It is looking less likely that Congress will move legislation to reauthorize innovation programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Department of Energy labs. With only a few weeks left before Congress adjourns, there is little time for Congress to pass legislation.

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee approved H.R. 4186 in May, but the full chamber has not yet debated the bill. A draft of a Senate bill was released in September, but has not yet been formally introduced.

If lawmakers do not act on the issue before the end of the 113th Congress, legislation may face a steeper challenge next year. One of the main proponents of reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act, Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV), is retiring this year. Rockefeller authored the Senate legislation released this year and was a leader of past COMPETES efforts.

Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) is the sponsor of the House bill and is expected to continue to serve as chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee in the next session of Congress.


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