Month in Review, or Cool Weather Brings Heated Politics

September 10th 2012  |  Week in Review

September is here and per usual I am busy trying to figure out what happened to August. School is back in session, traffic has returned, football has begun, parking is scarce, and it is starting to feel like fall. I even turned the air conditioning off yesterday, a pleasant surprise for this New England transplant. [...]

Week in Review, or Dragon Docking

May 29th 2012  |  Week in Review  |  1 Comment

I was sitting in a public meeting of the Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) on Friday when the big screen shifted from the standard Powerpoint deck to CNN. We watched live as the Dragon spacecraft connected with the International Space Station, representing the first feat of its kind by a commercially [...]

Week in Review, or Reconciliation Revisited

May 7th 2012  |  Week in Review  |  1 Comment

Members of Congress return to Washington this week after a week long recess.  Today, the House Budget Committee will mark up two bills —The Sequester Replacement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4966) and The Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012—aimed at replacing sequestration, the mandatory cuts scheduled to begin in January 2013. CQ reports that the [...]

Week in Review, or Shuttle Sightings

April 22nd 2012  |  Week in Review

Science was at the forefront of many Washingtonians’ minds (and TVs) last week as they staked out spots from the National Mall to Dulles airport to watch the space shuttle Discovery, perched on the back of a 747, make its final flight. While I missed the overflight due to a meeting on the Hill (about science!), [...]

Weeks in Review, or Spring has Sprung

April 16th 2012  |  Week in Review

It’s been lovely and quiet in Washington, with schools on spring break, Congress in recess, and the cherry blossoms already come and gone. When both chambers return to the capitol this week, they will continue on with the appropriations process, despite the looming election impasse expected later in the year. Contrary to previous reports, CQ [...]

Week in Review, or Projecting the Budget

February 6th 2012  |  Week in Review

With one week to go before the President releases his FY 2013 budget, the House and Senate Budget Committees heard from Doug Elmendorf, Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), last week on that office’s Budget and Economic Outlook. This testimony is given annually by the CBO director and offers insight into what the next [...]

Week in Review, or Organizing the Omnibus

December 12th 2011  |  Week in Review

Congressional appropriators continued to work behind the scenes last week to formulate an FY 2012 “omnibus” package which would  include the nine remaining spending bills that have yet to be passed by Congress. According to CQ, however, two of these bills remain especially contentious—Labor/Health and Human Services (HHS)/Education, due to policy riders regarding health care [...]

Week in Review, or Let the Conferencing Begin

November 7th 2011  |  Week in Review

The Senate passed it’s first FY 2012 “minibus” spending bill last week, which includes the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS), Transportation-HUD, and Agriculture spending bills. This bill lays out funding for several research agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Space and Aeronautics Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic [...]

Week in Review, or What’s Behind Door #3?

April 18th 2011  |  Week in Review

After a seemingly endless game of Let’s Make a Deal, last week House and Senate appropriators finally revealed the details of how they plan to cut federal spending by some $38.5 billion. Despite some snags, such as when a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis showed the bill would only cut $352 million, versus the promised [...]

Week in Review and Return of the Cherry Blossoms!

April 4th 2011  |  Week in Review

State of Play The cherry blossoms returned to Washington last week, along with members of Congress after their spring recess.  While negotiations on federal spending levels continued, Democrats and Republicans appeared to be coalescing around a spending bill with $33 billion in cuts from current levels, much less than the $61 billion in cuts included [...]