May 2010 – News Archive

May 26, 2010
AAAS Policy Alert Extract

Budget News

Both congressional chambers continue to defer action on their FY 2011 budget resolutions.  Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) stated that chances are “fading” that the full Senate will pass a budget this year and he is now considering a “deeming” resolution to move the FY 2011 budget process along. A deeming resolution would set the discretionary spending levels for next year only, instead of the next five years as is typical in a full budget resolution. Conrad may add the deeming resolution to the supplemental defense appropriations bill scheduled for action this week. Negotiations on the House side are ongoing, but a compromise is unlikely before the Memorial Day recess.  The House and Senate have passed a final budget resolution only once, in 2008, in the last five election years.

The full Senate plans to discuss a $59 billion supplemental defense appropriations bill this week. A filibuster is expected, along with amendments to reduce or offset the cost of the bill.  The House version is in the hands of the Appropriations Committee, which may mark up the bill this week.

Powerpoint presentations from the 35th Annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy are now posted online.  Visit the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program Website to order the AAAS Report XXXV: Research and Development FY 2011, download presentations from the Forum, and get additional news on the FY 2011 budget.

COMPETES Act Fails Second Time; Third Attempt Scheduled.
The America COMPETES Act (H.R. 5116), which was pulled from the House floor during the first floor vote, was reintroduced last week as H.R.5325. The revised legislation includes all amendments that had passed the House during the May 13th floor debate and incorporates language to reduce the number of authorization years from five to three (see May 17 Policy Alert).  This reduction in years was viewed as a compromise by House Science and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) to assuage concerns expressed by Republicans over the overall government spending levels. The new bill was brought to the House floor last week under a suspension calendar — which requires a supermajority to pass — to avoid further amendments.  That strategy was unsuccessful, as the bill failed to garner sufficient votes and received only 261 yeas compared to 148 nays.  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has placed the bill on the floor calendar again this week.

May 21, 2010
APS Forum on International Physics

The American Physical Society Forum on International Physics seeking candidates for election:

(1) Vice-Chair. The Vice-Chair is a member of the Executive Line for FIP. He or she will succeed to Chair-Elect, then Chair then Past Chair.

(2) Members at Large (Two): Each Member at Large is elected for a two year term.

If you are interested and a member of the APS, or if you wish to nominate a colleague, please contact Harvey Newman.

May 17, 2010
LHC particle search ‘nearing’, says physicist – BBC News