America Competes bill goes down in flames


Last week,House Democratic leaders attempting to pass what historically been a bipartisan science bill supporting funding for the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy Office of Science and National Institute of Standards and Technology, were unsuccessful forcing them to pull America Competes from floor consideration when the Republicans slashed the measure’s funding levels through a motion that included language on pornography. Failing to pass the bill on two separate attempts, Democrats are furious in that this disappointing outcome effectively killed the US$85 billion legislation (HR 5116) which is focused on elevating U.S. economic competitiveness through federal support of various science and technology education and research programs. House Republican leaders also offered a motion to recommit the bill to the House Science and Technology, reduce levels for most programs and shorten the bill’s lifespan; fiscal years 2014 and 2015 would be dropped. As currently written, the America Competes Reauthorization Act would renew a 2007 law (PL 110-69) and authorize spending from fiscal 2011 through 2015 for research programs at the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Energy Department.

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