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NSF Congressional Highlight

113th Congress Convenes

January 8, 2013

On January 3rd, members of the House and Senate convened the first session of the 113th Congress. In the House, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) takes over as the chair of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) is the new chair of the Subcommittee on Research. The Democrats on the committee will be announced next week. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) continues as the chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. The Republican Conference has not yet approved a ranking member for the 113th Congress.

Among the major issues facing the new Congress in the coming weeks are sequestration and fiscal year (FY) 2013 appropriations. The recent "fiscal cliff" deal delayed across-the-board spending cuts in discretionary government programs for two months. If Congress does not act by March 1, about $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts will go into effect. Congress must also act on an appropriations bill for the remainder of FY 2013. The continuing resolution now funding government agencies, including NSF, goes through March 27th.