Dueling updates this week about legislation reorganizing and reauthorizing the National Science Foundation provided only contradictory views of the bills’ future.
CRA Government Affairs
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Tag Archive: Endless Frontier Act
Last night, the Senate passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), which includes the Endless Frontier Act.
Over the last two months, competing visions of the future of the National Science Foundation have been making their way through the House and Senate. And much like the famous opening line of Tale of Two Cities, their paths could not be more dissimilar. On the House side, the National Science Foundation for the Future Act has made deliberative and bipartisan progress through the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Meanwhile, on the Senate side, the Endless Frontier Act has been introduced; pulled, reworked, and reintroduced; heavily amended during a marathon Senate Commerce Committee hearing; and is now before the full Senate undergoing another round of amendments. Very different paths.
Yesterday, Senator Schumer (D-NY), the Senate Majority Leader, along with Senator Young (R-IN) and a bipartisan group of 10 other Senators, reintroduced the Endless Frontier Act (EFA), legislation that would authorize $100 billion in new funding for the National Science Foundation and make the agency responsible for maintaining the country’s global leadership in innovation. There is also a bipartisan version introduced in the House. Regular readers will recall that this bill was introduced last year and its reintroduction has been anticipated.
This week, in four different Congressional hearings, members of Congress got their first chance to weigh in on the multiple proposed changes to the National Science Foundation. Two of these hearings were with Congressional appropriators and concerned President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 “skinny” budget request that was released last week. The other two hearings were with the science authorizing committees – the House Science, Space and Technology Committee convened Thursday to consider “Reimagining our Innovation Future,” including some discussion of their newly introduced National Science Foundation for the Future Act, and the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee covered the yet to be reintroduced Endless Frontier Act from Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Young (R-IN). The good news is the initial reactions were mostly positive. However, there are concerns by some members about NSF’s ability to handle a large infusion of funds and whether it’s the right agency to secure the country’s competitiveness.
Last week, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the Democratic Leader in the Senate, introduced bipartisan legislation that would authorize $100 billion in new funding for the National Science Foundation and make the agency responsible for maintaining the country’s global leadership in innovation. The bill, called S. 3832 “The Endless Frontiers Act,” proposes a major reorganization of NSF and possibly a significant change to the culture of the agency.