(Credit: EPA) EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt pushed back on criticism that his agency has bent to industry influence, telling a congressional committee Thursday that science remains “essential” to the promulgation of policies and regulations affecting the environment and public health. (From USA Today/ By Ledyard King) -- Several Democrats on the House Commerce [...]
Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll (Map credit: NOAA) Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that President Trump scale back four more national monuments — two on land and two in the Pacific — and make modifications to at least four more, continuing an unprecedented blitz of presidential action to ease restriction on public [...]
What Passed The budget reconciliation process was used for tax reform last month in both chambers. The House passed their tax reform plan (H.R. 1) along party lines, which included provisions to impose taxes on graduate student tuition waivers and to end deductions of amount paid on student loan interest. The Senate version, which [...]
(Credit: AccuWeather) What It Was The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a nomination hearing to consider presidential nominee Mr. Barry Myers (CEO, AccuWeather, Inc.) to serve as the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Why It Matters Executive leadership is vital to, implementing missions, executing projects, creating an organizational [...]
Northwest Passage (Credit: NASA) What It Was A coalition of geoscience organizations and Representative Don Young (AK-At-large) hosted a briefing in the Geosciences and the U.S. Economy Series titled, “Geosciences in the Artic: Permafrost, Energy, and Trade Routes in the Last Frontier.” Why It Matters The United States is an Arctic nation [...]
A Senate committee approved Kathleen Hartnett White, a climate change skeptic and former chairwoman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, for a top environmental post Wednesday. Voting along party lines, the Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee approved White to head the Council on Environmental Quality. Her nomination must be approved by the full Senate before she is confirmed.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA, H.R. 2810) passed the House (356-70) and Senate (by voice vote) this week. The 21st Century Flood Reform Act (H.R. 2874) passed the House (237-189). Activities of the U.S. military, ranging from understanding our ocean and providing disaster relief to enforcing laws and providing medical assistance, are authorized each year by the NDAA. Many provisions relate to the safety and security of our nation and our military, making this a must-pass bill that has been passed 55 years in a row.
(Click to enlarge) Map of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). (Credit: USGS) What It Was Both chambers worked on tax reform bills, which are advancing through the budget reconciliation process. The House’s bill, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), passed the chamber along a largely party-line vote (227-205) and includes a [...]
The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a markup on four science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) bills (STEM Research and Education Effectiveness and Transparency Act (H.R. 4375), Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act (H.R. 4323), Women in Aerospace Education Act (H.R. 4254), and Building Blocks of STEM Act (H.R. 3397)) and on three bills promoting research at the Department of Energy (Department of Energy Research Infrastructure Act of 2017 (H.R. 4376), Accelerating American Leadership in Science Act of 2017 (H.R. 4377), and Nuclear Energy Research Infrastructure Act of 2017 (H.R. 4378)). All seven bills passed out of committee by voice vote.
The Sea Grant Association, in conjunction with Representatives Lee Zeldin (NY-1) and Joe Courtney (CT-2), hosted a briefing, “Using science and outreach to assist state and local decision makers in disaster preparedness and public safety.” Hurricanes Maria, Harvey, Irma, and Nate, along with raging wildfires, have wreaked havoc on the lives of Americans this year, leading Congress to appropriate $50 billion in emergency disaster aid since September. Sea Grant supports research that seeks to understand natural disasters, how humans and nature respond, and how to prepare for the future based on past outcomes.
The Strengthening the Economy with Critical Untapped Resources to Expand (SECURE) American Energy Act (H.R. 4239) was discussed in a hearing by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. The next day, it was marked up by the full committee, passing along a nearly party line vote (19-14).
The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved the nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) to be NASA Administrator this morning on a party-line vote. The committee also approved Neil Jacobs to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction on a voice vote. The nominations next will go to the full Senate for a vote. Dates have not been announced.