On Thursday, 18 July 2007, the Senate amended and passed H.R. 2272, the 21st Century Competitiveness Act, an omnibus bill to invest in innovation through research and development, and to improve American competitiveness. The Senate struck the House language and substituted the text of S. 761, its own version of the competitiveness bill, originally passed 25 April 2007. The measure passed by voice vote.
Both bills contain provisions intended to improve K-12 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education through teacher training and mentoring, to support and strengthen basic research, and to reauthorize the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology. However, the Senate and House versions differ significantly in scope and levels of funding authorized for various programs and agencies. For specific differences among the bills, please go to:
Following passage of the amended H.R. 2272, the Senate formally asked for a conference with the House and appointed the following conferees: Bingaman (D-NM), Inouye (D-HI), Kennedy (D-MA), Lieberman (I-CT), Mikulski (D-MD), Kerry (D-MA), Nelson (D-FL), Domenici (R-NM), Stevens (R-AK), Enzi (R-WY), Alexander (R-TN), Ensign (R-NV), and Coleman (R-MN). No date has been officially set for the meeting of House and Senate conferees.
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