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Senate Clears Reconciliation Package; House to Take It Up Friday

After a marathon series of votes on amendments over the weekend, the Senate cleared by a vote of 51-50 a version of the reconciliation budget package.  With all 50 Democrats supporting the measure and all 50 Republicans voting against it, Vice President Harris cast the tie-breaking vote.  Because the measure isa reconciliation bill, which provided it procedural protections, it could move forward in the Senate with a simple majority vote.

The House is currently scheduled to take it up on Friday.

We will provide further details about the bill  in the near future.

“CHIPS Plus” Bill Passed by Senate

By a vote of 64 to 33, the Senate adopted this afternoon the “CHIPS Plus” legislation.  While much of the press attention has been focused on the provisions related to semiconductor chips in the 1,000-plus page bill, most of the legislation is focused on the broader scientific research enterprise.  Although the legislation addresses, among other agencies, the Department of Energy, NASA, and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, the language on the National Science Foundation has been of the most interest to a significant portion of the academic community.

For example, the bill would authorize a new Technology, Innovation, and Partnership Directorate at the NSF, which would be charged with emphasizing applied research and commercialization.  Another set of provisions would greatly expand the scope of the ESPCOR program and require NSF, to the great extent practicable, to allocate 20 percent of all NSF research and education funds to institutions in EPSCOR states by FY2029; the bill calls for the set-asides to start at 15.5 percent starting in FY2023.  In the most recent year, about 13-14 percent of all funds went to such institutions.  

A section-by-section of the summary is available here.

The proponents of the legislation hope that the House will take it up before recessing for August this Friday.

FY2023 NOAA Congressional Budget Justification Available

Yesterday, NOAA made available its Congressional justification document for its FY2023 budget request.  The document, available here, calls for:

  • A total of $774.8 million for the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), the research office within NOAA.
    • Within OAR, climate research programs would be funded at $256.6 million and climate cooperative institutes would be funded at $108.7 million.
    • The base Sea Grant program would receive $76.3 million and the Sea Grant Aquaculture program would receive $13.3 million.
  • Within the National Ocean Service, the IOOS Regional Observation Network would receive $40.5 million under the budget proposal.


NSF Hosts Virtual Grants Conference

The National Science Foundation will host a virtual grants conference the week of June 6-10, 2022.

The conference will cover:

• New programs and initiatives
• NSF Directorate sessions
• Future directions and strategies for national science policy
• Proposal preparation and the merit review process
• Award management topics

Sign up here to be notified when registration is open.