Bill to be Signed into Law to Reauthorize the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program
A bill to reauthorize and amend the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), S. 1768, was sent to the President’s desk on 27 November 2018. NEHRP was established by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 to improve the understanding of earthquakes and their effects, develop methods to reduce the impacts of earthquakes, and improve communities’ earthquake resilience.
Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act Becomes Law
The President signed the Department of Energy (DOE) Research and Innovation Act (H.R. 589) into law on 28 September
2018. Bills sponsors Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), who serve as Chair and Ranking
Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, respectively, stressed the importance of the legislation
providing comprehensive authorization of the DOE Office of Science for the first time.
What’s in Store for FY 2019 Federal Science Spending?
Congress is currently in the process of working through the 12 appropriation bills that will determine the federal funding for fiscal year 2019. As of the July 4 congressional recess, funding bills that cover NSF, NASA, NOAA, DOI and EPA have moved in both the House and the Senate.
Research and Technology Subcommittee Tackles the Issue of Sexual Harassment
On 27 February 2018, four witnesses appeared before the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology during a hearing entitled A Review of Sexual Harassment and Misconduct in Science. During the opening statements, Chairwoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) and Ranking Member Dan Lipinski (D-IL) explained that the hearing was being held to explore how misconduct, specifically sexual harassment, is affecting the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in STEM fields, and how different stakeholders are responding to the problem.
FY 2018 Spending Closer to Finish Line, FY 2019 Process Begins
On 9 February, a budget deal that raises spending caps for Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019, provides $89 billion in emergency spending, and continues funding the government through 22 March, was signed into law. Just a few days later on 12 February, the Administration released its Fiscal Year 2019 budget request.
Climate Science Day on Capitol Hill
On 30-31 January, scientists from around the country conducted nearly 60 congressional meetings as part of the eighth annual Climate Science Day on Capitol Hill.
Geosciences Action on the Hill
The geosciences have been getting attention on the Hill amidst a busy legislative calendar. Legislation regarding landslides, geologic mapping, geothermal energy development, and volcanoes move through a House Committee and the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act of 2017 (S. 1768), cleared the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on 13 December.
The legislative and executive branches are taking steps to decrease what President Trump calls a “strategic vulnerability” brought about by U.S. dependence on imports for certain non-fuel mineral commodities.