NSF & Congress
Focusing on NSF-funded research on Capitol Hill; Congress passes Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act; NSF Inspector General testifies at Senate hearing; Government operations funded through April
February 17, 2017
NSF and the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) hosted an event, The Arc of Science: Research to Results, on Capitol Hill on Feb. 15 to showcase for new and returning members of Congress and congressional staff some of the real-word benefits made possible by NSF investments in basic research. NSF Director France Córdova, House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Committee Ranking Minority Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and Research and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Minority Member Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) were featured speakers. Reps. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Paul D. Tonko (D-NY), and Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and more than 200 others, including House and Senate staff, attended the event, joining in hands-on demonstrations and discussions with NSF-supported researchers who took part in the event.
On Feb. 14, 2017, the Senate passed H.R. 255, the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act, by unanimous consent. Introduced by Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), the bill would amend the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act to authorize NSF to "encourage its entrepreneurship programs to recruit and support women to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world." The House passed H.R. 255 on Jan. 10 by voice vote. The Senate action clears the measure to be sent to the White House for the President's signature.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a hearing on Feb. 8 to receive recommendations from four inspectors general for improving federal agencies. NSF Inspector General Allison C. Lerner testified, along with the Inspectors General of the Commerce Department (Peggy E. Gustafson), Homeland Security Department (John Roth), and Transportation Department (Calvin L. Scovel III). The four agencies are under the committee’s jurisdiction.
Federal agencies including NSF continue to operate under a continuing resolution (CR) that funds the government through April 28, 2017. Passed last December, the CR maintained the $1.07 trillion budget cap and extended current funding levels for most agencies. Congress will have to act to fund government operations beyond the last week of April.
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A special website for NSF Days is now available.