Category Archives: Legislation

HR 1572: Botanical Sciences and Native Plant Materials Research, Restoration, and Promotion Act

The bill, also referred to as the Botany bill, promotes botanical research and botanical sciences capacity, and for other purposes.

In general, the legislation would require the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Land Management, United States Geological Survey, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and such other agencies and instrumentalities as the Secretary determines appropriate, to support a robust program of intramural and extramural botanical science research as relevant and appropriate to support the Department’s land management responsibilities.

HR 3038: Securing American Science and Technology Act (SASTA) of 2019

To establish an interagency working group to coordinate activities and develop policy guidance to protect federally funded research and development from foreign interference, and for other purposes.

The bill would create a roundtable at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and an interagency working group within the White House, to serve as platforms for discussions among stakeholders on how to address issues of foreign influence on science and academic espionage.  

HR 3055: Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020

The bill provides appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the FY 2020.

On May 22, 2019, House appropriators approved funding increases for most science agencies that fall under the jurisdiction of the CJS appropriations:

  • The National Science Foundation would receive $8.64 billion, $561 million above the FY 2019 enacted level. President Trump had requested a $1 billion (-12.5 percent) cut to the agency. The Research and Related Activities Account, which includes the Biological Sciences Directorate, would receive $7.1 billion, an increase of $586 million or 8.9 percent.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would receive $22.3 billion in FY 2020, an increase of $815 million, with its science programs receiving $7.2 billion (+3.7 percent). NASA was slated for an overall 2 percent cut in the President’s budget, with its science programs facing an 8.7 percent cut.
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology would receive $ 1.04 billion (+$54.7 million), with $751 million (+3.7 percent) targeted to core research activities.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, slated for a nearly $1 billion budget cut under the President’s proposal, would receive a flat budget of $5.4 billion under the House bill. Funding would be targeted to priorities such as climate research, improvements in weather forecasting, reduction of harmful algal blooms, and fisheries management.

HR 36: Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act of 2019

This bill addresses sexual harassment in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields by supporting sexual harassment research and efforts to prevent and respond to sexual harassment.

This bill directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to award grants to institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations (or their consortia) to

  • expand research into sexual harassment in the STEM workforce, including students and trainees; and
  • examine interventions for reducing the incidence and negative consequences of such harassment.

The NSF must convene a working group composed of representatives of federal statistical agencies to develop questions on sexual harassment in STEM departments in order to gather national data on the prevalence, nature, and implications of such harassment in institutions of higher education.

The NSF shall enter into agreements with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to (1) update a responsible conduct guide issued by the National Academies, and (2) study the influence of sexual harassment in institutions of higher education on the career advancement of individuals in the STEM workforce.

The National Science and Technology Council shall establish an interagency working group to coordinate the federal science agencies’ efforts to reduce the prevalence of sexual harassment involving grant personnel.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy must develop a uniform set of policy guidelines for such agencies to prevent and respond to reports of sexual harassment.

H.J.Res.31: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019

This bill provides Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 appropriations for several federal departments and agencies. It includes 7 of the 12 regular FY 2019 appropriations bills:

  • the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019;
  • the Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2019;
  • the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019;
  • the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2019;
  • the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019;
  • the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2019; and
  • the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019.

The legislation became Public Law on February 15, 2019.  Read more.

HR 627: STEM Research and Education Effectiveness and Transparency Act

This bill directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to report on the effectiveness of all NSF research and education programs intended to broaden the participation of women and other historically underrepresented individuals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines and careers.

Each federal agency that expended at least $100 million on research and development in FY2017 shall annually submit to the NSF standardized record-level information on demographics, primary field, award type, review rating, budget request, funding outcome, and awarded budget for all applications for merit-reviewed research and development grants to institutions of higher education and federal laboratories. The first submission must include comparable record-level data for the five previous years.

The NSF shall publish statistical summaries of the data in conjunction with the required biennial reports on the participation of men and women in scientific and engineering positions.