Federal Science Partners Periodic Update

Federal Government Reopens Under Continuing Resolution; Runs Until February 15Last week, after a month of being shut down, those portions of the Federal Government that experienced a lapse in appropriations were re-opened when the Congress passed the President signed into a law a three-week continuing resolution (CR).  This CR provides funding for the agencies to operate until February 15.  In the interim, House and Senate conferees are meeting to try and resolve their differences on a border security initiative.  If they are successful, a conference report for the Department of Homeland Security would likely be combined with six previously House passed conference reports (Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies) and a disaster supplemental appropriations measure be into an omnibus appropriations act for FY 2019. A summary of the relevant portions of the conferenced House-Senate FY 2019 appropriations bills can be found here. It remains to be seen whether any funding for a border security wall will be included and, if not, what happens should the President veto the omnibus appropriations agreement.  Should the President veto the appropriations measure and the Congress not be able to override his veto, the Federal Government could be shutdown yet again.

House Science Committee Set to Hold Organizational Meeting – On February 6, the full House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will meet to approve the chair’s organizational plan for the committee for the 116th Congress.  Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) will chair the Committee.  Chairwoman Johnson has named the following Members as chairs of the various subcommittees:

Energy:  Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) will chair the Subcommittee on Energy.  The Democratic members of the subcommittee include: Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL); Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX); Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI); Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK); Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA); Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL); and Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL).

Environment:  Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX) will chair this subcommittee which has jurisdiction of weather, satellite, climate, Sea Grant and other NOAA programs as well as EPA research and development.  The Democratic members include: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR); Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA); Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY); Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL); Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL); Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT); and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA).

Research and Technology:  Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) will chair this subcommittee which has jurisdiction for the National Science Foundation, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Institutes for Standards and Technology; and other related matters.  Democratic members of this subcommittee include:  Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL); Rep. Mike Sherrill (D-NJ); Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA); Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY); Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT); Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN); and Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL).

Space and Aeronautics:  Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK) will chair this subcommittee with jurisdiction over NASA.  Democratic members include:   Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA); Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO); Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA); Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL); Rep. Katie Hill; and Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA).


Membership of the House and Senate Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittees Announced – In recent days the full House and Senate Appropriations Committees have announced the rosters for their various subcommittees.  The CJS Subcommittee oversees the funding for NSF, NASA, NOAA and the rest of the Department of Commerce.  Below is the membership of the House and Senate CJS Subcommittees for the 116th Congress.

House CJS Appropriations Subcommittee

Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY), Chairman

Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA)

Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)                    

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI)                                    

Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL)                                  

Rep. Ed Case (D-HI)                             

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)


Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Ranking Minority Member

Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL)

Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-MS)

Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA)


Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Chairman               

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)                                       

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)                                          

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)                                      

Sen. John Boozman (R-AR)

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)                                            


Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Ranking Minority Member

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)      

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)                                     

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)                                                 

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)                                             

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI)                                             

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)


NSF Issues Guidance on Changes to Proposal Submission and Due Dates as a Result of Shutdown – NSF has established a web page where it is posting changes in proposal submission dues dates and other changes necessitated by the lapse in appropriations the agency suffered in December and January.  The most up to date information on these changes can be found here.  NIH was not affected by the most recent shutdown, so it does not have to issue this kind of information with respect to its ongoing programs.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) Announces Funding for Regional Innovation Activities -- EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) manages the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program. Under the RIS Program, EDA currently awards grants that build regional capacity to translate innovations into jobs (1) through proof-of-concept and commercialization assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs and (2) through operational support for organizations that provide essential early-stage risk capital to innovators and entrepreneurs.  Two categories of funding are available: FY18 i6 Challenge is a leading national initiative designed to support the creation of centers for innovation and entrepreneurship that increase the rate at which innovations, ideas, intellectual property, and research are translated into products, services, viable companies, and jobs; and FY18 Seed Fund Support Program provides funding for technical assistance to support the creation, launch, or expansion of equity-based, cluster-focused seed funds that invest regionally-managed risk capital in regionally-based startups with a potential for high growth.  More information for these funding opportunities can be found here.

National Sea Grant Program Announces Funding for Lobster Research Initiative -- This initiative will support research to address critical gaps in knowledge about how the American Lobster and its fishery is being impacted by environmental change. It is informed by listening sessions with regional fishing industry stakeholders, state and federal fisheries managers, and university, state and federal fisheries researchers. Research topics suitable for study on American lobster under this FFO should have a geographic focus of the Gulf of Maine and/or Georges Bank and address one or more of the following: (1) Increased understanding of life history parameters, including but not limited to, migration, growth, and maturity; (2) Larval studies and early biology; (3) Spatial distribution; and (4) Socio-economic lessons learned from Southern New England as they pertain to Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine.  For each research topic above, special emphasis may be placed on the impact of warming temperatures.  A copy of the funding announcement can be found here.

EPA Announces Appointments to Science Advisory Board -- Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the appointment of members who will serve on the Science Advisory Board (SAB) and four subcommittees including; the Agricultural Science Committee (ASC), the Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee (CAAC), the Drinking Water Committee (DWC), and the Radiation Advisory Committee (RAC).  The nomination period for the SAB and its standing committees closed on August 8, 2018. The SAB Staff Office identified 174 candidates that have confirmed interest to serve on the Board and an additional 240 candidates that have confirmed interest to serve on the four SAB subcommittees. Each of the candidates submitted bio-sketches and their curricula vitae. The List of Candidates was posted on the SAB website for a 21-day public comment period that closed the second week of November 2018. In FY 2018 the SAB had 44 members. Of those, 29 members had terms which do not expire and thus remain on the board. Seven SAB members completed their terms of service in FY 2018. Eight current members of the SAB are timing out of their first term and are eligible for reappointment to their second term. All eight of these first-term members were appointed during the prior administration, and all eight will be reappointed by Acting Administrator Wheeler to serve for a second three-year term.  Acting Administrator Wheeler appointed eight new board members to bring the total SAB membership to 45 for FY 2019. A list of the appointments to the SAB and its subcommittees can be found here.