Federal Relations

NDAA Sent to Senate

The House passed HR 3979 the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a vote of 300-119. The Senate is expected to take up and pass the measure next week. The measure, which must be passed annually, authorizes all Pentagon and defense-related programs for the fiscal year. In FY15, the measure authorizes $577.1 billion for the

Patent Reform Legislation Pulled from Agenda

Consideration of comprehensive patent legislation appears to be off the agenda for the year after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy (D-VT) pulled it from his committee’s agenda on Wednesday. He cited frustration with unproductive negotiations as the reason for the turnaround. The measure had been slated for consideration by the committee today but less than

House Committee to Consider the FIRST Act

On Wednesday, the House Science Committee will mark up HR 4186, the FIRST Act, a bill which will reauthorize NIST, NSF and a host of other federal science-focused programs. This is the 113th Congress’s version of the America COMPETES reauthorization. While in previous Congresses this legislation has been bipartisan and uncontroversial, the FIRST Act has

OSTP Accepting Summer Intern Applications

The Office of Science and Technology Policy is currently accepting applications for its Summer 2014 Internship Program.  The application deadline is 11:59pm Friday, March 7.  Students who are U.S. citizens and who will be actively enrolled during the 2014 academic year are welcome to apply. More information and application instructions are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/about/student/. About OSTP.  The Office

This Week in Congress

The Senate resumes its gun control debate this week, beginning today with the most substantive and contentious issue: a bipartisan proposal to require background checks of gun purchasers in commercial and Internet sales. It’s the start of deliberations that could keep that chamber busy until the Memorial Day recess. We also expect to see an

Summary of President’s FY14 Budget Request

Yesterday, President Obama released his FY14 budget request — nearly two months later than required by law. Much of the delay was blamed on the sequester and the prolonged FY13 appropriations process that resulted in a year-long continuing resolution (CR). In a typical year, the President’s Budget Request (PBR) kicks off the annual appropriations season,

DHS Announces New Honors Program

Yesterday, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the creation of the Secretary’s Honors Program (SHP), a new initiative to recruit exceptional recent graduates for careers at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Qualified candidates for the SHP compete for a limited number of positions across the Department, and are selected based on their academic

This Week in Congress

Congress is back in session today after a two-week break for the Easter holiday.  Appropriators in both chambers will begin moving FY 2013 annual appropriations bills this week.  The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday will start marking up its spending bills for FY 2013 with a goal of cutting federal spending by a little more

President’s FY12 Budget Request

Today, President Obama released a $3.73 trillion budget request for FY12. The White House estimates that the request and projections for spending in the out-years would reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next decade. Despite reductions in overall spending, the request contains significant increases for research and development as well as some education programs.

National Education Technology Plan Unveiled

Education Secretary Arne Duncan released this week the Department’s plan for transforming American education through technology, a process that would create an engaging, state-of-the-art, cradle-to-college school system nationwide. The National Education Technology Plan was written and refined over a year and a half by leading education researchers, with input from the public, industry officials, and