Federal Relations

April 22, 2015

House Science Marks Up COMPETES Reauthorization

Today, the full House Science Committee marked up HR 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization bill, which the House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith introduced late last week. Thirty four amendments were offered for consideration over the five hour mark up, and these amendments largely fell along party lines. Several controversial amendments passed, while amendements to restore certain directorate’s funding or amend climate change provisions.

Highlights of some amendments considered include:

  • An amendment offered by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) to amend the bill and add “human activity impacts climate change” to the DOE Science mission.
  • An amendment offered by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) to officially authorize the Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) program, which passed.
  • An amendment offered by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) to direct and broaden DOE’s Fusion Energy Sciences. which passed.
  • An amendment offered by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici to have a report on STEAM education, which failed.

The amended bill was passed out of committee by a vote of 19-16, which was a party line vote. The next step for the bill is consideration by the full House. While there has been no definite timeline stated by House leadership as to consideration of HR 1806, it is expected to be considered soon.

The Office of Federal Relations will continue to monitor the bill and its progress.