Current Events in Science Policy
weekly news update

May 25, 2015

Edited by Kate Stoll, Senior Policy Advisor, MIT Washington Office


The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806) proposes cuts to National Science Foundation directorates of Geosciences and Social Behavioral and Economic sciences, as well as alternative energy research at the Department Of Energy. The bill passed in the House by a vote of 217-205, mostly along party lines. President Obama issued a veto threat on the bill, and the NSF and the DOE voiced objections to the bill.


On the appropriations side, the House Commerce-Justice-Science Committee approved a bill that would dictate new priorities at the National Science Foundation and NASA. The bill prioritizes exploration over earth sciences and Space Technology research at NASA, and prioritizes biology, computing, engineering, math and physical sciences over geosciences and social and behavioral sciences at NSF.,


A bipartisan bill that aims to streamline clinical trials and approval for new drugs and devices by the Food and Drug Administration and boost NIH funding, passed through full committee review with a unanimous vote of 51-0. The 21st Century Cures bill (H.R. 6) authorizes $10 billion in new mandatory funding for the National Institute of Health. The bill also authorizes additional funding for the FDA along with additional reporting requirements.


The House passes the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015, legislation that would make permanent the R&D tax credit. The Obama administration supports making the credit permanent, but threatened to veto the legislation because it did not include an offset to pay for the $180 billion in lost tax revenue over the next ten years.

Weekly news digests do not imply endorsement of any political positions, and are not intended to be comprehensive.