolidate the DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and fund the programs overall at $958.1 million, a reduction of $995.5 million (60 percent) below the FY 2013 enacted level, and $1.99 billion (67.5 percent) below the President’s budget request. The President’s budget request proposed to increase these clean energy technology programs by over 50 percent to nearly $3 billion. Several amendments to restore funds to the EERE program overall failed.

For the electricity programs, the House bill recommends $80 million, a reduction of $32.5 million below the FY 2013 enacted level and $61.4 million below the President’s budget request. The House Committee recommends no funding for the proposed Electricity Systems Energy Innovation Hub for which the President requested $20 million.

Within the newly consolidated Renewable Energy, Energy Reliability and Efficiency program, the House Committee emphasizes research to address high gas prices through the Bioenergy Technologies, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies, and Vehicle Technologies programs, providing a total of $390 million for these activities. The House Committee also states that advanced manufacturing is a priority, providing $120 million for this program with continued support for the Critical Materials Energy Innovation Hub.

The House bill would provide funding for ongoing Nuclear Energy activities at $656.4 million, a reduction of $96.6 million (12.8 percent) below the FY 2013 enacted level and $79.1 million (10.8 percent) below the President’s budget request. The bill would provide $430 million for the Fossil Energy R&D programs, which is an increase of $9.42 million (2.2 percent) above the President’s budget request, but $104 million (19.5 percent) below the FY 2013 enacted level.

The recommendations for the DOE nuclear security programs administered through the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) total $11.3 billion, which is a decrease of $213.1 million (1.9 percent) below the FY 2013 enacted level, and $364.0 million (3.1 percent) below the President’s budget request. These programs include Weapons Activities, Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, and Naval Reactors. As it did last year, the House Subcommittee approves $25 million to retain the viability of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

For the water infrastructure agencies, the House bill would provide $4.9 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, a reduction of $104 million (2.0 percent) below the FY 2013 enacted level excluding emergency appropriations associated with Hurricane Sandy, and $72 million (1.5 percent) above the President’s budget request. The House would provide $981 million for the Bureau of Reclamation, which is $66.7 million (6.4 percent) below the FY 2013 enacted level and $68.5 million (6.5 percent) below the President’s request.

House Energy-Water Development Appropriations Bill, FY 2014

As passed by the House Appropriations Committee, 7/10/2013

(In thousands)

FY 2013

Enacted*

FY 2014 Request

FY 2014 House Cmte Mark

House Cmte vs.

FY 2013 Enacted

House Cmte vs.

FY 2014 Request

DOE, total

27,043,427

28,953,893

24,952,252

-2,118,175

(7.8%)

-4,028,641

(13.9%)

Science

4,876,000

5,152,752

4,653,000

-223,000

(4.6%)

-499,752

(9.7%)

Advanced Scientific Computing Research

440,825

465,593

432,365

-8,460

(1.9%)

-33,228

(7.1%)

Basic Energy Sciences

1,689,495

1,862,411

1,583,099

-106,396

(6.3%)

-279,312

(15.0%)

Biological and Environmental Research

610,196

625,347

494,106

-116,090

(19.0%)

-131,241

(21.0%)

Fusion Energy Sciences Program

401,108

458,324

506,076

104,968

(26.2%)

47,752

(10.4%)

High-energy Physics

789,595

776,521

772,521

-17,074

(2.2%)

-4,000

(0.5%)

Nuclear Physics

548,537

569,938

551,953

3,376

(0.6%)

-18,025

(3.2%)

Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists

18,451

16,500

16,500

-1,951

(10.6%)

--

Science Laboratories Infrastructure

111,503

97,818

46,558

-64,945

(58.3%)

-51,260

(52.4%)

Renewable Energy, Energy Reliability and Efficiency

1,953,591

2,944,715

958,137

-995,454

(60.0%)

-1,986,578

(67.5%)

Nuclear Energy

753,000

735,460

656,389

-96,611

(12.8%)

-79,071

(10.8%)

Fossil Energy Research and Development

534,000

420,575

430,000

-104,000

(19.5%)

9,425

(2.2%)

ARPA-E

265,000

379,000

70,000

-195,000

(73.6%)

-309,000

(81.5%)

DOE Defense Activities

11,501,644

11,652,469

11,288,000

-213,144

(1.9%)

-363,969

(3.1%)

Weapons Activities

7,577,341

7,868,409

7,675,000

97,659

(1.3%)

-193,409

(2.5%)

Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation

2,434,303

2,140,142

2,100,000

-334,303

(13.7%)

-40,142

(1.9%)

Army Corps of Engineers, total

10,330,000‡

4,826,000

4,898,000

-5,432,000

(53.0%)

72,000

(1.5%)

Bureau of Reclamation, total

1,047,719

1,049,584

981,032

-66,687

(6.4%)

-68,552

(6.5%)

* FY 2013 values are based on the FY 2013 enacted values as given in the House report. They do not reflect sequestration.

† The House bill proposes combining EERE and Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability into this new account.

‡ Includes funds from the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Appropriations bill.

For additional information, please see the House Energy-Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee website at http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=339186.

Tags:  appropriations  energy  House 

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Senate and House of Representatives Make Progress on the 2013 Farm Bill

Posted By Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Congress returned from the Memorial Day recess having made significant progress on the 2013 Farm Bill. On May 14 and 15, respectively, the Agriculture Committees in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives approved their versions of the 2013 Farm Bill. The Senate continues debate on its version of the bill this week, hoping to whittle down a list of some 200 amendments with a goal of passing the bill before Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) turns to the comprehensive immigration reform bill. The full House expects to debate its bill later this month. The House and Senate versions of the bill largely mirror the legislation approved last year, thus setting up the same potential issues over reforms of the crop insurance and related commodity support programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); both must be worked out before a final bill can be enacted.

 

Senate Bill

On May 14, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry approved legislation that, if enacted into law, would result in a far-reaching reorganization of programs supporting the nation’s farmers and ranchers. On a bipartisan 15 to 5 vote, the Committee approved S. 954, the Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013. The bill would dramatically restructure farm income support and crop insurance programs, as well as eliminate, consolidate, and streamline existing programs for conservation, rural development, trade, nutrition, energy, research and extension, forestry, and related programs for the five-year period through fiscal year (FY) 2018.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Senate’s nearly $955 billion authorization bill would reduce federal direct spending by an estimated net $17.8 billion over ten years below current law projections. This bill governs spending on entitlement and mandatory programs that are not subject to annual appropriations action by Congress. It also authorizes appropriations for programs, such as the research programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which Congress must fund each year in the appropriations bills.

 

House Bill

On May 15, the House Committee on Agriculture approved a bipartisan 2013 Farm Bill on a vote of 36 to 10 following a marathon mark up. The House version of the Farm Bill, H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (FARRM), reflects a serious effort to reduce overall spending associated with agriculture-related and nutrition programs, and sets up some major issues, including crop insurance, commodity assistance, and benefits under SNAP, to be addressed with the Senate during eventual conference negotiations toward a final bill.

According to preliminary estimates by the CBO, the House version of the Farm Bill would total $940 billion over ten years and would reduce federal direct spending by an estimated $33.3 billion over ten years below current law projections.

In addition to the programs discussed below, both the Senate and House bills extend supplemental disaster assistance for livestock producers and other farmers experiencing losses due to drought and other natural disasters.

 

Research Programs

For the research programs authorized in the bills, existing authorities are largely extended through fiscal year (FY) 2018, including the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Both bills extend the authorization for NIFA’s extramural competitive grants program, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), at the current $700 million annual level (AFRI is currently funded at about $275 million in FY 2013). The Senate states that it makes no policy changes in the research programs of USDA. The House Committee notes that given current budget constraints, the Committee reduces existing authorization levels (not actual spending) by an estimated $500 million, and includes specific authorized funding levels for programs with open-ended ("such sums as may be necessary”) authorizations. The House Committee also removes USDA’s authority to fund non-competitive grants.

Both the Senate and House versions of the Farm Bill continue the current formula grant programs for land-grant institutions through FY 2018. Formula programs authorized under the Hatch Act and Smith-Lever Act have open-ended authorizations for appropriations at "such sums as may be necessary.” Both bills extend the authorizations for the Extension Service and for Hispanic-Serving Institutions through FY 2018.

Neither the Senate nor House bills address the indirect cost rate as the 2008 Farm Bill did. Thus, under the proposed bills, the indirect cost rate remains at the current level of 30 percent established in the Agriculture title of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013. The 2008 Farm Bill increased the indirect cost rate from 19 percent to 22 percent.

The most controversial provision in the research title of the House bill is a requirement (Section 7128) for USDA to institute a 1:1 match for new research grants. There is significant concern by researchers over the requirement to match federal funding from USDA on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

The Administration takes issue with a Senate and House provisions (Sections 7512 and 7513, respectively) barring USDA from obligating appropriated funding for extramural competitive research grants unless USDA submits a comprehensive spending plan to Congress for its approval.

Both the House and Senate bills reinstate the authorization of mandatory funding for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, the Organic Research and Extension Initaitive, and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program. These programs expired with other Farm Bill authorities last year when Congress failed to extend existing law.

The Senate bill authorizes a total of $416 million in mandatory funding for Specialty Crops over the FY 2014-FY 2023 period. A total of $80 million in mandatory funding over five years is provided for the Organic Research Initaitive. Finally, $85 million in mandatory funding over five years is provided for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program with military veterans included as eligible for the program.

CBO estimates mandatory spending for research, extension, and related matters in the House bill at $760 million over ten years. The House bill would provide $555 million over ten years for Specialty Crop Research; $100 million over five years for Organic Agriculture Research and Extension; and $100 million over five years for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development grants, also broadening eligibility to military veterans, and providing a set-aside of not more than five percent for this purpose.

Both bills also create a Veterinary Services Investment program to help address the shortage of veterinarians. The bills authorize $10 million for each fiscal year beginning in FY 2014 for activities to recruit, train, support, and retain veterinarians.

The Senate bill creates the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) as it did last year and includes $200 million in mandatory funding to capitalize the Foundation for research, which must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis from non-federal funding. FFAR would promote a public-private partnership to leverage additional funding for agriculture research. The Senate bill includes mandatory funding of $200 million over five years toward this effort, which must be matched by non-federal funding through the Foundation. The House bill does not include FFAR in its version of the bill as it did last year.



Tags:  Farm Bill  House  Senate  USDA 

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National Science Foundation Funding Up 4.3% in House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill, Surpassing the Senate Mark

Posted By Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, Monday, April 23, 2012

On April 19, the House Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee and the full Senate Appropriations Committee approved their respective versions of the fiscal year (FY) 2013 CJS appropriations bill, which funds the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). NSF, NIST, NOAA, and NASA are particular winners in the House bill. At this point, it is still too early to compare the House mark with the bill the Senate Appropriations Committee approved earlier today as details on the Senate bill remain scarce.

As previously reported, there is low likelihood of Congress passing any appropriations bills for FY 2013 before the November elections. Furthermore, the House appropriations bills will be a total of $19 billion below the level set in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (debt-limit agreement) while the Senate Appropriations Committee intends to write its bills to the higher level of $1.047 trillion approved last year in the Act. Below are additional details on NSF funding in the House CJS Subcommittee bill.

Similar to the Senate, the National Science Foundation (NSF) would continue to receive strong bipartisan support in the House, with the House Subcommittee proposing $7.333 billion overall for NSF, an increase of $299 million or four percent over FY 2012, $41 million or less than one percent below the FY 2013 request, and $60 million above the Senate mark. With the exception of the Research and Related Activities (R&RA) account, the Subcommittee would support all NSF accounts at the President’s FY 2013 requested level. The Subcommittee would provide an increase of $254 million or five percent over FY 2012 to the R&RA account; however, this amount would be a decrease of $41 million or less than one percent below the President’s request for FY 2013.

The House Subcommittee bill would fully fund OSTP at the President’s request of $6 million, which is an increase of $1 million (30 percent) over the FY 2012 level.

 

 

House CJS Appropriations Bill, FY 2013

As reported by the House CJS Appropriations Subcommittee, 4/19/12

(In thousands)

 

National Science Foundation


FY 2012 Enacted

FY 2013 Request

House Mark*

Senate Mark†

House vs. Senate

NSF, total

7,033,100

7,373,100

7,332,513 (4.3%)

7,273,000 (3.4%)

59,513

(0.8%)

Research & Related Activities (R&RA)

5,689,000

5,983,280

5,942,693 (4.5%)

N/A

N/A

Education & Human Resources (EHR)

829,000

875,610

875,610 (5.6%)

N/A

N/A

Major Research Equipment & Facilities Construction (MREFC)

197,060

196,170

196,170 (-0.5%)

N/A

N/A

 Agency Operations & Award Management

299,400

299,400

299,400 (0%)

N/A

N/A

 National Science Board (NSB)

4,440

4,440

4,440 (0%)

N/A

N/A

Office of Inspector General  

14,200

14,200

14,200 (0%)

N/A

N/A

* Percentage comparison is to the FY 2012 enacted level.

† Percentage comparison is to the FY 2012 enacted level.

 

 

 

Sources:

The House CJS Subcommittee’s press release is available at http://appropriations.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=290672.

The House CJS draft bill is available at http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-112HR-SC-AP-FY13-CommerceJusticeScience.pdf.

Chairman Wolf’s opening remarks during the Subcommittee markup are available at http://appropriations.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=291030.

Tags:  appropriations  House  NSF  OSTP 

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ASPB Executive Director Crispin Taylor to testify at House Hearing on Public Access and Scholarly Publication

Posted By Kathy R. Munkvold, Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ASPB’s Executive Director, Crispin Taylor, will be testifying to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Science Space and Technology, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight on the topic of Federally Funded Research: Examining Public Access and Scholarly Publication Interests. The hearing is currently scheduled for Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. EDT and will be webcast live.

Consistent with ASPB’s response earlier this year to an Office of Science and Technology Policy request for information on similar topics, Taylor will argue that the government should adopt sensible, flexible, and cautious approaches to drafting and revising public access policies or regulations. These approaches should engage all concerned parties, including federal agencies, scientists, university administrators, librarians, publishers, and the public and should foster innovation and collaboration. Policies should focus on providing access to the definitive version of an article, which is typically hosted on the publisher’s website; developing robust metadata standards; and ensuring increased interoperability among journal articles and other valuable sources of information online. Policies should also recognize and embrace the global nature of scientific research and scholarly publishing. Taylor will further testify that government mandates that specify business models or embargo periods are detrimental to collaborative progress toward improved access to and utility of scholarly information online. Please see full written testimony.

Taylor has served as the Executive Director of ASPB since 2004. He previously held the positions of news and reviews editor and managing editor at The Plant Cell (http://www.plantcell.org), which is published by ASPB, and he has also worked at Science’s Next Wave (now part of Science Careers website, http://www.sciencecareers.org) where he collaborated with AAAS’s Education and Human Resources unit to develop the Minority Scientists’ Network (http://www.miscinet.org).

For more information on the hearing, including other public witnesses and a link to the live webcast, please see the following website: http://science.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-investigations-and-oversight-hearing-examining-public-access-and-scholarly.


Tags:  House  Open access 

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Support to Pass the Farm Bill this Year Comes from Both Sides of the House

Posted By Kathy R. Munkvold, Tuesday, March 06, 2012

This week both sides of the House of Representatives spoke out in support of passing the 2012 farm bill this year on The Hill’s Congress Blog: Where lawmakers come to blog. Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-Missouri) and Representative Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) both highlighted the importance of agriculture to our nation’s economy.

Rep. Hartzler stressed that, "Only about half of 1 percent of the [federal] budget supports food production -- a very small investment to keep our food supply safe, affordable and reliable.” Furthermore, funding of research for food and agriculture makes up an even smaller fraction of the one half of one percent. Rep. Hartzler called out the importance of agricultural research in feeding a growing global population. "Crop yields have increased tremendously over the past few years due to improved genetics and enhanced crop protection products…continued improvements are necessary to feed the world.”

Rep. Cuellar worries about other pieces of long-term legislation taking precedence over the farm bill and the effects of not passing the bill this year. "Without a new farm bill, USDA is unable to assist with new difficulties that have arisen since 2008 - such as the expanding citrus diseases – and cut areas that have out lived their usefulness.”

In February, ASPB joined 86 other organizations by signing a letter to House and Senate Agriculture Committee leadership in support of completing the farm bill in 2012. We will continue to monitor the Farm Bill debate and provide updates on its progress.


Tags:  Congress  Farm Bill  House  USDA 

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ASPB Alert: Deadline to sign on to GRANT Act "Dear Colleague" Letter Extended

Posted By Kathy R. Munkvold, Tuesday, January 24, 2012

As you may be aware, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recently approved the Grant Reform and New Transparency (GRANT) Act, H.R. 3433. The bill, which the full House has not considered, is intended to provide more transparency in the federal grant-making process by requiring all federal agencies to publicize the selection procedures for each grant program. It also mandates the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) create a single, comprehensive website for all federal grant opportunities, among other provisions.

Many in the research community have concerns with the bill’s transparency requirements in the peer-review process, which include the posting of full copies of funded proposals online (albeit with an exception for information that is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)). Although many efforts have been made to effect positive changes in the bill, the amount of disclosure required is still potentially damaging to the peer-review process. As such, Representatives Rush Holt (D-NJ) and David Price (D-NC) have drafted a "Dear Colleague" letter, which can be viewed here, to the House leadership urging them to fix these remaining issues; Reps. Holt and Price also are seeking additional signatories to the letter from among their colleagues.

ASPB is closely monitoring this bill and working to remove damaging provisions in the legislation. If you have concerns with the GRANT Act, you can share them with your Representative and/or encourage them to sign on to the Holt-Price Dear Colleague letter. Contact information for your Representative is available at http://house.gov/representatives/. You can either call their Washington, D.C., office or send an e-mail via your Representative’s website. If you do not know who your Representative is, you can enter your zip code into the above website to find out. The deadline for additional signatories to the Dear Colleague letter has been extended to Friday, January 27.

If you’d like help reaching out to your Representative, please contact ASPB’s Public Affairs Manager, Kathy Munkvold, at kmunkvold@aspb.org.

Tags:  Alert  grants  House  peer review 

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ASPB ALERT: Concerns Regarding the Grant Reform and New Transparency (GRANT) Act (H.R. 3433)

Posted By Kathy R. Munkvold, Monday, January 09, 2012

As you may be aware, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recently approved the Grant Reform and New Transparency (GRANT) Act, H.R. 3433. The bill, which the full House has not considered, is intended to provide more transparency in the federal grant-making process by requiring all federal agencies to publicize the selection procedures for each grant program. It also mandates the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) create a single, comprehensive website for all federal grant opportunities, among other provisions.

Many in the research community have concerns with the bill’s transparency requirements in the peer-review process, which include the posting of full copies of funded proposals online (albeit with an exception for information that is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)). Although many efforts have been made to effect positive changes in the bill, the amount of disclosure required is still potentially damaging to the peer-review process. As such, Representatives Rush Holt (D-NJ) and David Price (D-NC) have drafted a "Dear Colleague” letter to the House leadership urging them to fix these remaining issues; Reps. Holt and Price also are seeking additional signatories to the letter from among their colleagues.

ASPB is closely monitoring this bill and working to remove damaging provisions in the legislation. If you have concerns with the GRANT Act, you can share them with your Representative and/or encourage them to sign on to the Holt-Price Dear Colleague letter. Contact information for your Representative is available at http://house.gov/representatives/. You can either call their Washington, D.C., office or send an e-mail via your Representative’s website. If you do not know who your Representative is, you can enter your zip code into the above website to find out. The deadline for additional signatories to the Dear Colleague letter is Friday, January 13.

If you’d like help reaching out to your Representative, please contact ASPB’s Public Affairs Manager, Kathy Munkvold, at kmunkvold@aspb.org.

Tags:  Alert  Congress  grants  House 

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Congress makes progress on FY 2012 appropriations

Posted By Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, Saturday, November 05, 2011
The House and Senate appear to have come together on a strategy to complete consideration of the fiscal year (FY) 2012 appropriations bills.  Rather than combine all 12 appropriations bills into one large omnibus appropriations package, as Congressional appropriators have done in the past, Congressional leaders plan to enact the appropriations bills through a more piecemeal approach; passing three or four appropriations bills at one time in "minibus" appropriations packages.  Congressional leaders from both parties have also indicated that they will adhere to the top line discretionary spending levels that were agreed to in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (the debt limit bill), which are approximately $24 billion higher than the total discretionary spending level approved by the House earlier in the year.

The first such minibus bill was passed by the Senate on November 1 and included the Senate's Agriculture–FDA appropriations bill, Commerce–Justice-–Science bill, and Transportation–Housing and Urban Development bill.  These bills provide funding for federal research agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, among others.  On the evening of November 3, House and Senate appropriators met to begin conference negotiations on the first minibusbill.  Conference members agreed to top line spending targets for each bill that comply with the Budget Control Act.  Specifically, they agreed to $19.6 billion for the Agriculture–FDA bill ($2.4 billion above the House-passed level, and $200 million below the Senate-passed level), $52.7 billion for the Commerce–Justice–Science bill ($2.5 billion more than the House proposed level, and level with the Senate-passed bill), and $55.6 billion for the Transportation–Housing and Urban Development bill ($400 million above the House-proposed level and $300 million above the Senate-passed level).

Negotiators were very courteous to one another during the conference committee meeting, stating their intentions to work together to complete the FY 2012 appropriations bills before the end of the calendar year.  House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) stated that the conferees have been instructed to keep their schedules open over the upcoming Congressional recess period to complete negotiations on the minibus package before November 14.  The House and Senate are expected to pass the first minibus bill during the week of November 14, before the current continuing resolution (CR) expires on November 18.  The minibus package will likely include an additional CR to extend funding for programs under the remaining appropriations bills through mid-December to provide additional time for Congress to complete its work.

While negotiators have agreed to top line funding levels for each appropriations bill, there are still discrepancies between the House and Senate on programs within the bills that will need to be worked out.  This includes emergency aid to states for recent natural disasters and funding for transportation projects through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants program, among others.  Funding for science and education programs within these appropriations measures has not been highlighted as an area of contention, and in fact, research agencies are faring quite well in receiving funding that is flat or slightly below current levels.

Appropriators have stated that they may attach additional, less controversial spending bills to this minibus appropriations package such as the Legislative Branch bill and the Homeland Security bill.  The Senate is expected to consider a second minibus package in the coming week which may include the Energy and Water Development bill, the Financial Services bill, and the State and Foreign Operations bill.



This post includes content provided by ASPB's external government relations consultant, Lewis-Burke Associates LLC.


Tags:  appropriations  Congress  House  Senate 

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House Ag Committee to hold hearing on agricultural biotechnology

Posted By Adam Fagen, Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture will hold a public hearing on Thursday, June 23, to review the opportunities and benefits of agricultural biotechnology.

Testifying at the hearing will be three witnesses:

Live streaming video of the hearing should be available below at 11 a.m. EDT and/or on the House Agriculture Committee website at http://agriculture.edgeboss.net/wmedia-live/agriculture/22732/300_agriculture-1300_070716.asx.

 


Additional information:

Tags:  Congress  GMO  House 

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ALERT: USDA appropriations amendments could be catastrophic to USDA research

Posted By Adam Fagen, Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives will be considering H.R. 2112, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2012.  This is the bill that provides funding for USDA and other agencies for fiscal year 2012.

Several amendments have been proposed that would have a catastrophic impact on funding for USDA research.

In particular, an amendment (H.AMDT.428) from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) would cut $1.8 billion from USDA including a cut of $650 million from the Agricultural Research Service (a 65% cut!), $85 million from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, $43 from the Economic Research Service, and $1.04 billion from the Food for Peace Grants.

We urge you to contact your Congressional representatives IMMEDIATELY and urge them to oppose Rep. Chaffetz's amendment and any amendments that would be harmful to research.

There are several other amendments proposed that would impact funding for USDA research.  We will update this blog post with more details.

You can find contact information for your representative by entering your zip code at the top of the website for the House of Representatives.


EVENING UPDATE

Thank you for your calls!  Rep. Chaffetz's amendment failed on a vote of 83-338.  No other amendments passed that have any significant effect on the USDA research portfolio.

Tags:  alert  appropriations  House  USDA 

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ASPB member Beth Hood testifies before House Appropriations subcommittee

Posted By Adam Fagen, Monday, March 14, 2011
ASPB Public Affairs Committee member Elizabeth Hood testified on behalf of ASPB before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies at a March 11 Outside Witness hearing.



Hood spoke in support of funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the $7.767 billion requested for fiscal year 2012.  While recognizing the difficult fiscal environment faced by the nation, Hood’s testimony emphasized that investments in scientific research will be a critical step toward economic recovery.

Hood mentioned that "the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences is a critical source of funding for scientific research, providing 68 percent of the federal support for non-medical basic life sciences research at U.S. academic institutions.”  "Despite the fact that basic plant biology research—the kind of research funded by the NSF—underpins so many vital practical considerations, the amount invested in understanding the basic function and mechanisms of plants is relatively small when compared with the impact plants have on our economy and in addressing some of the nation’s most urgent challenges such as food and energy security.”

Among the high impact programs supported by NSF is the Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP), which has laid a strong scientific research foundation for understanding plant genomics as it relates to energy (biofuels), health (nutrition and functional foods), agriculture (impact of changing climates on agronomic ecosystems), and the environment (plants’ roles as primary producers in ecosystems).  Hood asked that PGRP be restored as a separate line within the NSF budget, as in years past, and be funded at the highest possible level.

Hood also spoke in support of NSF’s career and workforce development programs—including graduate traineeships, fellowships, and career transition awards—as well NSF’s diversity programs and the research the agency supports on teaching and learning.

Hood is distinguished professor of agriculture at Arkansas State University.  ASPB’s complete written testimony may be found at http://bit.ly/e9RftK.


Additional information:

Tags:  appropriations  Congress  House 

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Amendment to House CR proposes to eliminate funds for DOE biological and environmental research

Posted By Adam Fagen, Wednesday, February 16, 2011
One of the 500+ House amendments offered on the Continuing Resolution (CR) that would cut $100B from the federal budget would eliminate funding for biological and environmental research (BER) within the Department of Energy's Office of Science.

The amendment, offered by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), reads as follows:

Amendment No. 304: At the end of the bill (before the short title) insert the following new section:

Sec. 4002. None of the funds provided by this Act under the heading ``Department of Energy, Science'' shall be available for biological and environmental research authorized under subtitle G of title IX of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16311 et seq.).

Rep. McClintock has offered a second amendment (no. 305) that removes the funding that would otherwise be appropriated to BER under the CR.  Rep. McClintock represents the 4th district of California, which includes the northeast corner of the state, including most of the state north and east of Sacramento.


We believe that Rep. McClintock has offered his amendment in order to eliminate climate change research.  But BER also supports a significant amount of research unrelated to climate change, including fundamental and applied research in support of DOE's energy, environment, and basic research missions, such as the development of biofuels.

Among the programs that could be shuttered if these cuts are enacted would be the three Bioenergy Research Centers: BioEnergy Science Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center at the University of Wisconsin, and Joint BioEnergy Institute at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  It could also mothball a number of BER user facilities including the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Atmospheric Radiation Measurement, and the Joint Genome Institute.

ASPB urges you to add threats to DOE's biological and environmental research portfolio to your talking points when you contact your Congressional representative.


Additional information:

Tags:  appropriations  Congress  DOE  House 

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House Continuing Resolution for FY2011 contains $100 billion in cuts

Posted By Adam Fagen, Monday, February 14, 2011
On Friday evening, the House Appropriations Committee released its bill to fund the government through the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2011.  The bill would cut $100 billion from President Obama's proposed budget for FY2011, including catastrophic cuts for the science agencies that support research in plant biology.

See ASPB's Urgent Action Alert for more information about the proposed cuts.

ASPB members and others are encouraged to reach out to their Representatives and Senators to ask them to support research funding and oppose cuts to the budgets for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the DOE Office of Science, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  House members will be voting on these proposed cuts this week, and the final budget bill will have to be passed by the Senate as well.  You can find your Representative’s contact information on the House of Representatives website and your Senators’ contact information on the Senate website.

When calling the offices, ask to speak with the science or appropriations staffer or to leave a message.  Simply ask them to support funding for science agencies, explaining that basic research and science education are vital to maintaining America’s competitiveness and give examples of how cuts would impact your research activities.  Remind them of the critical role that science has in fostering innovation, which leads to jobs and a healthy economy—these cuts will not only have dire short-term consequences but will hurt our long-term success for years to come.  You could also point out that federal support for research leads to jobs in local communities, including the talented graduate students, postdocs, and other personnel in your own labs and institutions working to address vital priorities in areas like food and energy security.

The House is expected to debate the continuing resolution this week, so please call as soon as possible.

Tags:  appropriations  Congress  House 

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House Appropriations Committee begins to identify spending cuts

Posted By Adam Fagen, Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Details are starting to be revealed on how the House Appropriations Committee will realize $74 billion in cuts from President Obama's proposed fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget.  Although the broad number was released last week, these are first details about where the cuts will be proposed.

A statement from committee chair Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), released today, provides a partial list of 70 spending cuts that will be included in the upcoming House Continuing Resolution (CR) bill.  A CR would carry federal spending through the end of the fiscal year on September 30.  The government is currently operating on a CR that is in effect through March 4, 2011.

Although more specific details will emerge over the next few days and weeks, here are the proposed cuts in programs of interest to the ASPB community:
  • Department of Energy Office of Science:  $1.1 billion
  • National Institutes of Health:  $1 billion
  • Agriculture research:  $246 million
  • National Science Foundation:  $139 million
In his statement, Chairman Rodgers acknowledged the pain these cuts would cause:

Make no mistake, these cuts are not low-hanging fruit.  These cuts are real and will impact every District across the country - including my own.  As I have often said, every dollar we cut has a constituency, an industry, an association, and individual citizens who will disagree with us.

It should be noted that these are cuts proposed by the House Appropriations Committee which must not only pass the full House but also pass the Senate and be signed by President Obama.  Therefore, it's unlikely that the final FY2011 budget will experience such deep cuts, but it is clear that this is a tough budget environment.


Additional information:

Tags:  appropriations  Congress  House 

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House Appropriations Committee sets spending cuts for FY11

Posted By Adam Fagen, Friday, February 04, 2011
House Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) has outlined the spending cuts for each of the twelve appropriations subcommittees.

The House Budget Committee had previously outlined an overall budget $74 billion below the President's request and $35 billion below fiscal year (FY) 2010 appropriations.  Rep. Rogers allocated the cuts to each of the subcommittees that together set the House's budget levels for the federal government.

These cuts are for FY2011 budget, which will fund the government through September 30, 2011 (the government's fiscal year begins on October 1 of the previous year).

Rep. Rogers' statement says that cuts will not be across-the-board but target specific programs:

"To accomplish this goal [of cutting $74 billion], I am instructing each of the twelve Appropriations subcommittees to produce specific, substantive and comprehensive spending cuts. We are going go line by line to weed out and eliminate unnecessary, wasteful, or excess spending – and produce legislation that will represent the largest series of spending reductions in the history of Congress. These cuts will not be easy, they will be broad and deep, they will affect every Congressional district, but they are necessary and long overdue.
 
"With this CR, we will respond to the millions of Americans who have called on this Congress to rein in spending and help our economy grow and our businesses create jobs. It is my intention –and that of my Committee – to craft a responsible, judicious CR that will significantly reduce government spending, begin to get our nation’s finances in order so that the economy can thrive, and provide essential resources for our national security.”

Details of the proposed cuts have not been released yet, but here are the bottom line number for each subcommittee's area of responsibility:
  • The Commerce, Justice, Science subcommittee would see a cut of $10.2 billion (16%) below FY2010.  This subcommittee includes jurisdiction for NSF.
  • The Agriculture, Rural Development and FDA subcommittee would see a cut of $3.2 billion (14%) below FY2010.  This subcommittee includes jurisdiction for USDA.
  • The Energy and Water Development subcommittee would see a cut of $3.5 billion (10%) blow FY2010.  This subcommittee includes jurisdiction for DOE.
  • The Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education subcommittee would see a cut of $6.6 billion (4.4%) below FY2010.  This subcommittee includes jurisdiction for NIH.
It should be noted that these target cuts only apply to the House.  It is not expected that the Senate or White House will be willing to go along with such substantial budget reductions.


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Tags:  appropriations  Congress  House 

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Democratic members of House Appropriations subcommittees named

Posted By Adam Fagen, Saturday, January 22, 2011
A couple of weeks ago, we told you about the Republican chairs and members of the House Appropriations subcommittees.  Now the Democrats have made their subcommittee assignments:

Agriculture Subcommittee (jurisdiction for USDA, FDA, other agencies)
  • Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Ranking Member
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
  • Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
  • Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)

Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee (jurisdiction for NSF, NASA, OSTP, Commerce, Justice, others)
  • Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Ranking Member
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)
  • Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA)
  • Rep. José Serrano (D-NY)

Energy and Water Subcommittee (jurisdiction for Energy, Interior, others)
  • Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN), Ranking Member
  • Rep. Ed Pastor (D-AZ)
  • Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
  • Rep. John Olver (D-MA)

Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee (jurisdiction for NIH, Education, Labor, others)
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Ranking Member
  • Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY)
  • Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)
  • Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
  • Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Tags:  Congress  House 

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House Appropriations Committee names GOP members and chairs of subcommittees

Posted By Adam Fagen, Friday, January 07, 2011
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), chair of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations, has named the chairs and Republican members of the Appropriations Subcommittees.  Each subcommittee has jurisdiction for developing appropriations bills for agencies within their jurisdiction.

Here are the Republican members of the subcommittees with most relevance to the ASPB community:


Agriculture Subcommittee (jurisdiction for USDA, FDA, other agencies)
  • Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), Chair
  • Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA)
  • Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO)
  • Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)
  • Rep. Cynthia Lummins (R-WY)
  • Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-MS)
  • Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA)

Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee (jurisdiction for NSF, NASA, OSTP, Commerce, Justice, others)
  • Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), Chair
  • Rep. John Culberson (R-TX)
  • Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)
  • Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL)
  • Rep. Steve Austria (R-OH)
  • Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA)
  • Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS)

Energy and Water Subcommittee (jurisdiction for Energy, Interior, others)
  • Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Chair
  • Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
  • Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)
  • Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-MT)
  • Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA)
  • Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR)
  • Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-MS)

Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee (jurisdiction for NIH, Education, Labor, others)
  • Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-MT), Chair
  • Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
  • Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA)
  • Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA)
  • Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX)
  • Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)
  • Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
  • Rep. Cynthia Lummins (R-WY)

Tags:  appropriations  Congress  House 

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House passes COMPETES reauthorization

Posted By Adam Fagen, Tuesday, December 21, 2010
This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the America COMPETES reauthorization, approving the version which passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent last Friday.  Among other provisions, the bill provides reauthorization for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  COMPETES provides three years of authorization and sets a doubling path for those agencies over the next 12 years.  It also authorizes ongoing support for the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).  As an authorization bill, however, the legislation does not actually provide funding.

The final tally in the House was 228-130, with 16 Republicans joining all 212 voting Democrats in support of the bill.  Those Republicans voting for the bill were Representatives Roscoe Bartlett (MD), Judy Biggert (IL), Brian Bilbray (CA), Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Bill Cassidy (LA), Michael Castle (DE), Charles Dent (PA), Vernon Ehlers (MI), Jim Gerlach (PA), Timothy Johnson (IL), Christopher Lee (NY), Michael McCaul (TX), Tom Reed (NY), David Reichert (WA), Chris Smith (NJ), and Frank Wolf (VA).

In what are likely to be among his final remarks on the floor of the House, retiring Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), Chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, made the case for passage:

Science funding is the engine of a knowledge-based economy. If we remove it, our economy will crash and burn. 

If we are to reverse the trend of the last twenty years, during which our country’s technological edge in the world has diminished, we must make the investments necessary today.

...While there have been concessions made in light of the economic environment, this bill preserves the intent of the Rising Above the Gathering Storm report and the original COMPETES. It keeps our basic research agencies on a doubling path, it continues to invest in high-risk, high-reward energy technology development, it will help improve STEM education, and it will help unleash the American spirit of innovation. 
 
COMPETES is and will continue to be a Bipartisan, Bicameral effort about which every member can feel proud.

...I cannot think of anything I would rather be doing, for what is likely my final act on this House Floor after 26 years of service, than sending this bill to the president’s desk.

...The business community has urged us to pass this bill to support research, foster innovation, and improve education.
 
The academic community has urged us to pass this bill to support research, foster innovation, and improve education.
 
The scientific community has urged us to pass this bill to support research, foster innovation, and improve education.
 
And every one of our colleagues in the Senate has agreed that this bill needs to be sent to the President’s desk so the U.S. can support research, foster innovation, and improve education and create 21st century jobs. 
 
I urge my colleagues to stand with the business community, the academic community, and the scientific community to send a strong message that the U.S. must maintain its scientific and economic leadership.


The White House applauded passage of the COMPETES legislation.  In a blog posting this afternoon, John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, said: "It is heartening that Congress today recognized that the maintenance of America’s global leadership in science, technology, and innovation transcends politics and partisanship.  Full funding of the COMPETES Act is among the most important things that Congress can do to ensure America’s continued leadership in the decades ahead."

Tags:  COMPETES Act  Congress  House 

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Contact your Representative about COMPETES Reauthorization

Posted By Adam Fagen, Monday, December 20, 2010
As reported here last week, the Senate passed its version of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act on Friday.  That means that the House will have to pass the Senate version for the bill to go on to the White House for President Obama's signature.

ASPB encourages its members--as well as their colleagues, friends, and neighbors--to call their Representative and urge support for the COMPETES Reauthorization.

See the December 20 issue of the ASPB Washington Report for additional information.

Visit the House website to find contact information for your Representative.

Tags:  COMPETES Act  Congress  House 

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