Highlights on the Hill for this Week
March 19, 1997
- National Science Board Nominees Reported Out by Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee - Cleared for Consideration on Floor
After being mired behind two highly controversial labor bills, nominations to the National Science Board reported out by the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee on Tuesday, March 18, 1997. This clears the nominations for consideration on the Senate floor which could take place this week.
Hopes for a budget agreement were raised as several leading GOP members indicated a willingness to compromise on tough budget issues like tax cuts and economic assumptions. However, statements by House Speaker Newt Gingrich on a possible delay of any tax cuts until the budget is balanced brought an unusual storm of criticism from House conservatives.
President Clinton meanwhile praised statements by Gingrich and Majority Leader Trent Lott favoring the tax cut delay and called for congressional leaders to meet with him at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the budget. While media reports indicated that the meeting could be used to lay the ground work for staff talks during the upcoming congressional Easter recess, beginning March 27, GOP members voiced pessimism over prospects for a early budget deal with the Administration.
It's Official: Ehlers Tapped by Sensenbrenner to Review U.S. Science Policy
In a development from last week, Science Committee Chairman Sensenbrenner appointed Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI) as Chairman of a Task Force to review and make recommendations on U.S. National Science Policy. This announcement comes after comments made by Ehlers at the NSF Reauthorization hearing and a meeting of the PCAST earlier in the month about the likelihood of such a review. Ehlers commented at the NSF hearing that the review was planned after discussions with House Speaker Newt Gingrich who, Ehlers maintained, has a great interest in the issue. Ehlers also noted at the hearing that while the vision of Vannevar Bush has served the nation well, it is time for a thorough review of U.S. Science Policy. "We need to rethink the science policy of the nation" Ehlers told the PCAST, "we don't have a science policy; we have a budget policy and I want to correct that."