In the Washington Watch column in the March 2014 issue of the journal BioScience, Robert Gropp highlights congressional efforts to craft legislation to reauthorize the National Science Foundation.

The following is an excerpt from the article:

Beyond making appropriations to fund federal research programs, Congress is responsible for authorizing the activities and funding levels for federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF). Last renewed by the America COMPETES Act reauthorization of 2010, the agency’s authorization is set to expire in 2015. In anticipation, Congress has started work on NSF reauthorization legislation.

Amid a sluggish national economy and concomitant contentious political debate about federal budget priorities, some in Congress have questioned in recent years what types of research the government should fund and, periodically, specific research projects. Therefore, as Congress considers the future of the NSF, the science policy community has prepared for potential battles.

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