Fate Unclear for NSF Reauthorization Bill in the House

H.R. 5116, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 would authorize funding levels and programmatic guidelines for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and science offices within the Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, but its fate remains unclear.
The fate of H.R. 5116, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, remains unclear as SPIN goes to press.  The APA-endorsed House bill would authorize funding levels and programmatic guidelines for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and science offices within the Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, with an overall goal of increasing the nation's capacity for innovation and global competitiveness.  APA government relations staff, along with colleagues in larger scientific coalitions, have been actively involved in recommending language to committee staff as they drafted the bill and its accompanying report language, particularly relating to inclusion of the behavioral and social sciences at NSF and so-called "public access" requirements for scientific publishing.  The bill first came to the House floor on May 12th, but was pulled from consideration by the House Science and Technology Committee Democrats when a Republican motion passed that would freeze NSF funding at current levels for the next three years.  Democrats then brought the bill up on the floor again last week under suspension of the rules, a mechanism that precludes further amendments but also requires getting 2/3 (rather than a simple majority) of votes to pass.  The bill failed in the vote, and we await the House Democrats’ next strategic move as the Senate begins deliberation on its version of the bill.