As DC warms up, so have things for the House and Senate.
The America Competes Act- commonly known as Competes- is the authorizing legislation for all Federal science research investments, particularly those that support partnerships with public research institutions like WSU. The bill will be on the floor this week, likely Wednesday. Encompassed in this legislation is funding for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education programs, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s alternative energy work, and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
H.R. 1806 - America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 was signed into law in 2009 by then President George W. Bush. The intent of the bill was “To invest in innovation through research and development, and to improve the competitiveness of the United States.” Because of budget constraints, the bill that will be considered on the floor this week has noticeable cuts to the National Science Foundation as well as other agencies that fund programs at Washington State University and many of our collaborations with the University of Washington and PNNL. The three institutions have partnered in educating our Congressional delegation on the importance of these programs. The House Rules Committee will determine today which amendments can be voted on before the bill moves to final passage. We are hopeful the bill will continue to improve as it moves through the legislative process.
On May 19th the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on national grid security. WSU has been working diligently in partnership with PNNL to meet the goal of creating energy reliability and security for the U.S. The hearing is expected to cover potential impacts on grid reliability resulting from conflicting Federal laws; the role of reliable generation resources in regulated and restructured electricity markets; and emerging advanced grid technologies, such as combined heat and power, energy storage, microgrids, and energy analytics.
Who is out East:
While there are no visitors from the West coast this week, early last week we were joined by the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Dean Bryan Slinker as he communicated the importance and impact of the WSU Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health. On Thursday and Friday Brian Dixon, WSU’s Assistant Vice President for Financial Services, met with most of the Washington State delegation to share with it how WSU addresses the financial needs of its students. Dixon also discussed the importance of affordability, access, and attainment. As Congress begins to evaluate the Higher Education Act, we look forward to having more opportunities to highlight WSU’s most important resource, its students.