A Periodic Federal Science Update

Hearing on Reauthorization of Magnuson-Stevens Act –Tthe Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, will convene a hearing on the Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act: Fisheries Science, at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. The hearing is the fourth of the series and will focus on the state of our nation’s fisheries and the science that supports sustainable management. Witnesses will include:  Mr. Karl Haflinger, Founder and President, Sea State, Inc; Dr. Ray Hilborn, Professor, University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences; Dr. Michael Jones, Professor, Michigan State University Quantitative Fisheries Center; Dr. Larry McKinney, Director, Texas A&M University Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.  The hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.

Hearing on Commercial Satellite Industry -- The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing titled, “The Commercial Satellite Industry: What’s Up and What’s on the Horizon,” at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 25, 2017. The hearing will examine commercial satellite services and next-generation satellite services affecting consumers.  Witnesses will include: Ms. Patricia Cooper, Vice President of Satellite Government Affairs, SpaceX; Mr. Mark Dankberg, Chief Executive Officer, ViaSat: Mr. Stephen Spengler, Chief Executive Officer, Intelsat; Mr. Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman, OneWeb.  The hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov. 

Neil Jacobs’ Views on Challenges Facing NOAA – Neil Jacobs, who is Chief Atmospheric Scientist for Panasonic Avionics Corporation, has been nominated to be the next Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observations and Prediction within NOAA.  In a questionnaire, he has competed and returned to the Senate Commerce Science and Transportation Committee, Dr. Jacobs outlines the top three challenges facing NOAA which, in his view include:  Improve weather forecasting and modeling; increase observational and predictive resource capabilities; and manage satellite costs.  Dr. Jacobs indicated that he intends to work closely with NESDIS, NOS, NWS, and OAR and provide leadership for these line offices to better manage their assets.  

Senate Passes Budget Resolution Increasing Defense Spending But Holding Steady the Non-defense Spending Cap for FY 2018 -- By a 51-49 vote, the Senate passed a $4 trillion budget resolution that will enable Republican congressional leaders to pass tax reform legislation without Democratic support. Though the budget raises defense spending, it keeps intact the constraints on FY18 nondefense discretionary spending. Senators adopted an amendment, crafted by House and Senate leaders, which could obviate the need to reconcile differences in the House and Senate budget resolutions and could allow the House to vote on the Senate-passed budget as early as next week.  Negotiations are expected to take place later this year regarding adjusting the statutory spending caps for both defense and non-defense spending.

Hearing on the Role of Facilities and Administrative Costs in Supporting NIH-Funded Research – On Tuesday, October 24 the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing to examine indirect cost related to biomedical research.  Witnesses expected to testify at this hearing include:  Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Vice President for Research at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Bruce Liang, Dean, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Dr. Keith Yamamoto, Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Francisco, and Dr. Gary Gilliland, President and Director of the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center.  The hearing will take place in Room 2358-C Rayburn House Office Building at 10AM.