Federal Relations


June 10, 2015

Senate Approps Subcommittee Passes CJS

The Senate Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee passed the Senate’s FY16 CJS appropriations bill this morning. The $51.1  billion draft advanced by unanimous consent and would provide $7.3 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF), $5.4 billion for National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), $18.3 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and…

June 8, 2015

House Approps to Mark Up FY16 Interior Bill

The House is expected to mark up the FY16 Interior Appropriations bill this Wednesday. This bill provides funding to the National Endowment of the Humanities and forestry programs among other items.

Defense Money Starts Moving

The Senate Defense Approps Subcommittee will mark up its spending bill tomorrow, and the full Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to take it up the measure on Thursday. Simultaneously, the Senate will start the week with debate on dozens of amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which will be on the floor all week — the Senate is…

June 5, 2015

Senate Judiciary Approves PATENT Act, House Begins to Move on Innovation Act

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the PATENT Act by a vote of 16 to 4, with only Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chris Coons (D-DE), David Vitter (R-LA), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) voting against it. During consideration of the bill, the Committee approved an amendment offered by John Cornyn (R-TX) that alters the definition of micro-entity status…

June 3, 2015

House Passes CJS

Today, the House of Representatives passed HR 2578, the FY16  Commerce, Justice, Science bill by a vote of 242–183. Twelve Democrats voted for and ten Republicans voted against the $51.4 billion measure. The legislation had a host of amendments ranging from Cuba, bullets, immigration, to marijuana. Unfortunately, no amendments were offered on some of the most concerning provisions to the research community,…

June 1, 2015

House to Consider CJS

The House Rules will meet today to approve a rule for consideration of the FY2016 CJS Appropriations bill (H.R. 2578). The House will begin consideration of the bill beginning tomorrow at noon and possibly continuing through Thursday. As has been previously mentioned, the cuts to the measure and the report language accompanying the legislation have raised some…

Senate to Mark Up Patent Bill

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced that they will markup the PATENT Act on Thursday.  The House Judiciary Committee is still on hold on the Innovation Act.

May 21, 2015

Senate Releases “COMPETES” Bill

On Wednesday afternoon, as the House was working on passing its version of America COMPETES, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Corey Gardner (R-CO), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) today introduced the energy portion of America COMPETES. To give some perspective of the heavy hitters sponsoring this…

May 20, 2015

COMPETES Passes the House

After an interesting debate, the House narrowly passed HR 1806 – the America COMPETES Reauthorization of 2016 but a vote of 217-205. The bill was largely along party line vote with all Democrats and 23 Republicans voting against the measure. Earlier this week, the White House issued a veto threat. As previously discussed, the bill authorizes science…

OMB Letter of Concern to House Appropriators about FY16 CJS

As this process gets ever more interesting, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Sean Donovan sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee’s Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) about the draft FY16 CJS Appropriations bill. The letter expressed strong concern on the funding levels for science and innovation due…

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