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House Science Committee advancing R&D changes

March 23, 2017

The U.S. House Science Committee released a letter last week reasserting the majority party’s interest in setting R&D priorities for federal science agencies and supporting appropriation levels that generally align with the White House’s budget blueprint. The letter notes priorities for most of the $42 billion in R&D budgets within the committee’s purview, including the following:

  • NSF (and all agencies) would ensure all projects are in the “national interest” as defined by the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act;
  • NIST would have an unspecified level of funds appropriated away from the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Manufacturing USA toward general unspecified tech transition activities (Note: while the committee did not provide a funding level, the administration’s blueprint proposed eliminating all MEP funding);
  • Department of Energy would see more than $750 million in appropriations moved from ARPA-E, energy efficiency, renewal energy and environmental research projects and an increasing emphasis on supporting public access to lab facilities and tech transfer (aligns with the House-passed Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act); and,
  • NASA, which had its reauthorization bill signed into law earlier this month, would reinvest in planetary science and space missions while cutting $471 million from earth science.

The letter also addresses priorities at NOAA, FAA, Transportation, EPA, Homeland Security and the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

policy, congress, federal agency r&d, r&d