The House of Representatives Dec. 16 passed by unanimous consent American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (S.3084), which reauthorizes the America COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69). The Senate Dec. 10 approved the bill before adjourning.
The bill, introduced by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.), reauthorizes annual appropriations for the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and other federal science programs. The House took advantage of a procedural rule to approve the bill shortly before the 114th Congress adjourned. The President is expected to sign the bipartisan bill.
The AAMC joined more than 150 organizations on a letter expressing concerns that the House version of the bill (H.R. 1806) would “negatively affect NSF and the scientific community that relies on NSF” [see Washington Highlights, April 24, 2015]. However, the final bill excludes directorate-level funding authorizations as well as the provision to require the funding’s use to be specifically in “the national interest.”