Federal Science Partners Periodic Update

House of Representatives Continues Passing Appropriations Legislation While U.S. Government Remains in Partial Shutdown – Last week the House of Representatives kept up with its efforts to pass FY 2019 appropriations legislation in an effort to reopen those portions of the U.S. Government that have been shutdown since December 21 due to a lapse in appropriations.  When the 116th Congress convened during the first week in January, they passed an omnibus appropriations bill that included six of the seven unfinished appropriations bills as an omnibus appropriations measure and then in a separate measure, the House passed a continuing resolution (H.J. Res 1) to extend funding for the Department of Homeland Security until February 8. The six bills in the House package (H.R. 21) are primarily the Senate’s versions of the following bills: Commerce-Justice-Science; Interior-Environment; Transportation-Housing; Agriculture; Financial Services; and State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Acts. It passed 241-190. 

Last week, the House began passing some of the individual components of the omnibus as stand-alone appropriations bills. As they did for the omnibus, the House used the Senate approved version of these bills upon which they voted and passed the bills, including: Financial Services; Agriculture; Interior and Environment; and Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.  This week, the House is expected to take up H.R. 268, the Disaster Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2019 which includes over $12 billion for emergency assistance related to damage from hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters. The Senate Majority Leader has shown little interest in taking up these House passed measures. 

Given the stalemate between the President and his insistence on funding for a border security wall and Democrats who strongly oppose further funding for the wall, the U.S. Government remains partially shutdown.  Agencies currently in shutdown mode include: the National Science Foundation, NASA, NOAA, EPA, USGS, the National Park Service, the Bureau of the Census, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Coast Guard, and others.  Those personnel designated as “essential” at those agencies remain on the job performing their duties, albeit currently without compensation.  Legislation has been passed and is expected to be signed into law guaranteeing back pay for those federal employees currently impacted by the shutdown.  Agencies not shutdown because their appropriations have been enacted into law for the fiscal year include: the Department of Defense; the Department of Health and Human Services including the NIH; the Department of Education; the Department of Labor; the Department of Energy; and the Veterans Administration.

Long Range Broad Area Announcement Released by Navy for Science and Technology -- The Office of Naval Research (ONR), ONR Global (ONRG), and the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL) are interested in receiving proposals for Long-Range Science and Technology (S&T) Projects which offer potential for advancement and improvement of Navy and Marine Corps operations. Readers should note that this is an announcement to declare ONR’s broad role in competitive funding of meritorious research across a spectrum of science and engineering disciplines.  Research areas that ONR is pursuing is provided at the ONR website. Click on the research area of interest for a brief description of that research area being pursued by ONR. Potential offerors are urged to check the website throughout the year for updates to research areas. Prior to preparing proposals, potential offerors are strongly encouraged to contact the ONR point of contact (POC) identified for each research area. The POC for each research area will be listed at the bottom of each research area page.

The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL) utilizes concept-based experimentation as a primary means to explore both material and non-material solutions enabling warfighting concepts. The concept-based experimentation process provides the unique opportunity to assess the utility of experimental technologies employed in operational scenarios and environments. MCWL leverages ONR’s science and technology efforts to inform and support the concept-based experimentation process. ONR Code 30 thrusts and technology investment areas support MCWL science and technology interests. Because ONR and MCWL focus on technologies of different maturity levels (TRL), offerors responding to ONR Code 30 thrusts and research areas are encouraged to submit white papers to both organizations for wider consideration. Amplifying instructions on White Paper submissions to MCWL can be found here.

A copy of the BAA with full instructions on submitting White Papers and Proposals can be found here.