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Congress Enacts Bipartisan Reauthorization of NSF, Other Federal Science Programs

January 6, 2017

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PRESS CONTACTS
Stephen Heinig, Director, Science Policy

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.”

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