Amendment Text: H.Amdt.931 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (02/10/2016)

This Amendment appears on page H686 in the following article from the Congressional Record.

[Pages H677-H690]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




            SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST ACT


                             General Leave

  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their 
remarks and to include extraneous material on the bill, H.R. 3293.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 609 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 3293.
  The Chair appoints the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Rodney Davis) to 
preside over the Committee of the Whole.

                              {time}  1448


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill 
(H.R. 3293) to provide for greater accountability in Federal funding 
for scientific research, to promote the progress of science in the 
United States that serves that national interest, with Mr. Rodney Davis 
of Illinois in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the 
first time.
  General debate shall not exceed 1 hour equally divided and controlled 
by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology.
  The gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith) and the gentlewoman from Texas 
(Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.

[[Page H678]]

  H.R. 3293, the Scientific Research in the National Interest Act, is a 
bipartisan bill that ensures the grant process at the National Science 
Foundation is transparent and accountable to the American people.
  America's future economic growth and national security depend on 
innovation. Public and private investments in research and development 
fuel the economy, create jobs, and lead to new technologies that 
benefit Americans' daily lives.
  Unfortunately, in recent years, the Federal Government has awarded 
too many grants that few Americans would consider to be in the national 
interest.
  For example, the National Science Foundation awarded $700,000 of 
taxpayer money to support a climate change-themed musical that quickly 
closed and almost $1 million for a social media project that targeted 
Americans' online political speech.
  A few other examples of questionable grants include: $487,000 to 
study the Icelandic textile industry during the Viking era; $340,000 to 
study early human-set fires in New Zealand; $233,000 to study ancient 
Mayan architecture and their salt industry; and $220,000 to study 
animal photos in National Geographic magazine.
  When the NSF funds such projects as these, there is less money to 
support worthwhile scientific research that keeps our country on the 
forefront of innovation. Such areas include: computer science, advanced 
materials, lasers, telecommunications, information technology, 
development of new medicines, nanotechnology, cybersecurity, and dozens 
of others that hold the greatest promise of revolutionary scientific 
breakthroughs. These sectors can create millions of new jobs and 
transform society in positive ways.
  NSF invests about $6 billion a year of taxpayer funds on research 
projects and related activities.
  The 1950 enabling legislation that created the NSF set forth the 
Foundation's mission and cited the ``national interest'' as the 
foundation for public support and dissemination of basic scientific 
research.
  The Science in the National Interest Act reaffirms and restores this 
crucial mission. This will add transparency, accountability, and 
credibility to the NSF and its grant process.
  H.R. 3293 requires NSF grants to meet at least one of seven criteria 
that demonstrates it is in the national interest. These seven criteria 
are: increased economic competitiveness in the United States; 
advancement of the health and welfare of the American public; 
development of an American STEM workforce that is globally competitive; 
increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science 
and technology in the United States; increased partnerships between 
academia and industry in the United States; support for the national 
defense of the United States; and promotion of the progress of science 
in the United States.
  Both the National Science Foundation director and the National 
Science Board have endorsed the principle that NSF should be more 
accountable in its grant funding decisions.
  To NSF Director France Cordova's credit, the NSF began to implement 
new internal policies last year that acknowledge the need for NSF to 
communicate clearly and in nontechnical terms the research projects it 
funds and how they are in the national interest.
  Opponents of this bill must think they know better than the NSF 
director. Director Cordova testified before the House Science, Space, 
and Technology Committee that the policy in H.R. 3293 is compatible 
with the NSF's internal guidelines. This legislation makes that 
commitment clear, explicit, and permanent.
  Today, the NSF funds only one out of five proposals submitted by our 
scientists and research institutions.
  How do we assure hardworking American families that their tax dollars 
are spent only on high priority research when we spend $700,000 of 
their money on a short-lived climate change-themed musical? It is not 
Congress' money, it is the taxpayers'.
  How could elected representatives not agree that we owe it to 
American taxpayers and the scientific community to ensure that every 
grant funded is worthy and in the national interest?
  With a national debt that now exceeds $19 trillion and continues to 
climbs by hundreds of billions of dollars each year, we cannot fund 
every worthy proposal, much less frivolous ones like a climate change 
musical.
  The legislation before us reaffirms in law that every NSF grant must 
support research that is demonstrably in the national interest.
  Scientists still make the decisions. They just do not get a blank 
check signed by the taxpayer. They need to be accountable to the 
American people by showing their proposals are, in fact, in the 
national interest.
  H.R. 3293 passed the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee 
in October by a voice vote.
  Congress has a responsibility to ensure that taxpayer dollars are 
spent wisely and are focused on national priorities. This bill is an 
essential step to restore and maintain taxpayer support for basic 
scientific research.
  I encourage my colleagues to support this bill.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 3293, the Scientific Research in 
the National Interest Act.
  I oppose this bill because I believe that this bill will hurt the 
Nation's premier basic research agency, lead to less high reward 
research, and, ultimately, leave America less competitive.

  My Republican colleagues have a simple argument for their 
legislation: Shouldn't NSF research be in the national interest? That 
is a very good question, but one that can be easily answered.
  My answer is that NSF research is already in the national interest. 
It has been for more than 60 years.
  The Federal investment in basic research over the past 60 years has 
been the primary driver of our Nation's economic growth and innovation. 
In innumerable ways, our investments in basic research have paid back a 
wealth of dividends.
  This fact is widely recognized across academia and industry. The 
National Academies' ``Rising Above the Gathering Storm'' report made 
this point a decade ago. That panel, chaired by the former head of 
Lockheed-Martin, understood that investment in basic research was 
fundamentally in the national interest.
  When we passed the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 as 
part of the Democrats' innovation agenda, that bill was endorsed by 
hundreds of business and research organizations, including the U.S. 
Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. They 
all understood that investment in basic research is in the national 
interest.
  What is this bill really about? Is it really about enhancing our 
Nation's ability to innovate? No. Sadly, this bill continues the 
Republican majority's preoccupation with second-guessing America's best 
and brightest research scientists.
  For the past 3 years, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology 
majority has been engaged in a relentless and pernicious campaign 
against research grants with silly or odd sounding titles.
  Republicans have used that time to carry out an unprecedented rifling 
through the 70 NSF grants reviews. After all this effort, did they find 
any evidence of wrongdoing? No. The only thing they found was what they 
already knew: each of the research grants had passed NSF's merit review 
process with flying colors.
  The majority may not like it and wish the results were different, but 
those are the facts. Let me be clear. Some of the greatest scientific 
achievements of the past 60 years were the result of funny sounding 
research, including research that was ridiculed in Congress as 
frivolous.
  There are scores of examples. One of my favorites is ``The Sex Life 
of the Screwworm,'' surely one of the silliest sounding titles for 
research there could possibly be. So silly, in fact, that in the 1970s, 
the grant was ridiculed as an example of government waste on the Senate 
floor. Sounds a lot like what the majority is doing here today.
  It turned out that the screwworm was costing the U.S. cattle industry 
a small fortune. As a direct result of this silly sounding research, 
the cattle industry saved approximately $20 billion in the U.S. and 
significantly reduced the cost of beef to U.S. consumers.

[[Page H679]]

  


                              {time}  1500

  At its core, this bill is about second-guessing our Nation's best and 
brightest scientists and the grant-making decisions they make.
  Perhaps this is not surprising when so many of my Republican 
colleagues openly question the validity of whole fields of established 
science, from the social sciences to climate science to evolutionary 
biology.
  Far from adding anything useful to the NSF's review process, H.R. 
3293 would add more bureaucracy and paperwork. Yet, my biggest concern 
about these requirements is that they will push NSF reviewers to fund 
less high-risk research, which, by its very nature, entails the pursuit 
of scientific understanding without it necessarily having any 
particular or known benefit. We know that high-risk research tends to 
have the highest reward, something that we have seen throughout the 
history of the NSF.
  I am not alone in my concerns. The President's science adviser, Dr. 
John Holdren, noted:

       H.R. 3293 would create doubt at NSF and in the research 
     community about Congress' real intent in calling into 
     question the adequacy of NSF's gold standard merit-review 
     process for applied as well as for basic research.
       This could easily have a chilling effect on the amount of 
     basic research that scientists propose and that NSF chooses 
     to fund, with detrimental consequences for this Nation's 
     leadership in science, technology, and innovation alike.

  Mr. Chair, I choose to stand with the scientists when it comes to 
science. For that reason, I strongly oppose this legislation.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 30 seconds.
  I say to the gentlewoman from Texas that her objections are simply 
too late. They are too late because the Director of the National 
Science Foundation has already incorporated the national interest 
standard into the current guidelines that are being used at the 
National Science Foundation. We are already using that, and the bill 
makes them permanent.
  I do like the gentlewoman's example of a screwworm because that is a 
reason to vote for the bill and not to oppose the bill. One of the 
requirements in the bill is that these grants be explained in plain 
English so that we know their connection to the national interest. 
Clearly, there would be no problem in explaining why the example she 
gave is connected to the national interest.
  In a few minutes, I will give just a few more examples of how 
taxpayers' money is currently being used and should not be used.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. 
Lucas), who is the vice chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology 
Committee.
  Mr. LUCAS. I thank Chairman Smith for the time.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of H.R. 3293, Scientific 
Research in the National Interest Act.
  The NSF invests about $6 billion of public funds each year on 
research projects and related activities. It is the only Federal agency 
that is dedicated to the support of fundamental research and education 
in all scientific and engineering disciplines.
  Since its creation in 1950, the NSF has served a mission that helps 
make the United States a world leader in science and innovation. In 
recent years, however, the NSF has seemed to stray away from its 
created purpose and has funded a number of grants that few Americans 
would consider in the national interest.
  H.R. 3293 seeks to restore the NSF's critical mission by requiring 
the NSF to explain in writing and in non-technical language how each 
research grant awarded supports the national interest and is worthy of 
Federal funding.
  Now, think about that for a moment: not just explaining it in 
scientific terms that the fellow scientific community can understand, 
but also in terms that taxpayers can understand.
  In a time of distrust and suspicion of the Federal Government and of 
all institutions, that is a very important key point, being able to 
explain to the folks back home why it matters.
  The bill also sets forth that NSF grants should meet one of seven 
criteria that demonstrates the grant is in the national interest.
  Today, as was noted by the chairman, the NSF is able to fund only one 
out of every five proposals. This is a critical bill to restore faith 
in the process. We need to pass this.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chair, I yield 3 minutes to 
the gentleman from California (Mr. Ted Lieu).
  Mr. TED LIEU of California. Mr. Chair, I rise to oppose this bill.
  America is an exceptional nation. One of the reasons we are the best 
country in the world is that we believe in science and we believe in 
innovation. Our country has always believed in physics and in 
chemistry, and we trust scientists.
  The National Science Foundation has helped this country grow in terms 
of innovation and in terms of amazing scientific discoveries. It is not 
broken. So why are we trying to meddle with what the scientists have 
done?
  The chairman mentioned some examples of grants that sounded sort of 
funny. I understand that most of the Republican legislators do not 
believe in climate change, but the overwhelming majority of scientists 
do, as does the U.S. military, as does ExxonMobil today.
  One of the grants had to do with how people learn about climate 
change. That is vitally important because climate change is going to 
affect our children and our grandchildren.
  It is true that some of these grants sound funny. That is because 
scientists do all sorts of things that, to a layperson, may not be very 
obvious.
  Because I am not a scientist and because most people are not 
scientists, I think that is perfectly fine, that we don't have all 
sorts of redundant writings that explain what an experiment does. Let 
me give you one example that is on the NSF's Web site.
  One of the grants is to study funny-looking colored clay in France, 
blue-green clay in another country. It sounds like a really silly 
grant, doesn't it?
  It turns out that, when they looked at it, there were properties in 
this blue-green clay in France that kill bacteria, anti-bacterial 
properties that can help deal with MRSA, that can help deal with 
superbugs. This can be a groundbreaking grant, a groundbreaking 
discovery, but under this bill, it might have problems being funded.
  Ultimately, what this is really about and what I have learned now in 
Congress is that often we are very arrogant. We do not trust 
scientists. We do not trust the people in America.
  This is an arrogant bill that sort of says we know best, not the 
scientists who are doing peer reviews of what grants to fund, and that 
we know which experiment might do exactly what.
  It turns out, in science, lots of times scientists study one area and 
get a completely different, amazing discovery in a totally unrelated 
area. We need to fund basic science. We need to take our hands off 
this. We need to trust scientists and trust the people in America.
  Do not pass this bill. We are not that arrogant. We should not 
determine what scientists are to be doing and that we know better than 
they do, because we do not. I ask for opposition to this bill.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 30 seconds.
  I really wish the people who say they oppose this bill would actually 
read the bill. It is only three pages long. They can probably read it 
in 3 minutes. Let me read the last sentence of the bill itself.
  ``Nothing in this section shall be construed as altering the 
Foundation's intellectual merit or broader impacts criteria for 
evaluating grant applications.''
  Despite what just might have been told, we don't interfere with the 
merit-review process whatsoever.
  The other thing is, when you come up with an example, as the 
gentleman just gave, it is clearly in the national interest. All we are 
asking is that the explanation show why it is in the national interest.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
Loudermilk), who is the chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee of the 
Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
  Mr. LOUDERMILK. I thank the gentleman from Texas, the chairman, for

[[Page H680]]

yielding this time and for his leadership on this issue.
  Mr. Chairman, last month the Congressional Budget Office released an 
updated deficit projection for fiscal year 2016. The CBO now expects 
that our deficit will be $544 billion this year, which is an increase 
from the original projection of $414 billion.
  Now, more than ever, Congress needs to work diligently to reduce 
spending and balance the Federal budget. However, it is equally 
important for us to make sure that every taxpayer dollar that is spent 
is used responsibly.
  That is why I am an original cosponsor of the Scientific Research in 
the National Interest Act. It will help ensure that the National 
Science Foundation, one of our Nation's most critical research 
agencies, is using its funding in the most beneficial way possible.
  This bill requires the NSF to explain how each of its grants further 
America's best interests. This could be done through advancing STEM 
education, national defense, economic competitiveness, public health, 
or other key priorities.
  By requiring the NSF to justify its research, this bill will help 
crack down on frivolous government programs. And, yes, Mr. Chairman, 
there are frivolous government programs.
  For example, the NSF is currently spending $374,000 of taxpayer money 
on a study of the ups and downs of senior citizens' dating experiences. 
While we all want, I am sure, Americans to enjoy their romantic lives 
throughout the year, we cannot afford this type of wasteful taxpayer 
spending when we have a $19 trillion debt.
  This commonsense legislation will ensure that NSF research is well 
directed and that it will help prevent valuable taxpayer dollars from 
being wasted.
  I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chair, I yield 4 minutes to 
the gentleman from New York (Mr. Tonko).
  Mr. TONKO. I thank the gentlewoman from Texas for yielding.
  Mr. Chair, I oppose this bill, which represents an effort by 
politicians to overrule expert scientists in deciding which scientific 
grants the NSF should fund.
  In defense of their misguided effort, some of my colleagues like to 
pick a grant and poke fun at it or trivialize it or simply state that, 
in their opinion, it is not worth funding.
  One of the grants that has been singled out is entitled Participant 
Support for the Zero Emissions Category of the Clean Snowmobile 
Challenge.
  Snowmobiles are ideal modes of transportation in extreme polar 
locations. This grant funded the Clean Snowmobile Challenge in which 
students formed teams to engineer a lower emissions snowmobile.
  Engineering competitions are both an important proving ground for new 
technologies and an incredible opportunity for students to engage in 
real-world engineering challenges.
  My colleagues frequently talk up the importance of STEM competitions. 
The Science, Space, and Technology Committee has held entire full 
committee hearings on that very topic. Now some of my same colleagues 
would ridicule an engineering competition just because it might have a 
climate change benefit.
  I hope all of my colleagues here today agree with me that encouraging 
and, certainly, promoting our next generation of engineers is 
definitely in the national interest, even when it results in less 
pollution.
  This grant, singled out for ridicule by some in the majority, is just 
another example of why we should be concerned about the intent of this 
legislation.
  I would also like to point out that I strongly believe that the 
current gold standard merit-review process works and that we should not 
be politicizing science.
  The sheer number of amendments to this legislation demonstrates the 
flawed methodology of trying to define which research is in the 
national interest.
  I think all of the Members who offered amendments to this section 
would agree that important priorities have been left out. Personally, I 
believe we have unacceptably overlooked clean drinking water and 
climate change.
  I offered an amendment with Congressman Kildee that would expand the 
priority of advancement of health and welfare to include clean drinking 
water explicitly. Unfortunately, this amendment was not made in order.
  As we have seen in the news recently out of Flint, Michigan, we have 
taken our drinking water infrastructure for granted for decades. This 
neglect and lack of investment has caused serious public health issues.
  We need to invest more, but we should not invest in a 20th or, in 
some cases, in a 19th century drinking water system.
  A 21st century economy requires a 21st century infrastructure, but 
that cannot happen unless it is coupled with the critical research that 
will help us improve the construction, the operation, and the 
maintenance of our water systems. Our Nation's future public health and 
economic development are counting on it.
  Clean drinking water is one of many important priorities not listed 
in this legislation. However, beyond missing important priorities, I am 
concerned that this legislation will limit critical research.
  The exciting part of research is that, at the start, we do not know 
what we will find; so, we cannot accurately predict ahead of time all 
of the implications the research will have on specific national 
priorities. Instead, we should invest and encourage high-risk, high-
reward research.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this legislation.

                              {time}  1515

  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 30 seconds.
  Here are some more reasons why we need this bill, and these are some 
more examples of how taxpayers' dollars have been spent: $200,000 to 
tour Europe for an overview of the Turkish fashion veil industry; $1.5 
million to study pasture management in Mongolia; $735,000 for the 
American Bar Association to follow young lawyers' careers; $920,000 to 
study textile making in Iceland during the Viking era; $164,000 to 
study Chinese immigration to Italy in 1900.
  There are dozens and dozens of more examples.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Weber) who is the chairman of the Energy Subcommittee of the Science, 
Space, and Technology Committee.
  Mr. WEBER of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of Chairman 
Smith's bill, H.R. 3293. At a time when budget constraints and the 
deficit loom large and ominous, why in the world would anyone object to 
more transparency and accountability? Can anyone explain that to me? I 
didn't think so.
  Here is how some of our hardworking taxpayer money is being spent.
  Mr. Chairman, I have a list of 41 studies and programs that, if 
taxpayers knew, they would rise up and revolt.
  Some of the more notable are:
  $227,000 to review animal photos in National Geographic magazine. 
(what baboon thought that up?)
  $350,000 to study human-set fires in New Zealand in the 1800s. (the 
main ``human set fire'' here is our taxpayer dollars being burned)
  $200,000 to tour Europe for an overview of the Turkish fashion-veil 
industry. (I am reminded that fashion is a form of ugliness so bad, it 
has to be changed about every 6 months!)
  $735,000 for the American Bar Association to follow young lawyers' 
careers (3 awards).
  $920,000 to study textile-making in Iceland during the Viking era (2 
awards).
  $50,000 to support STEM education in Sri Lanka.
  $164,000 to study Chinese immigration to Italy (1900 to present).
  $20,000 to study stress among people from lowland Bolivia (one of 12 
awards).
  $147,000 to analyze fishing practices at Lake Victoria, Africa. 
(Heck: all you gotta do is come down to my district in Galveston TX and 
we'll show you how to analyze fishing practices for a lot less and you 
can spend that money in our country!)
  $147,000 to study international marriages between citizens of France 
and Madagascar.
  $50,000 to study civil lawsuits in colonial Peru (1600-1700 AD).
  $250,000 to survey public attitudes about the Senate filibuster rule.
  $300,000 to study law firms in Silicon Valley.
  $170,000 to study basket weaving among Alaskan native peoples (2 
awards). Perhaps that's what folks think Congress is majoring in.
  $276,000 to study the pre-history of Chiapas, Mexico.

[[Page H681]]

  $246,000 to study migration and adoption between Peru and Spain.
  $134,000 to study Late Bronze Age metallurgy in the Southern Urals, 
Russia.
  $195,000 to contrast the histories of Patagonian and Amazonian 
national parks.
  $281,000 to analyze the history of Izapa, Mexico.
  $136,000 to study life/history transitions among indigenous people of 
northern Argentina.
  $27,000 to study Mayan wooden architecture and salt industry (600-900 
AD).
  $92,000 to study Mexico's public vehicle registration system.
  $373,000 to study Chinese kinship, women's labor and economy (1600-
2000 AD).
  $152,000 to analyze accountability and transparency in China's dairy 
industry.
  $300,000 to study Cyprus during the Bronze Age (2 awards).
  $226,000 to study cultural dynamics in western Turkey.
  $119,000 to coordinate an international archeological project in the 
S. American Andes.
  $300,000 to produce an experimental dance program about nature and 
physics.
  $516,000 to help amateurs create a video game--``Relive Prom Night.''
  $200,000 to devise social media algorithms for ``Truthy.com,'' a 
website aimed at censoring political speech by Tea Party members, 
conservatives, etc.
  $605,000 to travel and study why people around the world cheat on 
their taxes.
  $193,000 to study human fish consumption in Tanzania (300-1500 AD).
  $221,000 to study use of ochre pigment for painting in Stone Age 
Kenya.
  $101,000 to pay for American psychologists to international 
conferences.
  $250,000 to educate local TV meteorologists about climate change (2 
awards).
  $38,000 to consider whether livestock herding families in rural, 
undeveloped areas have more children in response to herd growth, or if 
increased family size drives herd growth.
  $193,000 to study human fish consumption in Tanzania (1300-1500 AD).
  $38,000 to study prehistoric rabbit hunting on the Iberian Peninsula.
  $1.8 million to study the potential of commercial fish farming at 
Lake Victoria, Africa.
  $330,000 to study the careers of 2,500 new lawyers in Russia.
  $1.5 million to study pasture management in Mongolia.
  Mr. Chairman, some of the more notable are:
  $227,000 to review animal photos in National Geographic magazine. 
What baboon thought that up?
  $350,000 to study human-set fires in New Zealand in the 1800s. The 
only thing being set on fire here is taxpayers' dollars.
  $200,000 to tour Europe for an overview of the Turkish fashion veil 
industry. I am reminded what a friend of mine says. He says fashion is 
a form of ugliness so bad that we have to change it every 6 months, and 
yet we want to study it over in another country.
  $147,000 to analyze fishing practices at Lake Victoria, Africa. Heck, 
folks, if y'all come on down to Galveston, Texas, we will show y'all 
how to fish and analyze that, and you can spend money in our country.
  $170,000 to study basket weaving among Alaskan Native peoples. Is it 
any wonder that most of Americans think Congress must major in basket 
weaving?
  These are just some of the more notable ones, Mr. Chairman. I could 
go on through the 41 on the list. For example, $330,000 to study the 
careers of 2,500 new lawyers in Russia. It is not that we don't have 
enough lawyers over here in America; now we are concerned about the 
ones in Russia.
  I could go on and on, Mr. Chairman. I just want to simply say, I urge 
my colleagues to support transparency and accountability on behalf of 
our constituents and taxpayers. After all, they are paying the freight 
for this stuff. Shouldn't we be open and accountable to them?
  I commend Chairman Smith for his bill and for putting hardworking 
taxpaying Americans first.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes 
to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Beyer).
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Chair, I rise to voice my strong opposition to H.R. 
3293, the legislation of my friend, Chairman Lamar Smith, the so-called 
Scientific Research in the National Interest Act.
  I understand the genesis of this bill: Mr. Smith's dismay at some of 
the titles of the National Science Foundation's funded research.
  This bill is the wrong approach to addressing the very occasional 
misuse of NSF grants, and it represents classic short-term thinking.
  I am a businessman, and I know of no one in the business community 
who wants politicians or government to decide business winners or 
losers.
  Of course, none of us, Democrat or Republican, believe that 
politicians should be making science decisions either. I believe 
Representative Bill Foster is the only Ph.D. scientist in the House, 
and the rest of us don't qualify.
  By proclaiming the seven definitions of what science is in the 
national interest, we politicians are, in fact, deciding what is worthy 
of scientific research. By the way, no one on this side yet has raised 
any objections to the transparency or the accountability of the 
National Science Foundation. That completely mischaracterizes our 
objections.
  These standards sound constructive and benign--increased economic 
activity, advancement of health and welfare, support for the national 
defense, et cetera--but only one of the seven definitions even mentions 
science. The last one says for the ``promotion of the progress of 
science for the United States,'' whatever that means.
  Where, oh, where is the commitment to basic research, the kind of 
fundamental research that I know all of us value?
  Listen to all the funny names that would have sounded especially 
funny at the time: Would Einstein's 1905 papers on special relativity, 
on the photoelectric effect, and on Brownian motion even qualify under 
the seven definitions? How about Niels Bohr's research on quantum 
mechanics? How about Murray Gell-Mans' work on particle physics in 
quarks? How about Rosalind Franklin's work on the crystallography of 
DNA?
  My college roommate spent 4 years at Berkeley, 1972 to 1976, studying 
something called Roman spectroscopy. He had no idea what it would do. 
Today we call them MRIs.
  That is the whole point of basic research. We don't know where it 
will lead. We don't know that it is in the national interest. It just 
adds to our knowledge.
  On the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, we reveled in the 
NASA presentation of the Pluto photographs. How does our New Horizons 
mission to Pluto possibly qualify under the seven definitions of the 
national interest?
  I respect that the chair of the Science, Space, and Technology 
Committee wants the NSF funds expended into legitimate scientific 
research. I agree. Mr. Smith used the phrase ``demonstrably in the 
national interest.'' How could we definitely know, when all of basic 
research is, by definition, long term rather than short term?
  Let's let the scientists decide and oppose this well-meaning but ill-
conceived legislation.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 30 seconds.
  To those who are on the other side, I really again encourage them to 
read the bill. It is three pages long. There is nothing in the bill 
that says we are going to tell the scientists what to do or think. It 
is very clear, in the examples that the gentleman just gave, that all 
of those are connected to the national interest. If a scientist can't 
explain that, then there are greater problems than we might expect.
  The other point is, to repeat what I said a while ago, if you oppose 
the national interest standard, you are too late. The National Science 
Foundation Director has incorporated the national interest standard in 
the current guidelines. If you want to oppose the bill because you 
don't want to make the standard permanent, that is your prerogative, 
but don't oppose the national interest standard that is in the current 
guidelines.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. 
Lipinski), who is an original cosponsor of this legislation.
  Mr. LIPINSKI. Mr. Chairman, I want to start where we all have 
agreement. I think everyone would acknowledge that they want research 
funded by the NSF to be in the Nation's interest. We agree the Nation's 
interest is furthered by promoting scientific progress. That is 
certainly one of the principal reasons that I have served on the 
Science, Space, and Technology Committee for 12 years.

[[Page H682]]

  We also have some disagreements. I have respectfully disagreed with 
the chairman over his criticisms of some NSF grants. At a hearing in 
November of 2013, I spoke out strongly against a very different NSF 
bill, and I believe some people are confusing that bill with this bill 
that we have here today.
  If you read this bill's text, I don't believe you can find anything 
that could undermine the merit review process at the NSF. In fact, I 
think this bill will help protect the NSF from future attacks and make 
the Foundation stronger.
  H.R. 3293 says research funded by the NSF must be worthy of Federal 
funding and in the national interest. The national interest is defined 
by a series of broad criteria, one of which is that a grant have the 
potential to promote ``the progress of science for the United States.'' 
It is difficult to conceive of research that would be recommended by an 
NSF peer review panel that would not meet that standard. Thus, it is 
difficult for me to see how this standard could harm the work that the 
Foundation does.
  The bill clearly states that it is the job of the Foundation to 
determine what is worthy of funding, not politicians, and that nothing 
in the bill would alter NSF's blunted peer review process, which we 
agree is the gold standard for funding scientific research. As a 
scientist myself, I believe this is as it should be.
  Nevertheless, there have been suggestions that this bill is 
politicians creating a political filter on what research should be 
funded, but it is striking how similar this language is to the broader 
impacts criterion that we advanced in a bipartisan fashion in the 2010 
COMPETES Reauthorization Act. There was no concern at the time about 
that language being a political filter, nor was there any concern that 
broader impacts be applied to a portfolio of grants, rather than 
individual awards.
  Furthermore, at the time, the Foundation already had broader impact 
criterion as part of their review process, yet this committee still 
acted to put the criteria in statute. And the ease with which NSF has 
implemented the broader impacts criteria suggests to me that they could 
implement this language without changing the nature of the research 
they fund.
  There is some concern that this bill would cause the Foundation to 
become more risk averse or applied, not funding breakthrough grants 
like the one that started Google. So let's take a look at that grant.
  The NSF funded the Stanford Integrated Digital Library Project in 
1994, and the research conducted through that grant, as well as other 
private and public support, including a graduate research fellowship 
for Sergey Brin, led to the algorithms that were the intellectual basis 
of Google.
  The purpose of that grant, as stated in the abstract, was ``to 
develop the enabling technologies for a single, integrated and 
`universal' library, proving uniform access to the large number of 
emerging networked information sources and collections.'' Even putting 
aside the emerging collections on the Web that could be impacted, that 
grant clearly seemed to have the potential to promote the progress of 
computer science and be worthy of Federal funding and, thus, would have 
been funded under the provisions of this bill.
  Indeed, the debate around this bill has focused less on the language 
in the bill and more on the concern of intentions behind the bill. As I 
have said, I have disagreed with recent criticisms of the NSF. Time has 
shown us that some of William Proxmire's Golden Fleece Awardees have 
proven to be golden geese, as Ranking Member Johnson mentioned in her 
opening statement.
  I think much of the criticism of grants comes from misunderstandings. 
This bill can help prevent misunderstandings or at least give NSF a 
better ability to defend its work. This will come from the requirement 
that abstracts be rewritten to more plainly explain the purpose of a 
grant.
  I applaud the NSF for steps they have already taken to better explain 
why scientific research is valuable and to better explain why promoting 
the progress of science is in the Nation's interest and worthy of 
Federal funds. This policy and this bill will further help the NSF 
defend worthwhile grants.
  All of us may never see eye to eye on what types of research should 
be supported by the Federal Government. For example, I see more value 
in social science and geoscience than many of my colleagues on the 
other side of the aisle, and I never miss an opportunity to point that 
out.
  But far from acting as a political filter, I believe this bill will 
help the NSF continue to be the world's preeminent foundation in 
funding scientific research, and that is why I ask my colleagues to 
join me in supporting this bill.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  I want to point out that this grant was mentioned earlier in remarks. 
In defense of their misguided efforts, some of our colleagues like to 
pick certain grants and make fun of them--just as has just been said--
and then say they are not worth funding.
  One of the grants that my colleagues like to pick on is a grant 
entitled, ``Ecosystems Resilience to Human Impacts: Ecological 
Consequences of Early Human-Set Fires in New Zealand.'' It may be easy 
for some of my colleagues to question why the Federal Government should 
spend money on studying fires that were set in a foreign country 
hundreds of years ago. Apparently, it is harder for them to spend 5 
minutes reading the abstract.
  It turns out that those early settlers in New Zealand caused the loss 
of more than 40 percent of the forests in just decades. By studying the 
long-term effect on the ecosystem impacts of those long-ago fires, we 
can gain knowledge to help natural resource managers make smarter 
decisions about how to mitigate, prepare for, and respond to massive 
wildfires in our own country. It is right in the public interest.
  Just to put an economic figure to this, in 2012, the United States 
spent $2 billion to suppress over 65,000 wildland fires that burned 
over 9 million acres.

                              {time}  1530

  It sounds like this is of national interest to study the long term 
impact of fires that were set so many years ago. I choose to stand with 
the scientists when it comes to science. For that reason, I really 
uphold this misguided bill.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I have one more Member on the way 
to the floor to speak, and then I am prepared to close.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chair, I have no further 
requests for time.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Texas (Mr. Babin), who is on his way to the podium right now.
  Mr. BABIN. Mr. Chair, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 3293, 
the Scientific Research in the National Interest Act.
  The National Science Foundation spends $7 billion in taxpayer funds, 
most of which goes to important research that helps advance America's 
competitive edge. However, the NSF has funded far too many wasteful 
projects that are not in the national interest.
  Here are several examples: $1.5 million to study pasture management 
in Mongolia; $147,000 to study international marriages between the 
citizens of France and Madagascar; $20,000 to study stress among the 
people of Bolivia.
  While the NSF has begun to implement some new internal policies that 
are intended to increase transparency and accountability, this bill 
will help strengthen those reforms and make them permanent.
  The Director of the NSF even testified before the House Science, 
Space, and Technology Committee that the policy of H.R. 3293 is 
``compatible with the NSF's internal guidelines.''
  I highly commend Chairman Lamar Smith for his leadership on this 
important bill, and I encourage my colleagues to very much support it.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, once again, I stand 
with the scientists. I also stand with the President's potential 
statement. If this bill is presented to the President, scientists have 
recommended that he veto it.
  I stand with the scientists again and ask the people to vote against 
this bill.

[[Page H683]]

  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the remainder of my 
time.
  I am glad that the gentlewoman brought up the administration's 
position on this bill because it is absolutely no surprise.
  When President Obama was elected, he promised that this would be the 
most transparent administration in history. It has turned out to be the 
exact opposite.
  Opposing a bill to bring more transparency to government, more 
accountability to the National Science Foundation is a perfect natural 
for this administration.
  Let me give you some more examples. According to an analysis of 
Federal data by the Associated Press, the Obama administration set new 
records 2 years in a row for denying the media access to government 
files.
  More than that, in an unprecedented letter to several congressional 
committees, 47 inspectors general, who are the official watchdogs of 
Federal agencies, complained that the Justice Department, EPA, and 
others consistently obstruct their work by blocking or delaying access 
to critical information.
  This is the record, this is the history of an administration who 
opposes this bill. Again, a bill that is going to bring transparency 
and accountability to the Federal Government.
  Mr. Chairman, it seems obvious to most of us and to most Americans 
that taxpayer-funded grants should be in the national interest, but let 
me address some of the false arguments that have been presented by 
Members on the other side.
  Opponents claim that the bill interferes with the merit-review 
process for approving grants. This is false. The three-page bill 
clearly states ``nothing in this section shall be construed as altering 
the Foundation's intellectual merit or broader impacts criteria for 
evaluating grant applications.''
  Scientists still make the decisions. They just do not get a blank 
check written by the taxpayer. They need to be accountable to the 
American people by showing that their proposals are in the national 
interest.
  What the bill does do is ensure that the results of the peer-review 
process are transparent and that the broader societal impact of the 
research is better communicated to the public. This makes it clear how 
the grant is in the national interest.
  Another common falsehood spread by opponents of the bill is that it 
means research projects will be judged by the title as to whether or 
not they are worthy of Federal funding. Again, this is false. The bill 
actually corrects a past problem with some NSF-funded grants.
  Often, the title and an incomprehensible summary were all that was 
publicly available about a research grant. The bill ensures that a 
project's benefits are clearly communicated to earn the public support 
and trust. Researchers should embrace the opportunity to better explain 
to the American people the potential value of their work.
  Finally, opponents have claimed that the bill discourages high-risk, 
high-reward research. Once again, this is false. Research with the 
potential to be groundbreaking is almost always worthy of Federal 
funding and in the national interest.
  Basic research, by its very nature, is uncertain regarding outcomes 
and results, but payoffs to society, quality of life, and standards of 
living can be transformative.
  Research that has the potential to address some of society's greatest 
challenges is what the NSF should be funding.
  Improving computing and cybersecurity, advancing new energy sources, 
discovering new medicines and cures, and creating advanced materials 
are just some of the ways that NSF-funded research can help create 
millions of new jobs and transform society in a positive way.
  On the other hand, how does spending $700,000 on a climate change 
musical encourage breakthrough research? There may well be good answers 
to those questions, but we weren't able to come up with them, and 
neither was the National Science Foundation.
  When the NSF funds projects that don't meet such standards, there is 
less money to support worthwhile research that keeps our country at the 
forefront of innovation.
  Both the National Science Foundation Director and the National 
Science Board have endorsed the principle that NSF should be more 
accountable in its grant-funding decisions.
  Why would Congress oppose such a commonsense requirement? Why do 
opponents of this bill think they know better than the NSF Director, 
who has approved the national interest standard in the current 
guidelines?
  It is just inconceivable to me that an elected U.S. Representative 
would oppose requiring government grants funded by the U.S. taxpayer to 
be spent in the national interest. Whose money do they think the NSF 
spends on these frivolous research grants? The taxpayers should know 
how their hard-earned dollars are, in fact, being spent.

  I ask my colleagues to bolster transparency and accountability, 
protect American taxpayers, and promote good, fundamental science and 
basic research.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the gentleman from Illinois who spoke 
just a minute ago. He made a really, really good point that I want to 
repeat, and that is that this bill is actually going to help strengthen 
the National Science Foundation because it is going to give it more 
credibility and taxpayers are going to have more assurance that their 
hard-earned money is being spent on worthwhile projects that are, in 
fact, in the national interest.
  Mr. Chairman, taxpayers spend $6 billion; $6 billion is being spent 
by the National Science Foundation. They only approve one out of five 
grant requests.
  Shouldn't those grant proposals be in the national interest? 
Shouldn't they be about breakthrough technology, technological 
inventions? Shouldn't they increase productivity in America? I think 
that is exactly how the taxpayers' dollars should be spent.
  Mr. Chairman, how much time do I have remaining?
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Mooney of West Virginia). The gentleman from 
Texas has 3\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, what I would like to do is to give 
more examples of how the taxpayers' dollars actually should not be 
spent. These are grants that have been approved by the National Science 
Foundation in the past.
  Again, I want to give the current Director full credit. She has 
changed the standards. She has implemented the national interest as a 
part of their guidelines. But if we don't make these guidelines 
permanent, this is what could happen.
  This is how the taxpayers' dollars have been spent:
  $250,000 to survey public attitudes about the Senate filibuster rule;
  $276,000 to study the prehistory of Chiapas, Mexico;
  $246,000 to study migration and adoption between Peru and Spain;
  $136,000 to study life/history transitions among indigenous people of 
northern Argentina;
  $27,000 to study Mayan wooden architecture and the salt industry;
  $152,000 to analyze accountability and transparency in China's dairy 
industry;
  $300,000 to study Cyprus during the Bronze Age;
  $226,000 to study cultural dynamics in western Turkey;
  $119,000 to coordinate an international archaeological project in the 
South American Andes;
  $60,000 to study the Gamo caste system in southwestern Ethiopia;
  $300,000 to produce an experimental dance program about nature and 
physics.
  Speaking of that, I think there was another $516,000 to help amateurs 
create a video game, $516,000 to help amateurs create a video game 
called ``Relive Prom Night.''
  There is no national interest that I am aware of. If there is, they 
sure ought to point it out before we ask the taxpayers to spend half a 
million dollars on reliving prom night.
  Let's see.
  $605,000 to travel and study why people around the world cheat on 
their taxes;
  $38,000 to consider whether livestock herding families expand in 
response to herd growth;
  $193,000 to study human fish consumption in Tanzania from 1300 to 
1500 AD;
  $250,000 to educate local TV meteorologists;
  $275,000 to study tourism in northern Norway;

[[Page H684]]

  $450,000 to create the Climate Change Narrative Game;
  $131,000 for a 1-day program about climate change education using 
giant-screen TVs;
  $430,000 to study Irish climate, environment, and political change in 
the past 2,000 years;
  $2.5 million to create dioramas for the Oakland Museum of California;
  $590,000 to support private groups advocating drastic climate change;
  $289,000 to study how colonialism and climate change threaten the 
survival of Arctic peoples in Russia;
  $549,000 to--I am sorry. My time is about expired, and I appreciate 
that.
  I could go on and give dozens and dozens of examples, but I think it 
is clear that this is not how the American taxpayers' dollars should be 
spent.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Chair, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 3293, 
the so-called Scientific Research in the National Interest Act, a bill 
that would actually hinder the National Science Foundation's (NSF) 
ability to meet the dynamic demands of science and provide resources 
across all scientific disciplines without political manipulations. This 
bill is simply another in a line of Republican efforts to politicize 
science and jeopardize discovery and innovation.
  The NSF engages in remarkable, ground-breaking work. We must continue 
to support this organization and ensure that America remains a world-
wide leader in scientific advances. To that end, I cosponsored a number 
of amendments with my colleague from Virginia, Mr. Beyer, that would 
allow NSF scientists to further our understanding of climate and 
environmental science. Unfortunately my colleagues on the other side of 
the aisle have displayed such open hostility towards climate science 
and research that they won't allow a vote on these amendments.
  While I believe it's important that the NSF hold itself accountable 
regarding the research it funds, politicizing scientific research is 
shortsighted and can damage our ability to compete in the world 
economy. H.R. 3293 would interfere with ongoing efforts at NSF to 
better quantify and communicate the value of the research it funds.
  Mr. Chair, I am also concerned that this legislation will have a 
chilling effect on many of the scientists at NSF and throughout our 
scientific community. This bill would force scientists to second-guess 
their research based on political whims and require them to justify all 
their actions according to short-term returns, stifling high-risk, 
high-reward research and innovation across all fields. We must not 
squelch creativity, critical thinking, and the open exchange of ideas.
  Federal agencies like NIH and NOAA are headquartered in my district 
and I represent countless federally funded scientists who are advancing 
knowledge, discovering cures, and developing innovative technologies. I 
am committed to ensuring that the NSF and all of our research agencies 
have the resources they need without being subject to superfluous 
political tests. The valuable work done by our scientists and 
researchers at NSF and other institutions not only leads to the 
development of new innovations, but also enables our Nation to attract 
and retain the top research talent in the world. In order to continue 
to compete, we need sustained investments free from political 
interference.
  I strongly oppose this bill and any other efforts to needlessly 
politicize scientific research.
  The Acting CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.
  Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment 
under the 5-minute rule and shall be considered as read.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 3293

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Scientific Research in the 
     National Interest Act''.

     SEC. 2. GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR 
                   RESEARCH.

       (a) Standard for Award of Grants.--The National Science 
     Foundation shall award Federal funding for basic research and 
     education in the sciences through a new research grant or 
     cooperative agreement only if an affirmative determination is 
     made by the Foundation under subsection (b) and written 
     justification relating thereto is published under subsection 
     (c).
       (b) Determination.--A determination referred to in 
     subsection (a) is a justification by the responsible 
     Foundation official as to how the research grant or 
     cooperative agreement promotes the progress of science in the 
     United States, consistent with the Foundation mission as 
     established in the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 
     (42 U.S.C. 1861 et seq.), and further--
       (1) is worthy of Federal funding; and
       (2) is in the national interest, as indicated by having the 
     potential to achieve--
       (A) increased economic competitiveness in the United 
     States;
       (B) advancement of the health and welfare of the American 
     public;
       (C) development of an American STEM workforce that is 
     globally competitive;
       (D) increased public scientific literacy and public 
     engagement with science and technology in the United States;
       (E) increased partnerships between academia and industry in 
     the United States;
       (F) support for the national defense of the United States; 
     or
       (G) promotion of the progress of science for the United 
     States.
       (c) Written Justification.--Public announcement of each 
     award of Federal funding described in subsection (a) shall 
     include a written justification from the responsible 
     Foundation official as to how a grant or cooperative 
     agreement meets the requirements of subsection (b).
       (d) Implementation.--A determination under subsection (b) 
     shall be made after a research grant or cooperative agreement 
     proposal has satisfied the Foundation's reviews for Merit and 
     Broader Impacts. Nothing in this section shall be construed 
     as altering the Foundation's intellectual merit or broader 
     impacts criteria for evaluating grant applications.

  The Acting CHAIR. No amendment to the bill shall be in order except 
those printed in part B of House Report 114-420. Each such amendment 
may be offered only in the order printed in the report, by a Member 
designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable 
for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by 
the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and 
shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question.
  The Chair understands amendment No. 1 will not be offered.


     Amendment No. 2 Offered by Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 2 
printed in part B of House Report 114-420.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment 
at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 3, line 15, through page 4, line 15, amend subsection 
     (b) to read as follows:
       (b) Determination.--A determination referred to in 
     subsection (a) is a justification by the responsible 
     Foundation official as to how the research grant or 
     cooperative agreement--
       (1) by itself, or by contributing to a portfolio of 
     research in that field or across fields, is in the national 
     interest as reflected in the National Science Foundation Act 
     of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1861 et seq), namely to promote the 
     progress of science, to advance the national health, 
     prosperity and welfare, and to secure the national defense; 
     and
       (2) is worthy of Federal funding, as demonstrated by having 
     met the merit review criteria of the Foundation.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 609, the gentlewoman 
from Texas (Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson) and a Member opposed each will 
control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Texas.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, my colleague from 
Texas, the chairman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, 
has stated many times that H.R. 3293 is consistent with the policy 
announced by NSF in January 2015.
  He also frequently cites a year old comment by NSF Director Dr. 
Cordova about this bill. However, it is one thing to use such vague 
statements in defense of this bill; it is quite another thing to look 
directly at the NSF policy issued by Dr. Cordova to see what it 
actually says.

                              {time}  1545

  I will quote directly from NSF's January 2015 policy:
  The nontechnical component of the NSF award abstract must serve as a 
public justification for NSF funding by articulating how the project 
serves the national interest, as stated by NSF's mission, to promote 
the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, 
and welfare; and to secure national defense.
  As Dr. Holdren, the President's Science Adviser, said:
  According to the clear wording and intent of the 1950 act that 
created the National Science Foundation, promoting the progress of 
science through basic research is in the national interest.
  Likewise, Dr. Cordova, in describing what she means by ``national 
interest,''

[[Page H685]]

points directly to the 1950 NSF mission statement. In her policy, there 
is no separate list defining national interest with criteria that, in 
fact, promotes more applied research, not basic research.
  While the words ``promoting the progress of science'' appear in the 
bill before us, they do so only as an afterthought, in dead last place 
and added only after many versions of this bill.
  Now that we all understand the National Science Foundation's actual 
policy, I can briefly explain my amendment.
  By tying the term ``national interest'' to the 1950 national 
statement, my amendment brings the bill truly in line with the National 
Science Foundation's own policy for transparency and accountability.
  My amendment also provides clarity to what we mean by the words 
``worthy of Federal funding,'' by stating that anything that has passed 
the rigor of the National Science Foundation's peer-review process is 
``worthy of Federal funding.''
  In short, my amendment fixes the underlying bill by removing 
restrictions that may stifle high-risk basic research, and by taking 
decisions about grant funding out of the hands of politicians and 
putting it back in the hands of scientists, where it belongs.
  The National Science Foundation's 1950 mission statement, implemented 
through its gold standard merit-review process, has served science and 
this Nation so well. Let's leave it intact by passing my amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I oppose the gentlewoman's 
amendment, which undermines the bill and weakens accountability and 
transparency.
  First, the amendment seeks to dilute the bill's requirement that the 
grant must be worthy of Federal funding. It is difficult to understand 
why anyone would have objections to requiring that a research grant be 
worthy of taxpayer support. Worthy means: having adequate or great 
merit, character, or value; and commendable excellence or merit; 
deserving.
  The opposite of worthy of Federal funding are awards of taxpayer 
money to frivolous, low-priority projects, like producing a climate 
change musical, creating a voicemail game, or studying tourism in 
Norway.
  One would think that fundamental standards like ``worthy of Federal 
funding'' and ``in the national interest'' would already be embedded in 
the standards the National Science Foundation uses to evaluate 
thousands of grant applications and decide which ones should receive $6 
billion in basic research grants each year. From the Science, Space, 
and Technology Committee's review of past NSF grants, we have learned 
that this is not always the case.
  This amendment eliminates the requirement that each grant be worthy 
of Federal funding. It asserts that any grant approved by NSF through 
its merit selection system will be considered worthy of Federal 
funding. With this change, every NSF-funded project would be considered 
worthy of Federal funding, no matter how absurd.
  With this amendment, Congress would effectively abnegate its 
responsibility to ensure that NSF spends taxpayer dollars only on 
projects worthy of Federal funding.
  The underlying bill does not interfere with the National Science 
Foundation's merit selection process. I have already quoted from the 
bill twice tonight. It only requires that NSF be transparent and 
explain in writing and in nontechnical terms why each research project 
that receives public funds is in the national interest. Taxpayers 
deserve this information. It is their money.
  Moreover, in order to maintain an increased public support for vital 
investment in basic research, NSF must be transparent and accountable 
and explain why every scientific investment deserves to receive hard-
earned tax dollars.
  NSF Director France Cordova and her team at NSF understand this. That 
is why the NSF is implementing new policies to make NSF grant-making 
more transparent and understandable for the American people.
  These policies acknowledge the primary importance of national 
interest in awarding tax dollars. In fact, during her testimony before 
the Science, Space, and Technology Committee last year, Dr. Cordova 
described this national interest act and NSF's new transparency 
policies as consistent and fully compatible with each other.
  I would like to remind everyone that it is not Congress' or the NSF's 
money. It is the American people's money.
  The amendment offered by the ranking member seeks to change the 
section of the bill that requires NSF to accompany public announcement 
of every grant award with a nontechnical explanation of the award's 
scientific merit and national interest.
  My concern is that the proposed amendment would create a loophole 
through which blocks of hundreds of grants in a particular area of 
science would be justified by just one general statement. This is the 
opposite of accountability and transparency.
  I strongly oppose the amendment for these reasons.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, this does not do 
any more than what was intended under the law. It leaves it in the 
hands of the peer review board and not the politicians.
  It does nothing to make this bill worse. In fact, it improves it so 
that it can meet the charter of this Congress in doing its work.
  Every grant that goes out of the National Science Foundation is peer-
reviewed in a system that was set up 60 years ago. It has worked well. 
We have gained great research. I don't think that making sure that the 
politicians have something to say about it makes it any better. It 
makes it worse.
  I ask for the adoption of my amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, the National Science Foundation 
Director and the National Science Board have both expressed and 
endorsed a principle that NSF should be more transparent and 
accountable in its grant funding decisions. In fact, the NSF has 
already incorporated the national interest standard in their 
guidelines.
  This amendment creates loopholes and dilutes the intent of the bill--
a bill that NSF Director France Cordova has testified: is very 
compatible with the new internal NSF guidelines and with the mission 
statement of the National Science Foundation.
  I ask my colleagues to say ``yes'' to accountability and transparency 
and ``no'' to the amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded 
vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Texas will 
be postponed.


               Amendment No. 3 Offered by Ms. Jackson Lee

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 3 
printed in part B of House Report 114-420.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 3, line 22, strike ``and''.
       Page 3, line 23, redesignate paragraph (2) as paragraph 
     (3).
       Page 3, after line 22, insert the following:
       (2) is consistent with established and widely accepted 
     scientific methods applicable to the field of study of 
     exploration; and

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 609, the gentlewoman 
from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Texas.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the ranking member, 
Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, for her leadership. I also want to 
thank Mr. Smith for his chairmanship of the committee.

[[Page H686]]

  I have known the commitment to science that so many Members have. I 
hope that my amendment reinforces the emphasis that we have had with 
respect to science.
  Scientists should control the direction and guidance of our research. 
The National Science Foundation does simply that. I hope that both of 
my amendments contribute to that premise, and I would like to 
acknowledge the Rules Committee for making these amendments in order.
  The Jackson Lee amendment seeks to improve H.R. 3293 by ensuring that 
NSF-funded research, as it has been, remains consistent with 
established and widely accepted scientific methods applicable to the 
study of exploration.
  In conducting experiments or research in new areas of inquiry, grant 
recipients would now follow protocols that ensure that the outcomes of 
research are able to be reproduced by other scientists or researchers.
  I have always believed that science is the work that creates the 
ultimate work in decades and centuries to come. Having served on the 
Science, Space, and Technology Committee some years back, I used to 
always say: science is the work of the 21st century. If you create in 
science, innovation, products, and research, you create opportunities 
for jobs and products to be sold. This is what good science is all 
about and why basic research relies on the scientific method in the 
routine practice of scientists and researchers around the world.
  I fully believe that the National Science Foundation gets it. That is 
what their underlying work is about.
  The Jackson Lee amendment will support the promise that basic 
research is conducted with the expectation that good science should be 
the underlying goal. History has shown that basic research often leads 
to results with the utmost beneficial consequences for society.
  I would ask my colleagues to support this amendment.
  I thank Chairman Sessions and Ranking Member Slaughter for making the 
Jackson Lee Amendment in order for consideration under H.R. 3293, the 
``Scientific Research in the National Interest Act.''
  My thanks and appreciation to Chairman Smith and Ranking Member 
Johnson for their support of this amendment and their staffs for 
working with my staff to ensure the amendment reflects a goal we all 
share.
  The Jackson Lee amendment improves H.R. 3293, by ensuring that NSF 
funded research, as it has been, remains consistent with established 
and widely accepted scientific methods applicable to the study of 
exploration.
  In conducting experiments or research in new areas of inquiry, grant 
recipients would now follow protocols that ensure that the outcomes of 
research are able to be reproduced by other scientists or researchers.
  This is what good science is all about and this is why basic research 
relies on the scientific method in the routine practice of scientists 
and researchers around the world.
  In 1950, Congress passed the National Science Foundation Act to 
``promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, 
prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense; in 
addition to other purposes'' by creating the National Science 
Foundation.
  The Act authorized and directed the Foundation to ``initiate and 
support basic scientific research and programs to strengthen the 
potential of scientific research and education programs at all levels 
in the mathematical, physical, medical, biological, social, and other 
sciences.''
  The 1950 Act also authorized and directed NSF to fund applied 
scientific and engineering research.
  One hundred years of basic scientific research has revealed its 
value, exemplified in the advances that helped our nation win World War 
II and allowed Congress to appreciate science as the gateway to the 
pre-eminent economic global success the nation could achieve.
  This Jackson Lee Amendment would support the promise that basic 
research is conducted with the expectation that good science should be 
the underlying goal.
  History has shown that basic research often leads to results with the 
utmost beneficial consequences for society; although, at the time that 
basic research is conducted, it may be impossible to predict how it 
will benefit the nation or the world.
  One such example is the Genomic studies of nematode worms that led to 
the discovery of genes that ultimately control cell death; this study 
in turn opened the avenues of discovery for new treatment possibilities 
for cancer and Alzheimer's Disease.
  Additionally, basic research on atomic physics led to the development 
of the atomic clocks that now enable the highly precise Global 
Positioning System (GPS) used to guide commercial aircraft to their 
destinations.
  In 2014, due to a global embrace of scientific research the world 
saw:
  The first landing of a space craft on the surface of a comet;
  The discovery of a new fundamental particle, which provided 
information on the origin of the universe;
  Development of the world's fastest supercomputer; and
  A surge in research on plant biology that is uncovering new and 
better ways to meet global food needs.
  Unfortunately none of these achievements were led by our nation's 
researchers or scientists.
  I ask my colleagues to support this Jackson Lee Amendment so that we 
may make strides toward joining and surpassing our global competitors 
in the emerging scientific community.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to 
this amendment, but I do not oppose the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the gentleman is recognized for 
5 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I support this amendment offered by 
the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  The amendment requires that, in addition to the National Science 
Foundation making a determination that a grant is worthy of Federal 
funding and in the national interest, the NSF must also determine that 
the grant is: consistent with established and widely accepted 
scientific methods applicable to the field of study or exploration.
  I agree that this is an important determination. Basic research 
funded by taxpayers must have a sound scientific foundation.
  Reproducibility--the ability of an entire experiment or study to be 
duplicated--especially by someone else working independently, is the 
gold standard in the scientific method.
  NSF should ensure that the research it funds meets this gold standard 
so taxpayer dollars do not go to waste.
  I thank the gentlewoman for her amendment, and I do support it.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Chairman, let me thank the gentleman from Texas 
and the ranking member for their support.
  With that, I ask my colleagues to support the Jackson Lee amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  The amendment was agreed to.


               Amendment No. 4 Offered by Ms. Jackson Lee

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 4 
printed in part B of House Report 114-420.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 3, line 22, strike ``and''.
       Page 3, line 23, redesignate paragraph (2) as paragraph 
     (3).
       Page 3, after line 22, insert the following:
       (2) is consistent with the definition of basic research as 
     it applies to the purpose and field of study; and

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 609, the gentlewoman 
from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Texas.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Chairman, I restate my earlier premise that 
science is the work of the 21st century. Maybe we will be saying the 
22nd century. Because when you are innovative and do research, you 
create jobs and opportunities. This amendment establishes that basic 
research is in the national interest of the United States.
  Let me suggest to you that we have a lot of universities in this 
country. When I travel, I always hear individuals seeking to come to be 
taught in American institutions of higher education. It is because of 
the creative thought and, in many instances, the research that is done, 
whether in medicine or all the forms of science and

[[Page H687]]

technology, because we have a free-flowing basis upon which people can 
think and invent. I want that to continue. I want the National Science 
Foundation to be at the cornerstone of that.
  I will include in the Record an article titled, ``The Future 
Postponed.'' Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a 
U.S. Innovation Deficit.

            [From the Massachusetts Institute of Technology]

                          The Future Postponed


Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a U.S. Innovation 
                                Deficit

   (A Report by the MIT Committee to Evaluate the Innovation Deficit)

       2014 was a year of notable scientific highlights, 
     including:
       the first landing on a comet, which has already shed 
     important light on the formation of the Earth;
       the discovery of a new fundamental particle, which provides 
     critical information on the origin of the universe;
       development of the world's fastest supercomputer;
       a surge in research on plant biology that is uncovering new 
     and better ways to meet global food requirements.
       None of these, however, were U.S.-led achievements. The 
     first two reflected 10-year, European-led efforts; the second 
     two are Chinese accomplishments, reflecting that nation's 
     emergence as a science and technology power. Hence the wide-
     spread concern over a growing U.S. innovation deficit, 
     attributable in part to declining public investment in 
     research (see figure).
       This report provides a number of tangible examples of 
     under-exploited areas of science and likely consequences in 
     the form of an innovation deficit, including:
       opportunities with high potential for big payoffs in 
     health, energy, and high-tech industries;
       fields where we risk falling behind in critical strategic 
     capabilities such as supercomputing, secure information 
     systems, and national defense technologies;
       areas where national prestige is at stake, such as space 
     exploration, or where a lack of specialized U.S. research 
     facilities is driving key scientific talent to work overseas.
       This introduction also cites examples of the benefits from 
     basic research that have helped to shape and maintain U.S. 
     economic power, as well as highlighting industry trends that 
     have made university basic research even more critical to 
     future national economic competitiveness.
       Basic research is often misunderstood, because it often 
     seems to have no immediate payoff. Yet it was just such 
     federally-funded research into the fundamental working of 
     cells, intensified beginning with the ``War on Cancer'' in 
     1971, that led over time to a growing arsenal of 
     sophisticated new anti-cancer therapies--19 new drugs 
     approved by the U.S. FDA in the past 2 years. Do we want 
     similar progress on Alzheimer's, which already affects 5 
     million Americans, more than any single form of cancer? Then 
     we should expand research in neurobiology, brain chemistry, 
     and the science of aging (see Alzheimer's Disease). The Ebola 
     epidemic in West Africa is a reminder of how vulnerable we 
     are to a wider pandemic of emergent viral diseases, because 
     of a lack of research on their biology; an even greater 
     public health threat looms from the rise of antibiotic 
     resistant bacteria right here at home, which, because 
     commercial incentives are lacking, only expanded university-
     based research into new types of antibiotics can address (see 
     Infectious Disease).
       America's emergence last year as the world's largest oil 
     producer has been justly celebrated as a milestone for energy 
     independence. But the roots of the fracking revolution stem 
     from federally-funded research--begun in the wake of the 
     first OPEC oil embargo 40 years ago--that led to directional 
     drilling technology, diamond drill bits tough enough to cut 
     shale, and the first major hydraulic fracturing experiments. 
     Do we also want the U.S. to be a leader in clean energy 
     technologies a few decades hence, when these will be needed 
     for large scale replacement of fossil energy sources, a huge 
     global market? Then now is when more investment in advanced 
     thin film solar cells, new battery concepts, and novel 
     approaches to fusion energy should begin (see Materials 
     Discovery and Processing, Batteries, Fusion Energy).
       Some areas of research create opportunities of obvious 
     economic importance. Catalysis, for example, is already a 
     $500 billion industry in the United States alone and plays a 
     critical role in the manufacture of virtually every fuel, all 
     types of plastics, and many pharmaceuticals. Yet today's 
     catalysts are relatively inefficient and require high 
     temperatures compared to those (such as enzymes) that operate 
     in living things. So the potential payoff in both reduced 
     environmental impact and a powerful economic edge for 
     countries that invest in efforts to understand and replicate 
     these biological catalysts--as Germany and China already 
     are--could be huge (see Catalysis). The U.S. also lags in two 
     other key areas: developing advances in plant sciences that 
     can help meet growing world needs for food while supporting 
     U.S. agricultural exports, and the growing field of robotics 
     that is important not only for automated factories but for a 
     whole new era of automated services such as driverless 
     vehicles (see Plant Sciences and Robotics).
       In an increasingly global and competitive world, where 
     knowledge is created and first applied has huge economic 
     consequences: some 50 years after the rise of Silicon Valley, 
     the U.S. still leads in the commercial application of 
     integrated circuits, advanced electronic devices, and 
     internet businesses. But foreseeable advances in optical 
     integrated circuits, where both Europe and Japan are 
     investing heavily, is likely to completely reshape the $300 
     billion semiconductor industry that today is largely 
     dominated by U.S. companies (see Photonics). In this area and 
     other fields of science that will underlie the innovation 
     centers of the future, U.S. leadership or even 
     competitiveness is at risk. Synthetic biology--the ability to 
     redesign life in the lab--is another area that has huge 
     potential to transform bio-manufacturing and food production 
     and to create breakthroughs in healthcare--markets that might 
     easily exceed the size of the technology market. But it is EU 
     scientists that benefit from superior facilities and 
     dedicated funding and are leading the way (see Synthetic 
     Biology). Research progress in many such fields increasingly 
     depends on sophisticated modern laboratories and research 
     instruments, the growing lack of which in the U.S. is 
     contributing to a migration of top talent and research 
     leadership overseas.
       Some areas of research are so strategically important that 
     for the U.S. to fall behind ought to be alarming. Yet Chinese 
     leadership in supercomputing--its Tianhe-2 machine at the 
     Chinese National University of Defense in Guangzhou has won 
     top ranking for the third year in a row and can now do 
     quadrillions of calculations per second--is just such a straw 
     in the wind. Another is our apparent and growing 
     vulnerability to cyberattacks of the type that have damaged 
     Sony, major banks, large retailers, and other major 
     companies. Ultimately, it will be basic research in areas 
     such as photonics, cybersecurity, and quantum computing 
     (where China is investing heavily) that determine leadership 
     in secure information systems, in secure long distance 
     communications, and in super-computing (see Cybersecurity and 
     Quantum Information Systems). Recent budget cuts have 
     impacted U.S. efforts in all these areas. Also, technologies 
     are now in view that could markedly improve the way we 
     protect our soldiers and other war fighters while improving 
     their effectiveness in combat (see Defense Technology).
       It is not just areas of science with obvious applications 
     that are important. Some observers have asked, ``What good is 
     it?'' of the discovery of the Higgs boson (the particle 
     referred to above, which fills a major gap in our 
     understanding of the fundamental nature of matter). But it is 
     useful to remember that similar comments might have been made 
     when the double helix structure of DNA was first understood 
     (many decades before the first biotech drug), when the first 
     transistor emerged from research in solid state physics (many 
     decades before the IT revolution), when radio waves were 
     first discovered (long before radios or broadcast networks 
     were even conceived of). We are a remarkably inventive 
     species, and seem always to find ways to put new knowledge to 
     work.
       Other potential discoveries could have global impacts of a 
     different kind. Astronomers have now identified hundreds of 
     planets around other stars, and some of them are clearly 
     Earth-like. Imagine what it would mean to our human 
     perspective if we were to discover evidence of life on these 
     planets--a signal that we are not alone in the universe--from 
     observations of their planetary atmospheres, something that 
     is potentially within the technical capability of space-based 
     research within the next decade? Or if the next generation of 
     space telescopes can discover the true nature of the 
     mysterious ``dark matter'' and ``dark energy'' that appear to 
     be the dominant constituents of the universe (see Space 
     Exploration).
       Do we want more efficient government, more market-friendly 
     regulatory structures? Social and economic research is 
     increasingly able to provide policymakers with useful 
     guidance. Witness the way government has helped to create 
     mobile and broadband markets by auctioning the wireless 
     spectrum--complex, carefully-designed auctions based on 
     insights from game theory and related research that have 
     netted the federal government more than $60 billion while 
     catalyzing huge new industries and transformed the way we 
     live and do business. Empowered by access to more government 
     data and Big Data tools, such research could point the way to 
     still more efficient government (see Enabling Better Policy 
     Decisions).
       In the past, U.S. industry took a long term view of R&D and 
     did fundamental research, activities associated with such 
     entities as the now-diminished Bell Labs and Xerox Park. 
     That's still the case in some other countries such as South 
     Korea. Samsung, for example, spent decades of effort to 
     develop the underlying science and manufacturing behind 
     organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) before commercializing 
     these into the now familiar, dramatic displays in TVs and 
     many other digital devices. But today, as competitive 
     pressures have increased, basic research has essentially 
     disappeared from U.S. companies, leaving them dependent on 
     federally-funded, university-based basic research to fuel 
     innovation. This shift means that federal support of basic 
     research is even more tightly coupled to national economic 
     competitiveness. Moreover, there will

[[Page H688]]

     always be circumstances when private investment lags--when 
     the innovation creates a public good, such as clean air, for 
     which an investor can't capture the value, or when the risk 
     is too high, such as novel approaches to new antibiotic 
     drugs, or when the technical complexity is so high that there 
     is fundamental uncertainty as to the outcome, such as with 
     quantum computing or fusion energy. For these cases, 
     government funding is the only possible source to spur 
     innovation.
       This central role of federal research support means that 
     sudden changes in funding levels such as the recent sequester 
     can disrupt research efforts and cause long term damage, 
     especially to the pipeline of scientific talent on which U.S. 
     research leadership ultimately depends. In a survey of the 
     effects of reduced research funding conducted by the 
     Chronicle of Higher Education last year among 11,000 
     recipients of NIH and NSF research grants, nearly half have 
     abandoned an area of investigation they considered critical 
     to their lab's mission, and more than three quarters have 
     fired or failed to hire graduate students and research 
     fellows. Other evidence suggests that many of those affected 
     switch careers, leaving basic research behind forever.
       Despite these challenges, the potential benefits from 
     expanding basic research summarized in these pages--an 
     innovation dividend that could boost our economy, improve 
     human lives, and strengthen the U.S. strategically--are truly 
     inspiring. We hope you will find the information useful.

                              {time}  1600

  What this paper cites, in 2014, notable scientific advancements 
included landing of a manmade Earth object on a comet, discovery of a 
new fundamental particle which provided vital information on the origin 
of the universe, development of the world's fastest supercomputer, and 
a tremendous increase in plant biology that is discovering new and 
better ways to make global food requirements.
  None of these, however, Mr. Chairman, were U.S.-led. So my amendment 
turns our attention, again, maybe to the obvious. Maybe if I say 
Alexander Bell, as we learned as children in school, everybody knew 
that he created the telephone.
  George Washington Carver was associated with the many scientific 
discoveries out of a single peanut, someone that those of us, in this 
month of African American History, when they would teach us African 
American History, we would all know George Washington Carver, that we 
had a real role model that was a scientist and that generated probably 
thousands of scientists, people of African American heritage and 
beyond.
  So I want my amendment to emphasize that we want the long list of 
innovation to be on our side and to continue the tradition and 
trajectory that we have had of basic research that then applies to all 
levels to create opportunities of work and genius that is here in this 
country.
  I ask my colleagues to support my amendment.
  I thank Chairman Sessions and Ranking Member Slaughter for making 
three Jackson Lee Amendments in order for consideration under H.R. 
3293, the ``Scientific Research in the National Interest Act.''
  My thanks and appreciation to Chairman Smith and Ranking Member 
Johnson's staff for working with my staff on drafting this amendment.
  Jackson Lee Amendment No. 4--adds to the list of goals in the 
national interest--the conduct of basic research that follow well 
established protocols and scientific methods.
  The scientific method--it is what happens every day and can lead to 
basic research experiments conducted by scientists.
  Basic research is the foundation of tomorrow's innovations.
  The Jackson Lee Amendment will help ensure that the nature of basic 
research is preserved because without basic research the United States 
will be dependent on others to make and reap the tremendous economic 
rewards from new discoveries.
  Applied science depends on a well-grounded understanding of the basic 
research that leads to discovery.
  I call my colleagues attention to a groundbreaking report by the 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology entitled ``The Future Postponed: 
Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a U.S. Innovation 
Deficit.''
  For much of our history, the United States' industries took a long 
term view of research and development and did fundamental research, 
activities associated with basic research at Bell Labs and Xerox Park.
  Today, as competitive pressures have increased, basic research has 
essentially disappeared from U.S. companies, leaving them dependent 
upon federally-funded, university-based basic research to fuel 
innovation.
  In 2014, notable scientific advancements included:
  1. landing of a man made earth object on a comet;
  2. discovery of a new fundamental particle, which provided vital 
information on the origin of the universe; development of the world's 
fastest supercomputer; and
  3. a tremendous increase in plant biology that is discovering new and 
better ways to meet global food requirements.
  These are wonderful accomplishments, but none of them were U.S. led.
  The first two were European in origin and the second two were 
accomplished by China.
  China landed the Jade Rabbit, its first lunar probe on the moon, and 
on Sunday North Korea launched a long range rocket that put a satellite 
into space that flew over the location of the Super Bowl.
  The Jackson Lee Amendment is intended to strengthen the nation's 
commitment to basic research so that the United States remains 
preeminent in the field of discovery.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to 
the amendment, though I do not oppose the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the gentleman is recognized for 
5 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I support this amendment by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee), her second amendment that we 
are accepting on this side of the aisle.
  I believe this amendment, in combination with the previous amendment, 
aims to ensure that the National Science Foundation grants fund 
research that meets the highest standards so taxpayer dollars are not 
wasted on frivolous grants or poorly designed research proposals.
  This amendment recognizes the National Science Foundation's basic 
research mission and endorses applying the bill's national interest 
standards and criteria to National Science Foundation's basic research 
grants.
  I thank the gentlewoman for her amendment, and I support it.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. I thank the gentleman for supporting this amendment, 
and I thank the ranking member for supporting it.
  In closing, Mr. Chairman, let me say that, in addition to following 
protocol, we must invest funds, money, in basic research.
  But I also want to take note of something that I have watched over 
the years, and I have added amendments, and I have seen the growth.
  One of my first acts on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee 
was to utilize laboratory tools or equipment that were no longer needed 
by the Federal Government in its national science lab to give them to 
middle schools and high schools so that they would have access to this 
kind of equipment. Many of us know that there are schools all 
throughout America who are deficient in science labs. I see them in my 
district. I hear about them.
  I think the other important point is that, over the years, we have 
expanded the research collaboration to Historically Black Colleges, 
Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Native American-Serving, rural, and 
colleges that serve the economically disadvantaged.
  Those are good things because we don't know where the genius is 
America and how many people may come up with outstanding research. So I 
hope that we do focus on how important basic research is.
  I ask my colleagues to support the Jackson Lee amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                 Amendment No. 5 Offered by Ms. DelBene

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 5 
printed in part B of House Report 114-420.
  Ms. DelBENE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 4, line 6, insert ``, including computer science and 
     information technology sectors,'' after ``workforce''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 609, the gentlewoman 
from Washington (Ms. DelBene) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.

[[Page H689]]

  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Washington.
  Ms. DelBENE. Mr. Chair, I rise to offer this amendment to ensure the 
National Science Foundation can continue investing in the development 
of an American workforce that is globally competitive in computer 
science and information technology. This has been a bipartisan goal in 
the past, and I am hopeful everyone in this Chamber will be able to 
support it.
  Computing technology has become an integral part of our lives, 
transforming our society and our Nation's economy. Nowhere is this 
clearer than in the Puget Sound region. I have the honor of 
representing Washington's First District, which has some of the world's 
leading software companies and technology innovators.
  But the same can be seen across the country. According to the Bureau 
of Labor Statistics, there will be roughly 10 million STEM jobs by 2020 
and, of those jobs, half are expected to be in computing and 
information technology. That is nearly 5 million good-paying jobs. But 
unless we step up our game, our country won't have enough computer 
science graduates to fill those positions.
  Today, there continues to be a substantial shortage of Americans with 
the skills needed to fill computing jobs, and too few of our students 
are being given the opportunity to learn computer science, both at the 
K-12 level and in college. What is worse, dramatic disparities remain 
for girls and students of color.
  Last year, less than 25 percent of students taking the AP Computer 
Science exam were girls, while less than 15 percent were African 
American or Latino.
  To remain economically competitive, we need to make smart investments 
now to address these disparities and ensure we have a strong 21st 
century workforce in the decades to come. Thankfully, NSF supports 
vital research and development projects to help prepare the next 
generation to compete in STEM jobs, something we all agree is an 
important goal.
  My amendment simply clarifies that, under the legislation, NSF can 
also invest in projects aimed at developing an American workforce that 
is globally competitive in computing and information technology, 
sectors that are seeing enormous growth here at home and around the 
globe.
  If we want our students to be prepared for the digital economy, NSF 
must be able to fund projects that support the teaching and learning of 
essential computer science skills like coding, programming, designing, 
and debugging. My amendment will do just that. It will ensure we are 
looking forward and preparing students for the college degrees and 
careers of the future.
  I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support it.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I claim time in opposition to the 
amendment, but I do not oppose it.
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the gentleman is recognized for 
5 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I accept the gentlewoman's 
amendment. It clarifies that it is in the national interest to fund 
grants that support the development of an American STEM workforce that 
is globally competitive and that includes computer science and the 
information technology sectors.
  In October, the President signed into law the STEM Education Act, a 
bill that I introduced with my colleague Ms. Esty, which expands the 
definition of STEM to include computer science. This amendment 
reinforces that new Federal definition of STEM. It is a perfecting 
amendment to the bill, and I welcome it.
  I agree with my colleague that it is in the national interest to 
support creating training a STEM workforce which includes computer 
science, and I support her amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. DelBENE. I want to thank the chairman for his support.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Washington (Ms. DelBene).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                 Amendment No. 6 Offered by Ms. DelBene

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 6 
printed in part B of House Report 114-420.
  Ms. DelBENE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 5, after line 3, add the following:
       (e) Clarification.--Nothing in this Act shall be construed 
     to impact Federal funding for research grants or cooperative 
     agreements awarded by the National Science Foundation prior 
     to the date of enactment of this Act.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 609, the gentlewoman 
from Washington (Ms. DelBene) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Washington.
  Ms. DelBENE. Mr. Chair, I rise to offer an important amendment for 
scientists across the country who are engaged in ongoing research 
funded by the National Science Foundation.
  As everyone in this Chamber knows, research and innovation are 
central to American competitiveness and driving our national economy. 
Each year, investments in research through NSF help us push the 
boundaries of scientific knowledge, support new industries, and address 
the challenges facing our society.
  I don't think anyone would deny that funding for NSF has 
overwhelmingly benefited our country. It is also key to our country's 
economic growth. Funding new explorations in science and technology is 
how we stay on the cutting edge of research; it is how we continue to 
compete globally in the 21st century economy.
  That is why I have serious concerns about the implications of the 
underlying legislation, which needlessly inserts a layer of political 
review into the scientific research process. To remain a world leader, 
we need to ensure scientists are exploring transformative new ideas and 
frontiers based on the merits of their research, not the subjective 
opinions of politicians in Congress.
  Unfortunately, those subjective opinions are exactly what is being 
injected into the process under this legislation; and what is worse, it 
has the potential to put ongoing research at risk. By changing the 
rules about how NSF funding is awarded, scientists across the country 
may rightfully be concerned about how this legislation affects the 
important work that they are doing today.
  As someone who started her career in research, I can tell you 
firsthand it is incredibly important that you have the certainty to see 
a project through to the end. Starting and stopping research is highly 
detrimental.
  We should provide scientists the long-term visibility to know their 
ongoing research can be completed without interference from 
politicians, and that is precisely what my amendment does. My amendment 
simply clarifies that the underlying legislation does not impact any 
grant funding that has already been awarded by the NSF. It is critical 
that we pass it to ensure ongoing research is not disrupted by this 
unfortunate bill.
  Mr. Chairman, research isn't a spigot you can turn on and off. I urge 
my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense 
amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to 
the amendment, though I do not oppose the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the gentleman is recognized for 
5 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I accept the gentlewoman's 
amendment. It clarifies that the new requirements in the bill do not 
apply to grants that have already been awarded by the National Science 
Foundation. I agree that the bill is not intended to be retroactive.
  In January 2015, NSF began to implement new internal guidelines that 
promote accountability and transparency. These guidelines are 
compatible with this bill, but the implementation of them is a work in 
progress. I will continue to communicate with NSF about how they 
implement their internal guidelines, but agree that this bill will only 
apply to future grants, once enacted.
  So, Mr. Chairman, I support the amendment.

[[Page H690]]

  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. DelBENE. I thank the chairman for his support of the amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Washington (Ms. DelBene).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now 
rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Carter of Texas) having assumed the chair, Mr. Mooney of West Virginia, 
Acting Chair of the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the 
Union, reported that that Committee, having had under consideration the 
bill (H.R. 3293) to provide for greater accountability in Federal 
funding for scientific research, to promote the progress of science in 
the United States that serves that national interest, had come to no 
resolution thereon.

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