H. Rept. 113-383 - 113th Congress (2013-2014)
March 21, 2014, As Reported by the Science, Space, and Technology Committee

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House Report 113-383 - WEATHER FORECASTING IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2013




[House Report 113-383]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


113th Congress  }                                           {    Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session     }                                           {   113-383

======================================================================



 
              WEATHER FORECASTING IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2013

                                _______
                                

 March 21, 2014.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Smith of Texas, from the Committee on Science, Space, and 
                  Technology, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2413]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 2413) to prioritize and redirect 
NOAA resources to a focused program of investment on near-term, 
affordable, and attainable advances in observational, 
computing, and modeling capabilities to deliver substantial 
improvement in weather forecasting and prediction of high 
impact weather events, such as tornadoes and hurricanes, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
   I. Amendment.......................................................2
  II. Purpose and Summary.............................................7
 III. Background and Need for the Legislation.........................7
  IV. Hearing Summary.................................................9
   V. Committee Consideration........................................10
  VI. Committee Votes................................................10
 VII. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill........................12
VIII. Committee Views................................................13
  IX. Committee Oversight Findings...................................17
   X. Statement on General Performance Goals and Objectives..........17
  XI. New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditur17
 XII. Advisory on Earmarks...........................................17
XIII. Committee Cost Estimate........................................17
 XIV. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate......................17
  XV. Federal Mandates Statement.....................................19
 XVI. Compliance with House Resolution 5.............................19
XVII. Federal Advisory Committee Statement...........................19
XVIII.Applicability to Legislative Branch............................20

 XIX. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation.................20
  XX. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, As Reported..........22
 XXI. Exchange of Committee Correspondence...........................23
XXII. Proceedings of the Subcommittee Markup.........................25
XXIII.Proceedings of the Full Committee Markup.......................83


                              I. Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
      Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 
2013''.

SEC. 2. PUBLIC SAFETY PRIORITY.

  In accordance with NOAA's critical mission to provide science, 
service, and stewardship, the Under Secretary shall prioritize weather-
related activities, including the provision of weather data, forecasts, 
and warnings for the protection of life and property and the 
enhancement of the national economy, in all relevant line offices.

SEC. 3. WEATHER RESEARCH AND FORECASTING INNOVATION.

  (a) Program.--The Assistant Administrator for OAR shall conduct a 
program to develop improved understanding of and forecast capabilities 
for atmospheric events and their impacts, placing priority on 
developing more accurate, timely, and effective warnings and forecasts 
of high impact weather events that endanger life and property.
  (b) Program Elements.--The program described in subsection (a) shall 
focus on the following activities:
          (1) Improving the fundamental understanding of weather 
        consistent with section 2, including boundary layer and other 
        atmospheric processes.
          (2) Improving the understanding of how the public receives, 
        interprets, and responds to warnings and forecasts of high 
        impact weather events that endanger life and property.
          (3) Research and development, and transfer of knowledge, 
        technologies, and applications to the NWS and other appropriate 
        agencies and entities, including the American weather industry 
        and academic partners, related to--
                  (A) advanced radar, radar networking technologies, 
                and other ground-based technologies, including those 
                emphasizing rapid, fine-scale sensing of the boundary 
                layer and the use of innovative, dual-polarization, 
                phased-array technologies;
                  (B) aerial weather observing systems;
                  (C) high performance computing and information 
                technology networks;
                  (D) advanced numerical weather prediction systems and 
                forecasting tools and techniques that improve the 
                forecasting of timing, track, intensity, and severity 
                of high impact weather, including through--
                          (i) the development of more effective 
                        mesoscale models;
                          (ii) more effective use of existing, and the 
                        development of new, regional and national 
                        cloud-resolving models;
                          (iii) enhanced global models; and
                          (iv) integrated assessment models;
                  (E) quantitative assessment tools for measuring the 
                value of data and observing systems, including OSSEs 
                (as described in section 8), OSEs, and AOAs;
                  (F) atmospheric chemistry and interactions essential 
                to accurately characterizing atmospheric composition 
                and predicting meteorological processes, including 
                cloud microphysical, precipitation, and atmospheric 
                electrification processes, to more effectively 
                understand their role in severe weather; and
                  (G) additional sources of weather data and 
                information, including commercial observing systems.
          (4) A technology transfer initiative, carried out jointly and 
        in coordination with the Assistant Administrator for NWS, and 
        in cooperation with the American weather industry and academic 
        partners, to ensure continuous development and transition of 
        the latest scientific and technological advances into NWS 
        operations.
  (c) Extramural Research.--
          (1) In general.--In carrying out the program under this 
        section, the Assistant Administrator for OAR shall collaborate 
        with and support the non-Federal weather research community, 
        which includes institutions of higher education, private 
        entities, and nongovernmental organizations, by making funds 
        available through competitive grants, contracts, and 
        cooperative agreements.
          (2) Sense of congress.--It is the sense of Congress that not 
        less than 30 percent of the funds authorized for research and 
        development at OAR by this Act should be made available for 
        this purpose.
          (3) Report.--The Under Secretary shall transmit to Congress 
        annually, concurrently with NOAA's budget request, a 
        description of current and planned activities under this 
        section.

SEC. 4. TORNADO WARNING IMPROVEMENT AND EXTENSION PROGRAM.

  (a) In General.--The Under Secretary, in collaboration with the 
American weather industry and academic partners, shall establish a 
tornado warning improvement and extension program.
  (b) Goal.--The goal of such program shall be to reduce the loss of 
life and economic losses from tornadoes through the development and 
extension of accurate, effective, and timely tornado forecasts, 
predictions, and warnings, including the prediction of tornadoes beyond 
one hour in advance.
  (c) Program Plan.--Not later than 6 months after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Assistant Administrator for OAR, in 
consultation with the Assistant Administrator for NWS, shall develop a 
program plan that details the specific research, development, and 
technology transfer activities, as well as corresponding resources and 
timelines, necessary to achieve the program goal.
  (d) Budget for Plan.--Following completion of the plan, the Assistant 
Administrator for OAR, in consultation with the Assistant Administrator 
for NWS, shall transmit annually to Congress a proposed budget 
corresponding to the activities identified in the plan.

SEC. 5. HURRICANE WARNING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM.

  (a) In General.--The Under Secretary, in collaboration with the 
American weather industry and academic partners, shall establish a 
hurricane warning improvement program.
  (b) Goal.--The goal of such program shall be to develop and extend 
accurate hurricane forecasts and warnings in order to reduce loss of 
life, injury, and damage to the economy.
  (c) Program Plan.--Not later than 6 months after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Assistant Administrator for OAR, in 
consultation with the Assistant Administrator for NWS, shall develop a 
program plan that details the specific research, development, and 
technology transfer activities, as well as corresponding resources and 
timelines, necessary to achieve the program goal.
  (d) Budget for Plan.--Following completion of the plan, the Assistant 
Administrator for OAR, in consultation with the Assistant Administrator 
for NWS, shall transmit annually to Congress a proposed budget 
corresponding to the activities identified in the plan.

SEC. 6. WEATHER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING.

  Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, and 
annually thereafter, the Assistant Administrator for OAR, in 
coordination with the Assistant Administrators for NWS and NESDIS, 
shall issue a research and development plan to restore and maintain 
United States leadership in numerical weather prediction and 
forecasting that--
          (1) describes the forecasting skill and technology goals, 
        objectives, and progress of NOAA in carrying out the program 
        conducted under section 3;
          (2) identifies and prioritizes specific research and 
        development activities, and performance metrics, weighted to 
        meet the operational weather mission of NWS;
          (3) describes how the program will collaborate with 
        stakeholders, including the American weather industry and 
        academic partners; and
          (4) identifies, through consultation with the National 
        Science Foundation, American weather industry, and academic 
        partners, research necessary to enhance the integration of 
        social science knowledge into weather forecast and warning 
        processes, including to improve the communication of threat 
        information necessary to enable improved severe weather 
        planning and decisionmaking on the part of individuals and 
        communities.

SEC. 7. OBSERVING SYSTEM PLANNING.

  The Under Secretary shall--
          (1) develop and maintain a prioritized list of observation 
        data requirements necessary to ensure weather forecasting 
        capabilities to protect life and property to the maximum extent 
        practicable;
          (2) undertake, using OSSEs, OSEs, AOAs, and other appropriate 
        assessment tools, ongoing systematic evaluations of the 
        combination of observing systems, data, and information needed 
        to meet the requirements developed under paragraph (1), 
        assessing various options to maximize observational 
        capabilities and their cost-effectiveness;
          (3) identify current and potential future data gaps in 
        observing capabilities related to the requirements under 
        paragraph (1); and
          (4) determine a range of options to address gaps identified 
        under paragraph (3).

SEC. 8. OBSERVING SYSTEM SIMULATION EXPERIMENTS.

  (a) In General.--In support of the requirements of section 7, the 
Assistant Administrator for OAR shall undertake OSSEs to quantitatively 
assess the relative value and benefits of observing capabilities and 
systems. Technical and scientific OSSE evaluations--
          (1) may include assessments of the impact of observing 
        capabilities on--
                  (A) global weather prediction;
                  (B) hurricane track and intensity forecasting;
                  (C) tornado warning lead times and accuracy; and
                  (D) prediction of mid-latitude severe local storm 
                outbreaks; and
          (2) shall be conducted in cooperation with other appropriate 
        entities within NOAA, other Federal agencies, the American 
        weather industry, and academic partners.
  (b) Requirements.--OSSEs shall quantitatively--
          (1) determine the potential impact of proposed space-based, 
        suborbital, and in situ observing systems on analyses and 
        forecasts;
          (2) evaluate and compare observing system design options; and
          (3) assess the relative capabilities and costs of various 
        observing systems and combinations of observing systems in 
        providing data necessary to protect life and property.
  (c) Implementation.--OSSEs--
          (1) shall be conducted prior to the acquisition of major 
        Government-owned or Government-leased operational observing 
        systems, including polar-orbiting and geostationary satellite 
        systems, with a lifecycle cost of more than $500,000,000; and
          (2) shall be conducted prior to the purchase of any major new 
        commercially provided data with a lifecycle cost of more than 
        $500,000,000.
  (d) Priority OSSEs.--Not later than June 30, 2014, the Assistant 
Administrator for OAR shall complete OSSEs to assess the value of data 
from both Global Positioning System radio occultation and a 
geostationary hyperspectral sounder global constellation.
  (e) Results.--Upon completion of all OSSEs, results shall be publicly 
released and accompanied by an assessment of related private and public 
sector weather data sourcing options, including their availability, 
affordability, and cost effectiveness. Such assessments shall be 
developed in accordance with section 50503 of title 51, United States 
Code.

SEC. 9. COMPUTING RESOURCES PRIORITIZATION REPORT.

  Not later than 12 months after the date of enactment of this Act, and 
annually thereafter, the NOAA Chief Information Officer, in 
coordination with the Assistant Administrator for OAR and the Assistant 
Administrator for NWS, shall produce a report that explains how NOAA 
intends to--
          (1) aggressively pursue the newest, fastest, and most cost 
        effective high performance computing technologies in support of 
        its weather prediction mission;
          (2) ensure a balance between the research requirements to 
        develop the next generation of regional and global models and 
        its highly reliable operational models;
          (3) take advantage of advanced development concepts to, as 
        appropriate, make its next generation weather prediction models 
        available in beta-test mode to its operational forecasters, the 
        American weather industry, and its partners in academic and 
        government research;
          (4) identify opportunities to reallocate existing advanced 
        computing resources from lower priority uses to improve 
        advanced research and operational weather prediction; and
          (5) harness new computing power in OAR and NWS for immediate 
        improvement in forecasting and experimentation.

SEC. 10. COMMERCIAL WEATHER DATA.

  (a) Amendment.--Section 60161 of title 51, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following: ``This prohibition shall 
not extend to--
          ``(1) the purchase of weather data through contracts with 
        commercial providers; or
          ``(2) the placement of weather satellite instruments on 
        cohosted government or private payloads.''.
  (b) Strategy.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than 6 months after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce, in 
        consultation with the Under Secretary, shall transmit to the 
        Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
        Transportation of the Senate a strategy to enable the 
        procurement of quality commercial weather data. The strategy 
        shall assess the range of commercial opportunities, including 
        public-private partnerships, for obtaining both surface-based 
        and space-based weather observations. The strategy shall 
        include the cost effectiveness of these opportunities, as well 
        as provide a plan for procuring data from these nongovernmental 
        sources, as appropriate.
          (2) Requirements.--The strategy shall include--
                  (A) an analysis of financial or other benefits to, 
                and risks associated with, acquiring commercial weather 
                data or services, including through multiyear 
                acquisition approaches;
                  (B) an identification of methods to address planning, 
                programming, budgeting, and execution challenges to 
                such approaches, including--
                          (i) how standards will be set to ensure that 
                        data is reliable and effective;
                          (ii) how data may be acquired from commercial 
                        experimental or innovative techniques and then 
                        evaluated for integration into operational use;
                          (iii) how to guarantee public access to all 
                        forecast-critical data to ensure that the 
                        American weather industry and the public 
                        continue to have access to information critical 
                        to their work; and
                          (iv) in accordance with section 50503 of 
                        title 51, United States Code, methods to 
                        address potential termination liability or 
                        cancellation costs associated with weather data 
                        or service contracts; and
                  (C) an identification of any changes needed in the 
                requirements development and approval processes of the 
                Department of Commerce to facilitate effective and 
                efficient implementation of such strategy.

SEC. 11. WEATHER RESEARCH AND INNOVATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

  (a) Establishment.--The Under Secretary shall establish a Federal 
Advisory Committee to--
          (1) provide advice for prioritizing weather research 
        initiatives at NOAA to produce real improvement in weather 
        forecasting;
          (2) provide advice on existing or emerging technologies or 
        techniques that can be found in private industry or the 
        research community that could be incorporated into forecasting 
        at NWS to improve forecasting;
          (3) identify opportunities to improve communications between 
        weather forecasters, emergency management personnel, and the 
        public; and
          (4) address such other matters as the Under Secretary or the 
        Advisory Committee believes would improve innovation in weather 
        forecasting.
  (b) Composition.--
          (1) In general.--The Under Secretary shall appoint leading 
        experts and innovators from all relevant fields of science and 
        engineering that inform meteorology, including atmospheric 
        chemistry, atmospheric physics, hydrology, social science, risk 
        communications, electrical engineering, and computer modeling.
          (2) Number.--The Advisory Committee shall be composed of at 
        least 12 members, with the chair of the Advisory Committee 
        chosen from among the members.
          (3) Restriction.--The Under Secretary may not appoint a 
        majority of members who are employees of NOAA-funded research 
        centers.
  (c) Annual Report.--The Advisory Committee shall transmit annually to 
the Under Secretary a report on progress made by NOAA in adopting the 
Advisory Committee's recommendations. The Under Secretary shall 
transmit a copy of such report to the Committee on Science, Space, and 
Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.
  (d) Duration.--Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 
U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Advisory Committee until the date 
that is 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 12. INTERAGENCY WEATHER RESEARCH AND INNOVATION COORDINATION.

  (a) Establishment.--The Director of the Office of Science and 
Technology Policy shall establish an Interagency Committee for 
Advancing Weather Services to improve coordination of relevant weather 
research and forecast innovation activities across the Federal 
Government. The Interagency Committee shall--
          (1) include participation by the National Aeronautics and 
        Space Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, NOAA 
        and its constituent elements, the National Science Foundation, 
        and such other agencies involved in weather forecasting 
        research as the President determines are appropriate;
          (2) identify and prioritize top forecast needs and coordinate 
        those needs against budget requests and program initiatives 
        across participating offices and agencies; and
          (3) share information regarding operational needs and 
        forecasting improvements across relevant agencies.
  (b) Co-Chair.--The Federal Coordinator for Meteorology shall serve as 
a co-chair of this panel.
  (c) Further Coordination.--The Director shall take such other steps 
as are necessary to coordinate the activities of the Federal Government 
with those of the American weather industry, State governments, 
emergency managers, and academic researchers.

SEC. 13. VISITING OAR RESEARCHERS PROGRAM.

  (a) In General.--The Assistant Administrator for OAR, in 
collaboration with the Assistant Administrator for NWS, may establish a 
program to detail OAR researchers to the NWS.
  (b) Goal.--The goal of this program is to enhance forecasting 
innovation through regular, direct interaction between OAR's world-
class scientists and NWS's operational staff.
  (c) Elements.--The program shall allow no fewer than 5 and no more 
than 15 OAR staff to spend up to 1 year on detail to the NWS. Such 
detail shall be at any of the National Centers for Environmental 
Prediction or at any of the Regional Forecast Offices where such 
interaction could be productive in improving forecasting capabilities. 
Candidates shall be jointly selected by the Assistant Administrator for 
OAR and the Assistant Administrator for NWS.
  (d) Report.--The Under Secretary shall report annually to the 
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
Representatives and to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate on participation in such program and shall 
highlight any innovations that come from this interaction.

SEC. 14. VISITING FELLOWS AT NWS.

  (a) In General.--The Assistant Administrator for NWS may establish a 
program to host postdoctoral fellows and academic researchers at any of 
the National Centers for Environmental Prediction.
  (b) Goal.--This program shall be designed to provide direct 
interaction between forecasters and talented academic and private 
sector researchers in an effort to bring innovation to forecasting 
tools and techniques available to the NWS.
  (c) Selection and Appointment.--Such fellows shall be competitively 
selected and appointed for a term not to exceed 1 year.

SEC. 15. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) AOA.--The term ``AOA'' means an Analysis of Alternatives.
          (2) NESDIS.--The term ``NESDIS'' means the National 
        Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service.
          (3) NOAA.--The term ``NOAA'' means the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration.
          (4) NWS.--The term ``NWS'' means the National Weather 
        Service.
          (5) OAR.--The term ``OAR'' means the Office of Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Research.
          (6) OSE.--The term ``OSE'' means an Observing System 
        Experiment.
          (7) OSSE.--The term ``OSSE'' means an Observing System 
        Simulation Experiment.
          (8) Under secretary.--The term ``Under Secretary'' means the 
        Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.

SEC. 16. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  (a) Fiscal Year 2014.--There are authorized to be appropriated for 
fiscal year 2014--
          (1) out of funds made available for operations, research, and 
        facilities in OAR, $83,000,000 to carry out section 3, of 
        which--
                  (A) $65,000,000 is authorized for weather 
                laboratories and cooperative institutes; and
                  (B) $18,000,000 is authorized for weather and air 
                chemistry research programs; and
          (2) out of funds made available for research and development 
        in NWS, an additional amount of $14,000,000 for OAR to carry 
        out the joint technology transfer initiative described in 
        section 3(b)(4).
  (b) Alternative Funding for Fiscal Year 2014.--If the Budget Control 
Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-25) is repealed or replaced with an Act 
that increases allocations, subsection (a) shall not apply, and there 
are authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2014--
          (1) out of funds made available for operations, research, and 
        facilities in OAR, $96,500,000 to carry out section 3, of 
        which--
                  (A) $77,500,000 is authorized for weather 
                laboratories and cooperative institutes; and
                  (B) $19,000,000 is authorized for weather and air 
                chemistry research programs; and
          (2) out of funds made available for research and development 
        in NWS, an additional amount of $16,000,000 for OAR to carry 
        out the joint technology transfer initiative described in 
        section 3(b)(4).
  (c) Fiscal Years 2015 Through 2017.--Out of funds made available for 
operations, research, and facilities in OAR for each of fiscal years 
2015 through 2017, there are authorized to be appropriated--
          (1) $100,000,000 to carry out section 3, of which--
                  (A) $80,000,000 is authorized for weather 
                laboratories and cooperative institutes; and
                  (B) $20,000,000 is authorized for weather and air 
                chemistry research programs; and
          (2) an additional amount of $20,000,000 for the joint 
        technology transfer initiative described in section 3(b)(4).

                        II. Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 2413 is to prioritize and redirect 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration resources to a 
focused program of investment on affordable and attainable 
advances in observational, computing, and modeling capabilities 
to deliver substantial improvement in weather forecasting and 
prediction of high impact weather events, such as those 
associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, storm 
surges, and wildfires.

              III. Background and Need for the Legislation

    Weather impacts American lives, and extreme weather poses 
significant risks to important parts of the U.S. economy. NOAA 
has traced a rise in weather disasters costing the economy up 
to $1 billion in damage per weather event, and a recent 
analysis found that substantial parts of the economy are 
sensitive to weather variability, representing more than three 
percent of Gross Domestic Product and nearly $500 billion a 
year.\1\
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    \1\http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2011BAMS2928.1
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    Recent severe weather events in the United States have 
underscored the need for timely, accurate, and reliable weather 
forecasts. Within NOAA, the National Weather Service (NWS), the 
Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), and the 
National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service 
(NESDIS) play important roles in developing and deploying U.S. 
weather forecasting capabilities.\2\ NOAA is joined in this 
effort by an ever-evolving private sector weather enterprise. 
The National Academy of Sciences recently emphasized the 
importance of this partnership, noting that ``[p]rivate sector 
and other organizations provide sensor data, weather forecasts, 
and end-user services to a broad set of customers.''\3\
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    \2\For more information on these responsibilities, see: ``To 
Observe and Protect: How NOAA Procures Data for Weather Forecasting,'' 
March 28, 2012, http://science.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-energy-
and-environment-hearing-how-noaa-procures-data-weather-forecasting.
    \3\http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/materials-based-on-
reports/reports-in-brief/Weather-Services-Report-Brief.pdf.
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    Rapid technological advances in computing and other areas 
such as remote sensing and advanced radar hold great promise to 
improve severe weather prediction, but have yet to be fully 
exploited. This promise was detailed in NOAA's most recent 20 
Year Research Vision, which asserted that emphasis on weather 
research and technological development will result in 
significant benefits to public safety:

          Severe storm and event warnings will save more lives 
        and property. The enhanced information delivery systems 
        of the future will be well coordinated and able to 
        quickly disseminate severe storm and event warnings. 
        The warnings themselves will see dramatic improvements. 
        For example, tornado warning lead times will be on the 
        order of one hour, rather than minutes. Technology like 
        phased array radar, significant improvements in our 
        under-standing of meso-scale weather processes, and the 
        development of models that embody this understanding 
        will enable this accomplishment. Improvements in storm 
        surge forecasting and increased tsunami monitoring/
        warning capacity will also greatly minimize loss of 
        life and property damage from these hazards.\4\
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    \4\http://nrc.noaa.gov/sites/nrc/Documents/
Reduced%20file%20size_20%20yr%20Research%20Vision.pdf

    Citing ongoing concerns about potential data gaps for 
NOAA's polar-orbiting and geostationary satellite programs, 
including a potential polar-orbiting gap of 17 to 53 months, 
the Government Accountability Office added NOAA's satellite 
programs to its High Risk List in 2013. This potential gap in 
weather satellite coverage and management problems with NOAA's 
satellites have been the subject of several Science, Space, and 
Technology Committee hearings over many years. The GAO 
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emphasized the potential effects of a gap:

          According to NOAA program officials, a satellite data 
        gap would result in less accurate and timely weather 
        forecasts and warnings of extreme events, such as 
        hurricanes, storm surges, and floods. Such degradation 
        in forecasts and warnings would place lives, property, 
        and our nation's critical infrastructures in danger. 
        Given the criticality of satellite data to weather 
        forecasts, the likelihood of significant gaps and the 
        potential impact of such gaps on the health and safety 
        of the U.S. population and economy, GAO has concluded 
        that the potential gap in weather satellite data is a 
        high-risk area and added it to the High Risk List in 
        2013.\5\
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    \5\http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/652133.pdf

    In addition, independent reviews of NOAA's weather research 
portfolio have also recommended a stronger emphasis on moving 
research-to-operations within NOAA's weather portfolio. In 
2010, the National Academy of Public Administration stated that 
OAR ``provides particularly important institutional glue to 
support innovation across NOAA.''\6\ In April 2013, NOAA's 
Science Advisory Board stated that ``unless . . . science is 
transitioned into operations . . . NOAA will fail in its 
mission. NOAA must make certain that the intended end use of 
the scientific information is understood from the start by its 
researchers working on scientific questions and, ensure that 
internal as well as external end-user needs are incorporated 
explicitly into the problem formulation.''\7\
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    \6\http://www.napawash.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/NAPA-Final-
Report_NOAA-Climate-Service-Study_September-20101.pdf
    \7\http://www.sab.noaa.gov/Reports/2013/
SAB%20R&D%20Portfolio%20Review%20Report%20to%20NOAA%20FINAL.pdf
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                          IV. Hearing Summary

    The Environment Subcommittee held a hearing on May 23, 2013 
entitled ``Restoring U.S. Leadership in Weather Forecasting.'' 
The purpose of the hearing was to examine ways to improve NOAA 
weather forecasting, and to receive testimony on draft 
legislation to prioritize weather-related research.
    The Committee received testimony from: Mr. Barry Myers, 
Chief Executive Officer of AccuWeather, Inc. and Mr. Jon 
Kirchner, President of GeoOptics, Inc.
    Witnesses discussed the current weather forecasting systems 
in the U.S. and highlighted opportunities to improve weather 
forecasting through new technologies.
    The Environment Subcommittee also held a hearing on June 
26, 2013 entitled ``Restoring U.S. Leadership in Weather 
Forecasting Part 2,'' with the purpose of continuing the 
discussion of improving NOAA's weather forecasting.
    The Subcommittee received testimony from: The Honorable 
Kathryn Sullivan, Acting Administrator at the National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration; Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Vice 
President for Research, Regents' Professor for Meteorology, 
Weathernews Chair Emeritus, University of Oklahoma; Dr. William 
Gail, Chief Technology Officer, Global Weather Corporation, 
President-Elect, American Meteorological Society; and Dr. Shuyi 
Chen, Professor, Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, 
Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University 
of Miami.
    In the 112th Congress, the Committee on Science, Space, and 
Technology held a hearing on March 28, 2012, entitled, ``To 
Observe and Protect: How NOAA Procures Data for Weather 
Forecasting.'' The purpose of the hearing was to examine how 
NOAA develops, evaluates, and executes plans to deliver the 
best and most cost effective data necessary to meet 
requirements for severe weather prediction and other 
observational needs.
    The Subcommittee received testimony from: Ms. Mary Kicza, 
Assistant Administrator, National Environmental Satellite, 
Data, and Information Service, NOAA; Dr. Alexander MacDonald, 
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Research Laboratories and 
Cooperative Institutes, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Research, NOAA; Mr. John Murphy, Chief, Programs and Plans 
Division, National Weather Service, NOAA; Mr. Eric Webster, 
Vice President and Director, Weather Systems, ITT Exelis; Dr. 
David Crain, Chief Executive Officer, GeoMetWatch; Mr. Bruce 
Lev, Vice Chairman, AirDat LLC; and Dr. Berrien Moore, Dean, 
University of Oklahoma College of Atmospheric and Geographic 
Sciences, and Director, National Weather Center.

                       V. Committee Consideration

    On June 18, 2013, H.R. 2413 was introduced by Rep. Jim 
Bridenstine and referred to the Committee on Science, Space, 
and Technology.
    On July 9, 2013, the Subcommittee on Environment met in 
open markup session and adopted H.R. 2413, as amended, by voice 
vote.
    On December 5, 2013, the Committee on Science, Space, and 
Technology met in open markup session and adopted H.R. 2413, as 
amended, by voice vote. Further, the Committee ordered H.R. 
2413 favorably reported to the House, as amended, by unanimous 
voice vote.

                          VI. Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. A 
motion to order H.R. 2413 favorably reported to the House, as 
amended, was agreed to by voice vote.
    During Full Committee consideration of H.R. 2413, the 
following amendments were considered:




[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]




              VII. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill

    
 Public Safety Prioritization. The bill directs the 
Administrator of NOAA to prioritize weather-related activities 
to protect life and property and the enhancement of the 
national economy in all relevant offices.
    
 Weather Research Prioritization. The bill codifies 
and expands NOAA weather research activities, directing the 
agency to place ``priority on developing more accurate, timely, 
and effective warnings and forecasts of high impact weather 
events that endanger life and property.'' The bill also 
codifies an existing technology transfer initiative carried out 
jointly between OAR and the NWS aimed at ensuring ``continuous 
development and transition of the latest scientific and 
technological advances into NWS operations'' and supporting the 
associated research data facilities.
    
 Tornado Warning Improvement and Extension Program. 
The bill creates a tornado research program, the goal of which 
shall be the development and extension of accurate, effective, 
and timely tornado forecasts, predictions, and warnings, 
including the prediction of tornadoes beyond one hour in 
advance. It also requires NOAA to prepare a program plan 
detailing the research and development activities and the 
associated budget resources necessary to successfully realize 
the tornado forecasting improvements.
    
 Hurricane Warning Improvement Program. The bill 
creates a hurricane research program, the goal of which shall 
be to ``develop and extend accurate hurricane forecasts and 
warnings in order to reduce loss of life, injury, and damage to 
the economy.'' It also requires NOAA to prepare a program plan 
detailing the research and development activities and the 
associated budget resources necessary to successfully realize 
the hurricane forecasting improvements.
    
 Weather Research Planning. The bill directs OAR, 
in coordination with the NWS and NESDIS, to annually develop 
and issue a prioritized weather R&D plan to restore U.S. world 
leadership in weather modeling, prediction, and forecasting.
    
 Improved Observing System Planning. The bill 
directs NOAA to systematically evaluate the combination of 
observing systems necessary to meet weather forecasting data 
requirements, and develop a range of options to address 
potential data gaps. The bill further specifies that one 
component of this planning effort shall include Observing 
System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) to quantitatively assess 
the relative value and benefits of potential observing 
capabilities and systems.
    
 Observing System Simulation Experiments. Section 8 
of the bill specifies that OSSEs shall be conducted prior to 
acquisition of government owned or leased operational observing 
systems. It also requires the Assistant Administrator for OAR 
to use OSSEs to assess the value of data from Global 
Positioning Systems (GPS) radio occultation and a geostationary 
hyperspectral sounder global constellation by June 30, 2014.
    
 Computing Resources Prioritization Report. NOAA 
must issue an annual plan that explains how NOAA intends to 
pursue the newest, fastest, and most cost effective high 
performance computing technologies in support of its weather 
prediction mission and harness new computing power in OAR and 
NWS and determine how it can best be utilized for immediate 
improvement in research, modeling, forecasting, and 
experimentation.
    
 Commercial Weather Data. Section 10 clarifies that 
NOAA can buy private sector weather data and fly weather 
sensors on commercial satellites and requires the Secretary of 
Commerce to develop a strategy to do so within six months of 
enactment.
    
 Expanded Weather Coordination. The bill requires 
the Under Secretary to develop a Federal Advisory Committee to 
provide advice for prioritizing weather research initiatives at 
NOAA and identify emerging technologies. The bill requires the 
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to 
establish an Interagency Committee for Advancing Weather 
Services. The bill also gives the Assistant Administrator for 
OAR the discretionary authority to establish a program to 
detail OAR researchers to NWS. The bill allows the Assistant 
Administrator for NWS to establish a program to host post-
doctoral fellows and academic researchers at any of the 
National Centers for Environmental Prediction.
    
 Authorization of Appropriations. The bill 
authorizes appropriations for OAR's weather laboratories and 
cooperative institutes, weather and air chemistry research 
programs, and joint technology transfer initiative.

                         VIII. Committee Views

    H.R. 2413, the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2013, 
aims to enhance NOAA's protection of lives and property through 
improved severe weather forecasting, prioritization of research 
and computing resources, observing system planning, and 
emphasis on research-to-operations technology transfer. The 
bill codifies ongoing research and development activities and 
builds upon funds provided by Congress following Superstorm 
Sandy. The core principle that informs this bill is a firm 
commitment to restore America's leadership in numerical weather 
prediction, forecasting and, risk communication. As Dr. Tom 
Bogdan, President of the University Corporation for Atmospheric 
Research, wrote to the Committee: ``By key measures, U.S. 
weather forecasting capabilities have slipped behind those of a 
number of international competitors, including the European 
Union, United Kingdom, and Japan.''
    Through this prioritization and greater collaboration with 
the American weather industry and academic partners, H.R. 2413 
will result in better prediction of high impact weather events. 
The Committee is aware of a long series of reports, including 
from the National Research Council, the National Academy of 
Public Administration, and the NOAA Science Advisory Board 
which demonstrate that the Federal weather effort at NOAA has 
ample room for improvement. A recurring theme of these reports 
is that efforts to integrate research into the operational 
needs of the weather service could be much stronger, and that 
the overall effort at NOAA to consider new ideas and techniques 
from outside the agency needs to be more vigorous.
    Improving these processes should not be expensive, though 
there are numerous research issues that could also be funded to 
improve weather forecasting. To improve these processes, it is 
vital to enhance cooperation and communication with the ample 
resources outside the agency. The private weather enterprise in 
America is robust and expanding. Some of the most innovative 
forecast products available anywhere in the world are routinely 
produced by American private firms. Many of the most creative 
thinkers about extreme weather events and forecasting 
challenges reside in American universities and research 
institutes and are readily available to work with the agency. 
This bill would create new processes within NOAA and encourages 
more consistent, contact between the agency and the broader 
weather enterprise. The Committee recognizes that there are 
many important weather research questions that could be pursued 
in ways that enhance public safety. We encourage the 
Administration to include the higher funding levels recommended 
in this Act in future budget requests.
    Throughout H.R. 2413, the Committee gives responsibility to 
different line offices within NOAA, but requires coordination 
between these offices. The Committee fully expects that the 
coordination will be real and meaningful, with the goal of 
improving research-to-operations in a way that improves public 
safety and efficiency in government. The bill directs the Under 
Secretary of NOAA to prioritize weather-related activities, 
especially those that protect American lives and property and 
enhance our national economy, in all relevant line offices, 
including NWS, OAR, and NESDIS. This provision highlights that 
improved forecasting is of central importance to NOAA's public 
safety mission. We applaud the position articulated by 
Undersecretary Kathy Sullivan in our hearing on June 26, 2013 
that ``the forecast services that protect American lives and 
livelihood . . . are already NOAA's highest priority.'' Based 
upon the testimony of witnesses like Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier of 
the University of Oklahoma and Dr. Shuyi Chen of the University 
of Miami, the Committee recognizes the interconnectedness of 
research on weather, oceans, and climate. The language of 
Section 2 allows NOAA to make decisions that reflect the need 
for a balanced research portfolio while insisting the agency 
fulfill the Committee's direction and its commitment that 
improved weather-related public safety be NOAA's highest 
priority.
    Section 3 codifies and clarifies a NOAA program, led by the 
Assistant Administrator for OAR, for weather research and 
forecasting innovation. This program includes a number of 
elements, including accelerated research, development, and 
deployment of critical technologies like next-generation radar 
and aerial observation systems, new global and national models, 
advanced high performance computing using graphic processing 
information technology networks, and quantitative assessment 
tools for measuring the value of data and specific observing 
systems, as well as a technology transfer initiative between 
relevant NOAA line offices and in collaboration with external 
partners. In enumerating the elements of the program in 
subsection (b), the Committee relied upon the expert advice of 
the weather enterprise--particularly suggestions from 
university and not-for-profit research center scientists--to 
try to capture specific research issues. However, it is not our 
intent to exclude from consideration other areas of research 
and development. The Committee's expectation is that the 
Assistant Administrator for OAR will develop a program that 
reflects the full range of pertinent research challenges.
    The technology transfer initiative prescribed in subsection 
(b) should be consistent with NOAA's Weather Ready Nation 
program, build upon the successes of NOAA's weather-related 
test beds, include the necessary advanced research data 
handling and processing, and help to ensure that dedicated 
resources to support research-to-operations are not diverted. 
In subsection (3)(b)(4), the Committee directs that the 
Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research 
establish a technology transfer program designed to move the 
innovations of OAR into the operational work of NWS. In 
carrying out this subsection, the Assistant Administrator 
should consult closely with the Assistant Administrator for 
Weather Services regarding the value of the science and 
technology to be transitioned, integrated, and implemented into 
an operational environment. Section 3 further encourages 
extramural research collaboration and establishes the sense of 
Congress that NOAA should provide competitive grants, 
contracts, and cooperative agreements consistent with historic 
levels. Subsection (c) directs the Assistant Administrator of 
OAR to collaborate with and support the non-Federal weather 
research community. The bill requires the Under Secretary to 
transmit, as part of the budget process, a report that 
identifies the funding provided for extramural research. We 
expect that report to specify extramural research funding in 
the current and prior fiscal years, as well as the proportion 
of extramural research funding planned for in the budget 
request.
    Building upon the successes of NOAA's Hurricane Forecast 
Improvement Program, H.R. 2413 directs the creation of tornado 
and hurricane warning improvement programs with detailed 
research, development, and technology transfer budgets and 
plans. Following several deadly tornado outbreaks in 2013, 
including in Moore, Oklahoma, the tornado program will focus on 
extending accurate forecasts and warnings to beyond one hour.
    The bill encourages NOAA to address the loss of U.S. 
competitiveness in weather forecasting by requiring the annual 
development of a plan to restore and maintain leadership in 
numerical weather prediction and forecasting. Section 6 goes on 
to specify that one of the elements of the plan will be that it 
``identifies and prioritizes specific research and development 
activities, and performance metrics, weighted to meet the 
operational weather mission of NWS.'' This ensures that the 
Assistant Administrator for Weather Services will have 
meaningful input into R&D planning because the plan must 
reflect, to some degree, initiatives that are tied directly to 
operational needs. This section also includes a requirement 
that the agency pay special attention to the social science 
knowledge necessary to turn improved weather forecasting skills 
into communications that will help the public take effective 
steps to be safe. The challenge of risk communication was 
repeatedly highlighted to the Committee in both testimony at 
the June 26, 2013 hearing and also in informal communications 
to Members and staff.
    In order to address observing system needs and potential 
data gaps, H.R. 2413 also requires NOAA to conduct 
comprehensive observing system planning. In support of this 
planning, the Assistant Administrator for OAR shall conduct 
OSSEs prior to major observing system acquisitions or 
commercial data purchases. The bill codifies NOAA's commitment 
to complete OSSEs on GPS radio occultation and a geostationary 
hyperspectral sounder global constellation in FY 2014 using 
funds made available in the Superstorm Sandy Supplemental. NOAA 
has informed the Committee that these OSSE studies are underway 
and directs the corresponding reports be shared with the 
Committee by June 30, 2014. The bill provides flexibilities 
within NOAA's assessment of observing systems, and the OSSE 
provisions are consistent with NOAA Administrators' 
characterization of these experiments as ``powerful tool'' to 
``inform our strategies for investing in observation networks'' 
and ``to help determine what new data or technologies will 
yield the best improvement in forecast accuracy.'' These 
activities should be carried out collaboratively with the Joint 
Center for Satellite Data Assimilation and other relevant 
bodies.
    Section 10 makes clear that NOAA is not prohibited from 
purchasing weather data through contracts with commercial 
providers or the placement of weather satellite instruments on 
government or private payloads. The Committee views NOAA's 
unwillingness to seriously consider all sources of cost-
effective, critical weather data, including from commercial 
providers, as short-sighted and with the potential to compound 
future data gaps. To help rectify this resistance to non-NOAA 
sources of observing data, H.R. 2413 directs the Secretary of 
Commerce to develop and transmit a strategy to enable the 
procurement of quality commercial weather data, including 
commercial opportunities for surface- and space-based 
observations. The purchase of data from commercial satellite 
vendors could lead to the best pricing for quality weather 
data. In assessing the range of commercial opportunities and 
developing the strategy of quality commercial weather data, the 
full range of commercial options must be considered, including 
FAR and non-FAR opportunities, public-private partnerships, 
commercial service agreements, anchor tenancy agreements, and 
pay on delivery contracts. NASA has provided a model for many 
of these options, including data purchases and NASA's 
Commercial Orbital Transportation Services for working with 
commercial companies cost-effectively to build confidence in 
commercial capabilities. If the Department of Commerce requires 
revised authority in order to implement one or more of these 
options, the strategy should clearly note this but it should 
not be a primary criterion in negatively assessing an option.
    Section 11 directs NOAA to develop an independent weather 
research and innovation advisory committee. The Committee 
encourages NOAA to take advantage of the experience and 
expertise of NOAA's Science Advisory Board and the 
Environmental Information Services Working Group in carrying 
out this section.
    H.R. 2413 authorizes funding to allow NOAA to carry out a 
balanced portfolio of research and development related to 
weather forecasting and other areas. Authorization of funds for 
the joint technology transfer initiative enabled by OAR's 
Global Systems Division advanced data facility indicates the 
Committee's desire to ensure that dedicated research-to-
operations be preserved in order to promote active partnerships 
between NOAA line offices. The FY 2013 Disaster Relief 
Appropriations Act ``kick-started'' important weather 
forecasting improvement initiatives by providing initial 
program funding and making possible the procurement of critical 
enabling hardware such as a Global Hawk for the OAR unmanned 
aircraft system research and development program and graphic 
processing unit supercomputing infrastructure for revolutionary 
new model development. The funding authorized by this bill will 
follow through on these initiatives by making possible robust 
3-5 year operational base technology development programs for 
new aerial weather observing systems to provide better 
meteorological data, higher performance research computing, 
accelerated development of next generation global and national/
regional weather models, and an institutionalized OSSE process 
capability. Dedicated OAR funding for the direct transfer of 
new knowledge, technologies, and applications to the NWS and 
other agencies and entities under a ``real-time research'' 
approach completes this vision. The bill authorizes 
appropriations to be made out of the overall funding for 
operations, research, and facilities at OAR.

                    IX. Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee held oversight hearings 
and made findings that are reflected in the descriptive 
portions of this report.

        X. Statement on General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the performance goals and 
objectives of the Committee are reflected in the descriptive 
portions of this report, including the goal to prioritize and 
redirect the NOAA resources to a focused program of investment 
on affordable and attainable advances in observational, 
computing, and modeling capabilities to deliver substantial 
improvement in weather forecasting and prediction of high 
impact weather events.

 XI. New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

                       XII. Advisory on Earmarks

    In compliance with clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI, 
the Committee finds that H.R. 2413, the ``Weather Forecasting 
Improvement Act of 2013'', contains no earmarks.

                     XIII. Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

             XIV. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, January 13, 2014.
Hon. Lamar Smith,
Chairman, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2413, the Weather 
Forecasting Improvement Act of 2013.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jeff LaFave.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2413--Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2013

    Summary: H.R. 2413 would authorize appropriations over the 
2014-2017 period for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA) to improve forecasting of severe weather 
events. The bill also would authorize NOAA to carry out various 
other activities related to weather forecasting and research.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized and necessary 
amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would 
cost $530 million over the 2014-2019 period. Enacting H.R. 2413 
would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-
as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 2413 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 2413 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   2014     2015     2016     2017     2018     2019   2014-2019
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Weather Forecasting Program:
    Authorization Level........................      113      120      120      120        0        0       473
    Estimated Outlays..........................       45       87      107      119       72       30       460
Planning and Research Activities:
    Estimated Authorization Level..............       14       14       14       14       14       14        84
    Estimated Outlays..........................        6       10       12       14       14       14        70
    Total Changes:
        Estimated Authorization Level..........      127      134      134      134       14       14       557
        Estimated Outlays......................       51       97      119      133       86       44       530
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
legislation will be enacted in 2014 and that the authorized and 
necessary amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal year. 
Estimated outlays are based on historical spending patterns for 
similar NOAA programs. Although funds have probably been 
appropriated through January 15, 2014, to conduct activities 
authorized under the bill, CBO cannot identify those amounts 
because NOAA has not yet allocated its 2014 appropriations for 
those activities.
    H.R. 2413 would authorize the appropriation of $112.5 
million in 2014 and $120 million a year over the 2015-2017 
period for NOAA to develop a program to improve forecasting of 
severe weather events. Under the bill, NOAA would use those 
funds to purchase equipment and conduct research to improve the 
agency's forecasting capabilities and warning systems. In 2013, 
the agency spent about $80 million to fund similar activities. 
Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates 
that implementing the program would cost $460 million over the 
2014-2019 period.
    The legislation also would require NOAA to conduct 
additional activities related to weather research. H.R. 2413 
also would establish committees to help NOAA prioritize 
research initiatives and coordinate weather-related research 
across federal agencies. Finally, the bill would establish 
programs to allow NOAA employees and postdoctoral fellows to 
work as visiting researchers at National Weather Service 
facilities. Based on information provided by NOAA and assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO estimates that 
conducting those activities would cost $70 million over the 
2014-2019 period. Those amounts would be used to hire new 
employees and contractors, purchase new equipment, and provide 
grants to academic institutions to perform experiments related 
to weather.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 2413 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Jeff LaFave; Impact on 
state, local, and tribal governments: Melissa Merrell; Impact 
on the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                     XV. Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                     XVI. Compliance With H. Res. 5

    A. Directed Rule Making. This bill does not direct any 
executive branch official to conduct any specific rule-making 
proceedings.
    B. Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

               XVII. Federal Advisory Committee Statement

    Section 11 of the bill consolidates existing advisory 
activities under a federal advisory committee to provide advice 
for prioritizing weather research initiatives at NOAA and to 
identify emerging technologies.

               XVIII. Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

                    XIX. Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1. Short Title. This section established the short 
title as the ``Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2013''.
    Section 2. Public Safety Priority. This section directs the 
Under Secretary of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA Administrator) to prioritize weather-
related activities, including weather data, forecasts, and 
warnings for the protection of lives and property.
    Section 3. Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation. 
This section directs the Assistant Administrator of the Office 
of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) to undertake a 
weather research program and directs the Assistant 
Administrator to place priority on developing more accurate, 
timely, and effective warnings and forecasts of high impact 
weather events that endanger life and property. Section 3 
further defines the specific program elements to include 
advanced radar, aerial systems, computing/modeling, and 
Observing System Stimulation Experiments (OSSE) and codifies a 
longstanding joint OAR-National Weather Service (NWS) tech 
transfer program, moving its funding from NWS. Finally, Section 
3 directs NOAA to support weather research through competitive 
grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements.
    Section 4. Tornado Warning Improvement and Extension 
Program. This section establishes a Tornado Warning Improvement 
and Extension Program focused on developing and extending 
accurate tornado forecasts and warnings beyond one hour in 
order to reduce loss of life, injury, and damage to the 
economy.
    Section 5. Hurricane Warning Improvement Program. This 
section establishes a Hurricane Warning Improvement Program 
focused on extending accurate hurricane forecasts and warnings 
in order to reduce loss of life, injury, and damage to the 
economy.
    Section 6. Weather Research and Development Planning. 
Section 6 requires NOAA to develop a prioritized weather 
research plan to guide activities authorized under the Act and 
restore U.S. leadership in weather modeling, prediction, and 
forecasting. The section requires the plan to also identify, 
through consultation with the National Science Foundation, the 
research necessary to integrate social science knowledge into 
weather forecast and warning processes.
    Section 7. Observing System Planning. Section 7 directs 
NOAA to maintain a list of observation data requirements and 
systematically evaluate the combination of systems necessary to 
meet such requirements. This section further directs NOAA to 
identify current and potential future data gaps in observing 
capabilities and develop a range of options to address any 
identified gaps.
    Section 8. Observing System Simulation Experiments. This 
section directs NOAA to undertake Observing System Simulation 
Experiments (OSSEs) to quantitatively assess the relative value 
and benefits of observing capabilities and systems. This 
section identifies specific instances when an OSSE must be 
performed. Section 8 specifies that OSSEs shall be conducted 
prior to acquisition of government owned or leased operational 
observing systems.
    Section 9. Computing Resources Prioritization Report. 
Section 9 directs NOAA to issue a plan that explains how it 
intends to: (1) aggressively pursues the newest, fastest, and 
most cost effective high performance computing technologies in 
support of its weather prediction mission; (2) ensure a balance 
between the research requirements; (3) take advantage of 
advanced development concepts; (4) identify opportunities to 
reallocate existing advanced computing resources from lower 
priority uses to improve operational weather prediction; and 
(5) harness new computing power in OAR and NWS and determine 
how it can best be utilized for immediate improvement in 
forecasting and experimentation.
    Section 10. Commercial Weather Data. This section clarifies 
that restrictions in existing law prohibiting the sale of 
weather satellite systems to the private sector do not extend 
to the purchase of weather data through contracts with 
commercial providers or the placement of instruments on private 
payloads. This section requires the Secretary of Commerce to 
transmit a strategy that assesses the range of commercial 
opportunities for obtaining both surface-based and space-based 
weather observations. The strategy shall include an analysis of 
financial or other benefits, methods to address planning and 
budgeting, and identification of the changes needed to 
facilitate effective implementation of such strategy.
    Section 11. Weather Research and Innovation Advisory 
Committee. Section 11 requires NOAA to draw upon existing 
advisory activities in developing an advisory committee to 
provide advice for prioritizing weather research initiatives at 
NOAA and identify emerging technologies. The Committee shall be 
composed of leading experts and innovators from all relevant 
fields of science and engineering. The Committee will transmit 
an annual report to the Undersecretary. The Undersecretary will 
relay such reports to the Committee.
    Section 12. Interagency Weather Research and Innovation 
Coordination. This section requires the Director of the Office 
of Science and Technology Policy to establish an Interagency 
Committee for Advancing Weather Services. The Committee will 
improve coordination of relevant weather research and forecast 
innovation activities across the federal government.
    Section 13. Visiting OAR Researchers Program. Section 13 
grants the Assistant Administrator for OAR the authority to 
establish a program to detail OAR researchers to NWS. If OAR 
establishes the program, it allows between five and fifteen OAR 
staff to spend up to one year on detail to the NWS to allow for 
productive interaction to improve forecasting capabilities. The 
Undersecretary shall submit an annual report to the Science 
Committee detailing the program participation and highlighting 
any innovations that come from this interaction.
    Section 14. Visiting Fellows at NWS. This section allows 
the Assistant Administrator for NWS to establish a program to 
host post-doctoral fellows and academic researchers at any of 
the National Centers for Environmental Prediction.
    Section 15. Definitions. This section provides definitions 
for terms in the bill.
    Section 16. Authorization of Appropriations. If the Budget 
Control Act's FY 2014 discretionary allocations increase, 
Section 16 authorizes, out of funds made available for OAR's 
operations, research, and facilities appropriations account, 
$96.5 million for Fiscal Year 2014 to carry out the weather 
research program established under section 3. It further 
specifies that out of the $96.5 million provided in this 
section, $77.5 million is authorized for weather laboratories 
and cooperative institutes and $19 million is authorized for 
weather and air chemistry research programs. It also authorizes 
for FY 2014, $16 million to carry out the joint technology 
transfer initiative described in section 3. If discretionary 
allocations do not increase, the section authorizes $83 million 
for Fiscal Year 2014 to carry out the weather research program 
($65 million for weather laboratories and cooperative 
institutes and $18 million for weather and air chemistry 
research programs) as well as $14 million to carry out the 
joint technology transfer initiative.
    For FY 2015-2017, the section authorizes $100 million to 
carry out the weather research program established under 
section 3. It further specifies that out of the $100 million 
provided in this section, $80 million is authorized for weather 
laboratories and cooperative institutes and $20 million is 
authorized for weather and air chemistry research programs. 
Finally, this section also authorizes $20 million annually to 
carry out the joint technology transfer initiative described in 
section 3. The bill authorizes appropriations to be made out of 
the overall funding for operations, research, and facilities at 
OAR.

       XX. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

             SECTION 60161 OF TITLE 51, UNITED STATES CODE


Sec. 60161. Prohibition

  Neither the President nor any other official of the 
Government shall make any effort to lease, sell, or transfer to 
the private sector, or commercialize, any portion of the 
weather satellite systems operated by the Department of 
Commerce or any successor agency. This prohibition shall not 
extend to--
          (1) the purchase of weather data through contracts 
        with commercial providers; or
          (2) the placement of weather satellite instruments on 
        cohosted government or private payloads.

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]



          XXII. PROCEEDINGS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT
                          MARKUP ON H.R. 2413,
              WEATHER FORECASTING IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2013

                              ----------                              


                         TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

                  House of Representatives,
                               Subcommittee on Environment,
               Committee on Science, Space, and Technology,
                                                   Washington, D.C.

    The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:10 a.m., in 
Room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Chris 
Stewart [Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.
    Chairman Stewart. The Environment Subcommittee on the 
Science, Space, and Technology will come to order. Without 
objection, the Chair is authorized to declare recesses of the 
Subcommittee at any time. And I now recognize myself for an 
opening statement.
    Good morning and welcome to the morning's Environment 
Subcommittee markup of H.R. 2413, the Weather Forecasting 
Improvement Act of 2013, introduced by our Subcommittee's Vice 
Chairman, Jim Bridenstine, and I serve as a proud cosponsor on 
this bill.
    The legislation before us today prioritizes protection of 
public safety and forward-looking weather research; improves 
procurement of observing system data from space, air, and land; 
and opens up NOAA's process to encourage private sector weather 
solutions. The legislation is a long-term down payment to 
upgrade our weather prediction system that has, in some cases, 
fallen behind international standards.
    This markup is a result of the Subcommittee's hard work in 
both the 112th and 113th Congresses. This year we have had two 
legislative hearings on restoring U.S. leadership in weather 
forecasting, where expert witnesses provided testimony on the 
text of Mr. Bridenstine's legislation, and informed members of 
the need for improved weather forecasting and the potential for 
improved research and technology transfer efforts.
    Our efforts this Congress build on a similarly deep record 
established in the 112th Congress, where the Committee explored 
these issues through multiple hearings and oversight 
activities. Collectively, this work helped to inform the 
Committee of NOAA's weather forecasting challenges and 
opportunities related to the programmatic management, research 
prioritization, and commercial data acquisition.
    I am pleased that the bill before us today reflects 
improvement from its original discussion draft to include 
recommendations from the witness testimony, which expands 
resources available to achieve the objective of protecting 
lives and property through weather research and improved 
forecasting.
    I'm also pleased to have been able to work with Ranking 
Member Bonamici through this process, including by holding a 
second hearing where we received valuable input from both NOAA 
and outside witnesses. This input has led to an improved work 
product and changes that were included in the introduced bill 
as well as the Manager's Amendment that I will offer today.
    We may not agree on every detail, but we certainly agree 
that improved weather forecasting is an important national 
priority, so I hope we can continue this cooperative effort 
today and through our Full Committee markup.
    And with that, I yield back.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Stewart follows:]

       Prepared Statement of Subcommittee Chairman Chris Stewart

    Chairman Stewart: Good morning and welcome to this morning's 
Environment Subcommittee markup of H.R. 2413, The Weather Forecasting 
Improvement Act of 2013, introduced by our Subcommittee's Vice 
Chairman, Jim Bridenstine, and I serve as a proud co-sponsor.
    The legislation before us today prioritizes protection of public 
safety and forward-looking weather research; improves procurement of 
observing system data from space, air, and land; and opens up NOAA's 
process to encourage private sector weather solutions. The legislation 
is a long-term down payment to upgrade our weather prediction system 
that has, in some cases, fallen behind international standards.
    This markup is a result of the Subcommittee's hard work in both the 
112th and 113th Congresses. This year, we have had two legislative 
hearings on restoring U.S. leadership in weather forecasting, where 
expert witnesses provided testimony on the text of Mr. Bridenstine's 
legislation and informed Members of the need for improved weather 
forecasting and the potential for improved research and technology 
transition efforts.
    Our efforts this Congress build on a similarly deep record 
established in the 112th Congress, where the Committee explored these 
issues through multiple hearings and oversight activities. 
Collectively, this work helped to inform the Committee of NOAA's 
weather forecasting challenges and opportunities related to 
programmatic management, research prioritization, and commercial data 
acquisition.
    I am pleased that the bill before us today reflects improvement 
from its original discussion draft to include recommendations from 
witness testimony, which expands resources available to achieve the 
objective of protecting lives and property through weather research and 
improved forecasting.
    I am also pleased to have been able to work with Ranking Member 
Bonamici throughout this process, including holding a second hearing 
where we received valuable input from both NOAA and outside witnesses. 
This input has led to an improved work product, and changes that were 
included in the introduced bill as well as the manager's amendment that 
I will offer today. We may not agree on every detail, but we certainly 
agree that improved weather forecasting is an important national 
priority, so I hope we can continue this cooperative effort today and 
through our Full Committee markup.

    Chairman Stewart. I now yield to the Ranking Member of the 
Subcommittee, Ms. Bonamici, for her remarks.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. On June 
26, 2013, you chaired the second Subcommittee hearing on 
restoring U.S. leadership in weather forecasting, and I thank 
you very much for holding that hearing. The testimony was 
intelligent and constructive. We had a very distinguished panel 
of witnesses, all of whom provided extensive input and 
expertise about ways we can improve weather forecasting.
    I was encouraged by your willingness to work together on 
this important issue, and following the June 26 hearing, I 
asked my staff to continue to work with your office and the 
Committee's majority staff to revise the bill to reflect the 
expertise gathered during that hearing. Then, on July 3, I 
heard that a markup had been scheduled for today, July 9. This 
rushed timeline, especially over a holiday recess, did not give 
us time to work together to improve this bill.
    Mr. Chairman, I still want to work on this bill in a 
bipartisan way, and I ask that we make a concerted effort 
before we get to the full Committee markup to find language 
that serves the public safety interest of all of our 
constituents and is supported by the weather enterprise. Will 
you commit to that, Mr. Chairman?
    Chairman Stewart. We'll certainly commit to working with 
you in any way that we can. Thank you.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Experts who testified raised several issues that should be 
addressed, and here are a few. First, we all agree that public 
safety is critical, but not one witness who testified stated 
that weather, which is about a two-week timeframe, should be a 
higher research priority at NOAA than climate, which is about 
what happens beyond two weeks. In fact, experts say that it 
will be difficult to improve weather forecasting without 
improving our understanding of climactic forces. Americans 
living along our coasts won't be safer if we reduce progress on 
seasonal tropical storm and hurricane warnings.
    As witnesses at the July 26 hearing noted, these storm 
forecasts are heavily dependent on accurate climate and ocean 
modeling, which appears to be weakened under the current 
vision--version of this bill. Hurricanes and tropical storms 
are terribly damaging to our country, so it is inconceivable 
that we would move a bill that purports to improve weather 
forecasting but would simultaneously hinder NOAA's long-term 
forecasting for these storms. And it won't help farmers if we 
require NOAA to work on making five-day weather forecasts 
marginally more precise at the expense of reducing our progress 
on making useful seasonal drought forecasts.
    Second, it is problematic that a bill to improve weather 
forecasting seems largely to ignore the National Weather 
Service, focusing instead on the Office of Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Research, the line office responsible for research 
within NOAA. NWS runs its own multimillion dollar R&D 
enterprise and its own multimillion dollar research-to-
operations program. This bill appears to ignore those efforts. 
I am concerned that the bill does an inadequate job of 
something the witnesses emphasized: the need to bring better 
coordination across OAR and NWS.
    The witnesses provided many useful suggestions about how to 
improve the research-to-operations and operations-to-research 
efforts at NOAA. There are low-cost ways to achieve high impact 
in generating innovation in NOAA's forecasting efforts and in 
integrating advice from the broader community into NOAA's work. 
Instead, we appear to be authorizing unnecessary expenditures. 
For example, the bill authorizes OAR to spend $20 million on a 
joint technology transfer initiative, but NWS currently spends 
almost $80 million on research to operations. Do we need a 
second initiative located in an office that does not do 
operational forecasts? This seems to empower the wrong office 
and also appears redundant and potentially wasteful.
    Mr. Chairman, because this markup was noticed immediately 
prior to the July 4 holiday, we have had very little time to 
turn these ideas into legislative language, and importantly, to 
vet that language with the weather community. I certainly hope 
that there will be time for that before moving to a Full 
Committee markup.
    As it stands, the bill we are marking up today remains 
flawed, a conclusion I reached listening to the testimony of 
expert witnesses who were invited by the minority and by the 
majority. This is an area where, if we have a chance to do 
something good for the public and be truly bipartisan, we can 
if my colleagues in the majority are willing.
    I want to emphasize how concerned I am about this rushed 
timeline. Members have not even had a chance to submit 
questions for the record following our June 26 hearing, which 
was less than two weeks ago, much less received answers back. 
The record of that hearing is still open. This bill is 
important to the safety of the public. Why rush it and risk not 
getting it right?
    Because of the rushed time frame for this Subcommittee 
markup, I plan to submit substantive amendments at the Full 
Committee markup. I remain optimistic that we can both improve 
public safety and the weather enterprise if we work together, 
and I look forward to doing that.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you, and I yield back.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Bonamici follows:]

   Prepared Statement of Ranking Subcommittee Member Suzanne Bonamici

    Mr. Chairman, on June 26, 2013, you chaired the second Subcommittee 
hearing on restoring U.S. leadership in weather forecasting. Thank you 
for holding that hearing. The testimony was intelligent and 
constructive. We had a very distinguished panel of witnesses, all of 
whom provided extensive input and expertise about ways we can improve 
weather forecasting.
    I was encouraged by your willingness to work together on this 
important issue, and following the June 26th hearing, I asked my staff 
to continue working with your office and the Committee's Majority staff 
to revise the bill to reflect the expertise gathered during that 
hearing.
    Then on July 3rd, I heard that a markup had been scheduled for 
today, July 9th. This rushed timeline, especially over a holiday 
recess, did not give us time to work together to improve the bill.
    Mr. Chairman, I still want to work on this bill in a bipartisan 
way, and I ask that we make a concerted effort before we get to the 
Full Committee to find language that serves the public safety interests 
of all of our constituents and is supported by the weather enterprise. 
Will you please commit to that? Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    The experts who testified raised several issues that should be 
addressed. Here are a few.
    First, we all agree that public safety is critical. But not one 
witness who testified stated that weather, which is about a two-week 
time frame, should be a higher research priority at NOAA than climate, 
which is about what happens beyond two weeks. In fact, experts say that 
it will be difficult to improve weather forecasting without improving 
our understanding of climactic forces.
    Americans living along our coasts won't be safer if we reduce 
progress on seasonal tropical storm and hurricane warnings. As 
witnesses at the June 26th hearing noted, these storm forecasts are 
heavily dependent on accurate climate and ocean modeling, which appears 
to be weakened under this bill. Hurricanes and tropical storms are 
terribly damaging to our country, so it's inconceivable that we would 
move a bill that purports to improve weather forecasting but would 
simultaneously hinder NOAA's long-term forecasting for these storms. 
And it won't help farmers if we require NOAA to work on making five-day 
weather forecasts marginally more precise at the expense of reducing 
our progress on making useful seasonal drought forecasts.
    Second, it's problematic that a bill to improve weather forecasting 
seems to largely ignore the National Weather Service, focusing instead 
on the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, the line office 
responsible for research within NOAA.
    NWS runs its own multi-million dollar R&D enterprise and its own 
multi-million dollar research to operations program. This bill appears 
to ignore those efforts. I am concerned that the bill does an 
inadequate job of something the witnesses emphasized--the need to bring 
better coordination across OAR and NWS.
    The witnesses provided many useful suggestions about how to improve 
the research to operations and operations to research efforts at NOAA. 
There are low-cost ways to achieve high impact in generating innovation 
in NOAA's forecasting efforts and in integrating advice from the 
broader community into NOAA's work.
    Instead, we appear to be authorizing unnecessary expenditures. For 
example, the bill authorizes OAR to spend $20 million on a joint 
technology transfer initiative, but NWS currently already spends almost 
$80 million on research to operations. Do we need a second initiative 
located in an office that does not do operational forecasts? This seems 
to empower the wrong office and also appears redundant and potentially 
wasteful.
    Mr. Chairman, because this markup was noticed immediately prior to 
the July 4th holiday, we have had very little time to turn these ideas 
into legislative language and, importantly, to vet that language with 
the weather community. I certainly hope that there will be time for 
that before moving to a Full Committee markup.
    As it stands, the bill we are marking up today remains flawed, a 
conclusion I reached listening to the testimony of the expert witnesses 
who were invited by the Minority and by the Majority. This is an area 
where we have a chance to do something good for the public and be truly 
bipartisan if my colleagues in the Majority are willing.
    I want to emphasize how concerned I am about this rushed timeline. 
Members have not even had a chance to submit questions for the record 
following our June 26th hearing, much less receive answers back. The 
record of that hearing is still open. This bill is important to the 
safety of the public; why rush it and risk not getting it right?
    Because of the rushed time frame for this Subcommittee markup, I 
plan to submit substantive amendments at the Full Committee markup. I 
remain optimistic that we can improve both public safety and the 
weather enterprise if we can work together.
    Thank you, and I yield back.

    Chairman Stewart. Thank you, Ms. Bonamici.
    Pursuant to Committee Rule 2(f) and House Rules XI 2(h)(4), 
the Chair announces that he may postpone roll call votes on 
matters on which the yeas and nays are ordered.
    Pursuant to notice, I now call up H.R. 2413 for markup. The 
clerk will report the bill.
    The Clerk. H.R. 2413, a bill to prioritize and redirect 
NOAA resources to a focused program of investment on near-term, 
affordable, and attainable advances in observational computing 
and modeling capabilities to deliver substantial improvement in 
weather forecasting and prediction of high-impact weather 
events such as tornadoes and hurricanes and for other purposes.
    [H.R. 2413 appears in Appendix I.]
    Chairman Stewart. Without objection, the bill is considered 
as read.
    I yield five minutes to Mr. Bridenstine for his statement 
on the bill.
    Mr. Bridenstine. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for allowing me 
to briefly describe my bill. I also want to thank the Chairman 
for his leadership on this issue and for scheduling today's 
markup on this very important and timely topic.
    I can tell you, Mr. Chairman, my staff was here all week 
last week, and we didn't get any calls about, you know, having 
any desire to talk about any of these issues last week.
    So let me briefly describe my bill. The Weather Forecasting 
Improvement Act of 2013 will prioritize the mission of NOAA to 
include the protection of lives and property and make funds 
available to improve weather-related research, operations, and 
computing resources. The bill both directs NOAA to undertake 
quantitative cost-benefit assessments used in obtaining data 
for forecasts and prepare a report outlining the options of 
commercial opportunities for obtaining space-based weather 
observations.
    The centerpiece of this bill is a codification and 
expansion of NOAA weather research activities specifically 
directing the Agency to place ``priority emphasis on 
development of more accurate and timely warnings and forecasts 
of high-impact weather events that endanger life and 
property.''
    The bill also codifies an existing technology transfer 
initiative carried out jointly between the Office of Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Research and the National Weather Service aimed 
at ensuring ``continuous development and transition of the 
latest scientific and technological advances into NWS 
operations.''
    The bill creates a Tornado Warning Extension Program, the 
goal of which shall be to ``develop and extend accurate tornado 
forecasts and warnings beyond one hour in order to reduce 
life--loss of life, injury, and damage to the economy.''
    It also requires NOAA to prepare a program plan detailing 
the research and development activities and associated budget 
resources necessary to successfully realize the tornado 
forecasting improvements.
    The bill also directs NOAA to systematically evaluate the 
combination of observing systems necessary to meet weather 
forecasting data requirements and develop a range of options to 
address potential data gaps. It further specifies that one 
component of this planning effort shall include observing 
system simulation experiments to quantitatively assess the 
relative value and benefits of potential observing capabilities 
and systems.
    Finally, the bill clarifies that NOAA is not prohibited 
from obtaining weather data through contracts with commercial 
providers and directs NOAA to prepare a report assessing the 
range of commercial opportunities for obtaining cost-effective, 
space-based weather observations.
    Mr. Chairman, my State has seen all too many times the 
destructive power of tornadoes and severe weather. In the wake 
of the latest outbreak in May that cost 48 lives, it is 
painfully clear that we must do more. The good news is that we 
can do more. In testimony before the Subcommittee, witnesses 
detailed how a concentrated effort to improve forecasting 
innovation would improve protection of lives and property. Dr. 
Droegemeier, from the University of Oklahoma, testified that 
with concerted research and technology development, zero deaths 
from severe weather should be our ultimate goal. By making 
weather research and the protection of lives a priority and 
lives and property NOAA's top priority, the bill before us 
today makes a small but important first step towards achieving 
this goal.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I yield back.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Bridenstine is unavailable.]
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you, Mr. Vice Chairman. I now 
recognize the Ranking Member, the gentlewoman from Texas, Ms. 
Johnson, for five minutes.
    Ms. Johnson Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    And I would like to reiterate the comments of my colleague, 
Ms. Bonamici. Weather should not be, cannot responsibly be, a 
partisan issue. The whole country experiences severe weather, 
and billions of dollars in business and investments are tied to 
weather and seasonal forecasts. I am disappointed that we don't 
have a bipartisan bill that all Members can rally behind at 
today's markup. The Committee has never tried to pass a weather 
authorization that lacked the support of the weather enterprise 
stakeholders. This bill does not have the support now, and 
based on the testimony at the June 26th hearing, I doubt it can 
get that support without significant changes.
    The Science, Space, and Technology Committee has had its 
reputational ups and downs, but there are only one or two areas 
in our jurisdiction that have been as historically nonpartisan 
as weather forecasting. I know this is a hard Congress to find 
space to cooperate, but I want to encourage all the Members of 
the strongest terms to take the time to develop a strong, 
nonpartisan piece of legislation. Reauthorizing the other 
programs is a type of policy issue where the American people 
just cannot understand why we can't get along. I hope that we 
can get there before we schedule a markup at Full Committee, 
and I want to lend my support to Chairman Stewart and Ranking 
Member Bonamici in this effort.
    The short time Members have been given to prepare for this 
markup is not going to allow us to fix this bill today, but I 
want to join Ms. Bonamici in asking the Chairman to work with 
us in the coming days to produce a bill that we can all be 
proud of when we are done.
    Thank you, and I yield back.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Johnson follows:]

   Prepared Statement of Full Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice 
                                Johnson

    Mr. Chairman, I would like to reiterate the comments of my 
colleague, Ms. Bonamici.
    Weather should not be, cannot responsibly be, a partisan issue. The 
whole country experiences severe weather, and billions of dollars in 
business and investments are tied to weather and seasonal forecasts. I 
am disappointed that the efforts of our Chairman and Ranking Member on 
this Subcommittee have not produced a bipartisan bill that all the 
Members can rally behind.
    The Committee has never tried to pass a weather authorization that 
lacked the support of the weather enterprise. This bill does not have 
that support now and, based on the testimony of June 26, I doubt it can 
get that support without significant changes.
    The Science, Space, and Technology Committee has had its 
reputational ups and downs, but there are only one or two areas in our 
jurisdiction that have been as historically non-partisan as weather 
forecasting. I know this is a hard Congress to find space to cooperate, 
but I want to encourage all the Members in the strongest terms to try 
here. Reauthorizing weather programs is the type of policy issue where 
the American people just cannot understand why we can't get along.
    I hope that we can get there before we mark up at Full Committee, 
and I will be the first to congratulate both Members if they can 
honestly address the problems with the current bill and move us to a 
place where all of us can be proud of our work. I will do anything I 
can to help in this effort.

    Chairman Stewart. Thank you, Ms. Johnson. Is there any 
further discussion of the bill?
    Mr. Grayson. I would like to say a few words if I may. 
Congressman Grayson, from Florida.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes, sir. And we recognize the gentleman 
from Florida.
    Mr. Grayson. Thank you.
    Mr. Chairman, trying to be as dispassionate and objective 
here as possible, you have heard the Ranking Members of the 
Committee and the Subcommittee indicate to you that it wasn't 
necessarily the best practice to release the draft of this bill 
the day before the July 4th weekend when Congress was not in 
session. It is our desire--everyone's desire here to come up 
with a bill that is the best bill that we can get to the 
Committee; understanding that, and understanding that sometimes 
there is a choice we have to make between doing things fast and 
doing things right, and having heard the arguments that were 
made, will the Chairman consider a one-week recess for this 
markup?
    I will yield to the Chair.
    Chairman Stewart. We appreciate that. And I would like to 
point out that the bill was introduced on June 18th, which was, 
of course, several weeks prior to the July 4th break. It has 
been available to the Members for, you know, at least that 
amount of time. And, of course, there was a discussion previous 
to that even. That being a fact, I believe we will go ahead. 
The Chair decides to go, and I will go ahead with the markup as 
scheduled.
    Mr. Grayson. Well, recalling my time--reclaiming my time, I 
do want to point out that the Manager's Amendment was, in fact, 
released just a few days ago, and in fact, the two amendments I 
am offering today are premised upon specific changes that were 
made from the original draft and what we were given on July 
3rd. So I think they were material changes that were made. I 
don't think you would dispute that, because you were the one 
who made those changes. So----
    Chairman Stewart. Yes----
    Mr. Grayson [continuing]. With that in mind, I would prefer 
to see us proceed in a manner where every Member of the 
Committee feels that they have been given the proper time to 
give their input and make this bill the best that it can be.
    Chairman Stewart. Again, we appreciate your comments. As 
the author of the Manager's Amendment, it's very--I think 
generally technical in the sense that there are a few changes 
that were made in the structure, in some cases even commas and 
semicolons is all, very little substantive to it, and I believe 
there has been adequate time, even over the last week, since we 
brought the Manager's Amendment for anyone to read and have 
input to that.
    Mr. Grayson. Well, reclaiming my time. The price that you 
all pay for doing this this way is that you haven't earned the 
cooperation of the minority. That may mean something to you; it 
may not. We both know that is going to be very hard to get any 
bill passed through the Senate, any bill actually signed into 
law when you are not making it a bipartisan bill but rather a 
partisan bill.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes.
    Mr. Grayson. It seems to me to be a small price to pay for 
the chance of making this a bipartisan bill to simply postpone 
this proceeding for one week. There is nothing in this bill 
that is time-sensitive. This is a bill that could have been 
introduced three months ago, six months ago. It could be 
introduced six months from now. It is not as if hurricanes are 
going to go away in the meantime or tornadoes. So again, with 
the possibility that we might be able to make this a bipartisan 
bill, I have to ask you once more--and this will be the last 
time, I promise--that we postpone these proceedings for one 
week in order to try to make this a bipartisan bill.
    Mr. Grayson. Mr. Grayson, once again, we appreciate your 
comments, and thank you for this being the last time that 
you're going to ask. That's good to know. We believe there has 
been adequate time since the bill was introduced and adequate 
time since the Manager's Amendment was introduced. Again, it's 
not substantive. Many of it--much of it is almost entirely 
grammatical in its nature and we believe there has been time--
adequate time for us to proceed. So thank you.
    Mr. Grayson. All right. I yield the balance of my time.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. If I could just put this in a little 
perspective, 10 days is a long time to be able to consider a 
bill, and I don't know. I have been here a number of years, and 
we would have been grateful to have had 10 days' notice in 
knowing what the bill was. And people do work over the 4th of 
July break, just to note. I know maybe your staff doesn't. My 
staff worked up until I think the 2nd or 3rd of July. I was in 
contact with them at any time. That means that actions could 
have been taken and calls to the office here and to the various 
Members and to the Chairman's office would have been returned.
    So I just would think that the criticism that in some way 
the day before the 4th of July break--business didn't stop that 
day. It went on during the week of 4th of July, at least it did 
in my office. So if indeed there was some kind of an attempt to 
short-circuit the right of the minority to have time for 
consideration, I would think that that would be a very serious 
charge and that we should take a look at ourselves, and is that 
something that really happened and deal with it and make it 
right. I do think that the criticism here, however, is 
unjustified.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Grayson. Will the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. I certainly will.
    Mr. Grayson. Thank you. Just to respond, I don't think 
anybody is suggesting that nobody did anything since the 3rd of 
July. In fact, Ms. Bonamici has introduced four amendments that 
were produced since July 3rd, and I have introduced two. That 
is not the same as saying that we have had enough time to 
thoroughly go over this and make this the best bill that it can 
be. The text that we are working from is something that was 
given to us on July 3rd. I don't need to tell you what happened 
on July 4th.
    July 6th and 7th were a weekend, and this is the first full 
day back--we were back in session after a week-long recess. I 
don't think that one can do one's best legislating under those 
conditions. I am not saying that your office couldn't. I am 
saying that our office had to extend itself to do what we were 
able to do by today. Probably Ms. Bonamici feels the same way. 
That is the sentiment she expressed. And what is the rush? But 
in any event, I understand your point, and I guess we can 
proceed.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes, thanks to both the gentleman. And I 
would remind all of us, the purpose of this markup is to 
discuss and to improve the bill, to offer amendments if those 
are appropriate and to vote on those amendments. So we are in 
the process of doing, I think, Mr. Grayson, what you are hoping 
to accomplish. And rather than delay that, I believe that we 
should proceed as scheduled with the understanding that there 
has been adequate time and that there will be time in the 
future if there are concerns before this bill is brought up 
before the Full Committee.
    So with that final comment on that, again, we will proceed. 
Although I am hesitant to ask this question, is there any 
further discussion on the bill?
    Ms. Bonamici. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes, Ms. Bonamici.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I did want to 
respond to some of the concerns that have been raised about the 
timing. And just so--not to be defensive, but I want to explain 
that there were calls in to talk with staff. The markup was 
scheduled on July 3rd for today, and, of course, as Mr. Grayson 
has explained, July 4th was a holiday, and then we had a 
weekend intervening. The concern isn't just with our staff 
cooperating with each other, which I hope we will continue to 
do. The concern is that with a lot of these amendments and with 
this legislation, it is important to get the input of the 
weather community. We want to make sure that we have a bill 
that addresses the real needs out there to improve weather 
forecasting and that it is also workable and effective for the 
stakeholders involved. So it isn't just our staff needing to 
communicate with each other, even though it was a holiday 
weekend; it is getting input from the people who will be 
implementing this legislation that is important as well. And I 
just wanted to explain that, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Again, and, Ms. Bonamici, I appreciate 
your comments. May I remind you and other Members that we have, 
I think, gone to extraordinary measures in order to do just 
what you've said. We held two hearings on this. We held a 
subsequent hearing at the request of the minority. We allowed 
them and others to invite their own witnesses once again, and 
we feel like we have had the opportunity to get input from the 
experts in the field. Without objection, and I ask unanimous 
consent that the bill is considered as read and open to 
amendment at any point and the Members proceed with the 
amendments in the order listed on the roster. So ordered.
    The first amendment on the roster is an amendment offered 
by the gentlelady from Oregon, Ms. Bonamici. And the clerk 
shall report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 2413 offered by Ms. Bonamici 
of Oregon, amendment number 001. Page 2, lines 4 through 11, 
strike----
    [The amendment of Ms. Bonamici appears in Appendix I.]
    Chairman Stewart. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize, once again, Ms. Bonamici for five minutes to 
explain the amendment.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. This 
amendment would strike Section 2 of the bill. Two weeks ago--
well, actually less than two weeks ago, the Subcommittee 
received testimony regarding this bill. This section raised a 
significant amount of concern for the witnesses of that 
hearing. Every witness said that it would be potentially 
counterproductive to prioritize weather research over climate 
or oceans research as the section does.
    Mr. Chairman and Committee Members, we all care about 
public safety, but those expert witnesses were very clear that 
the most significant research challenges in understanding 
weather processes and improving forecasting ability lie beyond 
the arbitrary boundary used to separate weather from climate, 
which is just 14 days. They also noted that ocean atmosphere 
interface questions are significant for weather forecasting.
    Nowhere is this more true than as it relates to tropical 
storms. If what you want is to have a more powerful seasonal 
forecast about the severity of hurricanes, for example, or if 
you want to understand the generation and behavior of the 
storms, you have to study oceans and climate.
    I want to add that Dr. Droegemeier, who is here and 
testified from Oklahoma, said this: ``My final comment concerns 
climate and weather in a mutually reinforcing context. All of 
us recognize the importance of balance between weather and 
climate investments in our Nation's research and operations 
portfolio, yet the traditional line dividing weather and 
climate is increasingly blurred as climate models are now run 
at resolutions approaching those of weather models.''
    Consequently, we would do well to consider weather and 
climate not as two distinct elements at the extreme ends of the 
spectrum, but rather as inseparable parts of the Earth's 
system.
    Mr. Chairman, because this language, I believe, is 
counterproductive to improving weather forecasting and 
anticipating that we will be able to work out some language 
that would be a better reflection of the expert testimony we 
received, my amendment would strike this section.
    I also want to point out, Mr. Chairman, that it has been 
mentioned this morning that Dr. Droegemeier talked about the 
goal of zero deaths. But that, Mr. Chairman, is not in the 
bill, so we need to have further conversations about how we can 
improve weather forecasting without limiting the work of NOAA 
and its relevant line offices, which, I also want to add, are 
not defined in this section.
    Mr. Chairman, although I have serious concerns about this 
section of the bill and offer this amendment, as I explained, 
we have received pretty clear testimony that this section is 
problematic and could be counterproductive to the goal of 
ending--improving weather forecasting. However, given your 
commitment, Mr. Chairman, to work with us as we move forward, I 
will withdraw this amendment and look forward to having further 
conversations about addressing this issue as we work to improve 
this bill, hopefully before the full Committee markup.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I yield back.
    Chairman Stewart. Okay. And thanks once again, Ms. 
Bonamici.
    And if there are no further comments that anyone would like 
to add after your comments, we appreciate your willingness to 
withdraw the bill, and we look forward to again working with 
you to hopefully improve this before it goes before the Full 
Committee.
    The second amendment on the roster is the amendment offered 
by the Chair. And the clerk shall report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 2413 offered by Mr. Stewart of 
Utah.
    [The amendment of Mr. Stewart appears in Appendix I.]
    Chairman Stewart. Ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading.
    Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize myself for five minutes to explain this 
amendment.
    This two-page Manager's Amendment, as I have said, is 
comprised of a handful of technical and clarifying changes to 
the bill. Most of these are simple wordsmithing. The following 
three are minor clarifying, substantive provisions made in 
response to valuable testimony submitted by witnesses at our 
two hearings on this bill.
    First, on the June 26th hearing, testimony from NOAA 
Administrator Kathy Sullivan expressed concern that the bill 
not stipulate that only Observatory System Simulation 
Experiments, otherwise known as OSSEs, be used to assess the 
relative value and benefits of the observing systems. This was 
never the intent of the bill's requirement that NOAA undertake 
observing system planning and prioritization to address 
potential gaps in weather satellite coverage, so the amendment 
clarifies that NOAA use not only OSSEs but also observing 
system experiments and other assessment tools in these planning 
efforts.
    Second, Administrator Sullivan recommended that Congress 
not require OSSEs to benefit the--to assess the benefits of 
existing systems and instead focus resources on potential new 
systems. We agree that this is a concern and appreciate NOAA's 
explanation of why this is important. And so the amendment 
strikes language requiring OSSEs on existing systems, once 
again improving the bill because of the testimony of our 
witnesses.
    Finally, the amendment clarifies that in carrying out the 
requirement to conduct OSSEs, NOAA shall prioritize assessments 
of the value of data from both global positioning system radio 
occultation and a geostationary hyperspectral sound global 
constellation. These technologies, which the Committee has 
received testimony on at multiple hearings, hold great promise 
to improve severe weather forecasting and to minimize the 
harmful effects of potential weather satellite data gap.
    It is our understanding that NOAA is pursuing OSSEs on 
these technologies using funding from Hurricane Sandy 
supplemental spending bill, so the bill codifies and 
prioritizes this effort.
    And with that, I yield back.
    Are there any other comments on this amendment?
    Ms. Bonamici. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I move to 
strike the last word.
    Chairman Stewart. So ordered.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to briefly 
comment on the Manager's Amendment. I am generally supportive 
of the technical corrections in this amendment, although they 
do not remedy all of the concerns raised by Members and the 
witnesses. I do find it necessary, however, to discuss and 
object to the portion of this amendment that amends Section 7 
of the bill.
    Section 7 of the bill, entitled ``Observing System 
Simulation Experiments,'' requires NOAA to run a specific type 
of simulation experiment on a host of NOAA acquisitions. And, 
as you said, we have heard from several witnesses at the 
hearing on June 26 that this was an overly prescriptive 
requirement. We heard testimony that there are multiple tools 
available to NOAA to evaluate acquisitions, and different 
approaches may be more appropriate in different circumstances.
    I would note that Dr. Droegemeier, the majority's own 
witness at the June 26 hearing, spoke to this issue 
specifically saying that, I think, the only thing that we are 
saying is basically there are many tools available, probably 
let the scientists decide which ones are most appropriate. And 
I agree with that sentiment wholeheartedly.
    Unfortunately, the Manager's Amendment only adds to the 
prescriptive nature of this requirement by directing NOAA to 
analyze two specific potential acquisitions with this tool. I 
would note that these appear to be proposals from two specific 
companies, which only adds to my discomfort here. With this 
language, we are taking a step back.
    Based on what the expert witnesses--including the 
majority's witness--said in our Subcommittee, it is clear we 
should either be deleting this section of the bill or, at the 
very least, making it much less prescriptive. Instead, this 
section of the Manager's Amendment makes it more prescriptive. 
For this reason, I oppose the amendment and hope this is 
something we can address as we move forward.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you, Ms. Bonamici. Again, let me 
reiterate it was never the intention of this bill's requirement 
that NOAA undertake observing systems planning and 
prioritization to address these gaps in coverage. The amendment 
simply clarifies that NOAA use not only OSSEs but also 
observing system experiments and other assessments in these 
planning tools.
    And if I could finally reiterate with this, the overall 
importance of the OSSEs, which have been roundly endorsed by 
many different weather experts and stakeholders, is critical in 
NOAA's gap mitigation planning and are in fact already underway 
as a result of funding provided by the hurricane supplemental 
spending.
    Is there further discussion on this amendment?
    Ms. Bonamici. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes, the Ranking Member.
    Ms. Bonamici. If I could be recognized again, Mr. Chairman, 
I just--I would just like to clarify the section I am referring 
to is on page two of the amendment where it calls for amendment 
on page nine after line 3, inserting a new subsection of 
priority OSSEs that does use the term ``shall complete OSSEs.'' 
So there is a section that adds required mandatory OSSEs in 
certain circumstances.
    I yield back, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you. Is there further discussion on 
the amendment?
    Mr. Grayson. Just a moment, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes. The gentleman from Florida.
    Mr. Grayson. Thank you. I just want to observe that support 
for this amendment should--could not be construed necessarily 
as support for Section 7 because amendment number 4 that we 
will be considering would strike the entire section. So one 
could vote for this amendment and still agree with Ms. Bonamici 
about her point.
    Thank you. I yield the rest of my time.
    Chairman Stewart. And so noted. Thank you.
    Any further discussion?
    Hearing none, the vote occurs on the Stewart amendment.
    All in favor, say aye.
    Those opposed, say no.
    The ayes have it, and the amendment is agreed to.
    The next amendment on the roster is the amendment offered 
by the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Grayson. And the clerk shall 
report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 2413 offered by Mr. Grayson of 
Florida, amendment number 143.
    [The amendment of Mr. Grayson appears in Appendix I.]
    Chairman Stewart. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading.
    Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize Mr. Grayson for five minutes to explain his 
amendment.
    Mr. Grayson. Chairman Stewart, Ranking Member Bonamici, the 
amendment before you is a simple technical amendment that I 
hope we can all support this morning. It adds only five words 
to the bill, ``such as tornadoes and hurricanes.'' My amendment 
would add these five words to page 3, line 13 of the bill 
immediately after the word ``severe storms.'' The exact same 
phrase that these words provide appears in a discussion draft 
of this bill that was posted on the Committee's website until 
yesterday, one day before this markup.
    As you are aware, Mr. Chairman, this bill would authorize 
almost half a billion dollars for the research being described 
in Section 3 of the bill, specifically, $400 million. I feel it 
is important that the words ``tornado'' and ``hurricane'' 
explicitly appear in Section 3 at least once. Currently, that 
is not the case, so I urge support for this simple technical 
amendment.
    And I yield the balance of my time.
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you, Mr. Grayson.
    Mr. Bridenstine.
    Mr. Bridenstine. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I would like to thank the gentleman from Florida for his 
amendment. This amendment adds reference for tornadoes and 
hurricanes to severe storm forecasting within the bill. And I 
believe this is a good amendment.
    While our Congressional Districts face very different 
extreme weather events, I do not believe that this is overly 
prescriptive at all, and I am glad that we both agree for the 
need to improve forecasting capabilities. I am honored to 
support this amendment.
    Ms. Edwards. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes, Ms. Edwards.
    Ms. Edwards. Mr. Chairman, you know, I had not planned to 
speak on this, but I have to tell you that in reviewing Mr. 
Grayson's amendment, understanding that it may be accepted by 
the majority, it is case in point why it was necessary to 
review this and to move forward. We would not have actually had 
to do an amendment had we had the kind of bipartisan 
cooperation that the Ranking Member spoke about earlier.
    And so looking at Mr. Grayson's amendment and seeing 
something as simple as adding such as hurricanes and tornadoes, 
that the American public would have been shocked that we would 
have been able to move forward a bill without an amendment that 
wouldn't recognize that we had these kind of severe storms, 
given what this country and what parts of this country have 
experienced.
    And so I just want to echo the concern that sometimes 
moving fast does not always produce the best results, and this 
just happens to be one example of that, although I am 
supportive of the amendment.
    And with that, I yield.
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you, Ms. Edwards.
    And once again, I believe that that is the purpose of these 
Subcommittee markups is to do what you have asked and all of us 
hope to do here. And I just have to reject the statement that 
the Chair nor the majority has not made an effort to work in a 
bipartisan manner. I believe that Ms. Bonamici and I have had a 
relationship where we have tried to do that. We are going to 
continue to try to do that.
    I agree with the statement made by others that this is a 
Subcommittee that should be bipartisan, and we want to be 
bipartisan, but I don't believe that we have violated that 
effort. In fact, I don't believe that the timing of this bill 
is an indication of our unwillingness to be bipartisan in this 
effort. It is simply not. We want to work with the minority, 
and we will work with the minority. And I think that some may 
be reading too much into the simple timing of this bill when 
was not our intention at all.
    Having said that----
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. If we are going to demand before we even 
start the amendment process that every piece of legislation be 
considered perfect before we can go through the perfection 
process of amendments, this--we would never get anything done. 
There would never be a bill that was perfect enough that a 
comma shouldn't be changed from one place to another. That's 
what this process is all about. That's why you have 
Subcommittee meetings.
    And sometimes, by the way, there aren't Subcommittee 
meetings of markups, and it goes directly to the Full 
Committee. And the fact that we are right here, right now 
perfecting this bill demonstrates, I think, good will on the 
part of the leadership and a commitment to making sure we have 
good legislation by being open to amendments from both sides of 
the aisle. So I would commend you rather than suggest that any 
criticism of you and how you have handled yourself is in any 
way justified. Thank you.
    Chairman Stewart. All right. Thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher.
    Is there any further discussion on the amendment?
    Hearing none, let me make a note here that we have probably 
35 minutes to complete these hearings if we can, so we are 
going to try and move a little more quickly, taking the time as 
necessary to discuss it, of course.
    Hearing on the vote occurs on the Grayson amendment to 
number 143.
    All in favor, say aye.
    Those opposed, say no.
    The ayes have it, and the amendment is agreed to.
    The next amendment on the roster is an amendment offered by 
the gentlelady from Oregon, Ms. Bonamici. And the clerk shall 
report the amendment.
    The Clerk. H.R.--amendment to H.R. 2413 offered by Ms. 
Bonamici of Oregon, amendment number 002.
    [The amendment of Ms. Bonamici appears in Appendix I.]
    Chairman Stewart. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading.
    Without objection, so ordered. I recognize Ms. Bonamici for 
five minutes to explain the amendment.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    This amendment strikes the requirement that the assistant 
administrator for OAR is required to run observing system 
simulation experiments or so-called OSSEs. The Subcommittee 
learned in our June 26 hearing that OSSEs are not the only 
analytical tool available to evaluate potential configurations 
of observing systems on weather forecasting, and we talked 
about that again this morning. According to that expert 
testimony, other tools have been developed that are quicker, 
less expensive, and potentially more robust. I expect that if 
we modified the language of the section to simply require the 
use of the more appropriate--most appropriate and effective 
analytical tool, which in some cases would be an OSSE and some 
cases not, we would have broad bipartisan support.
    I hope we can get there before we mark up at Full 
Committee, and barring that, I ask that we strike this section 
as it now stands, particularly because of the provisions that 
were added in the amendment you offered, Mr. Chairman. And I 
hope we can work with knowledgeable members of the weather 
enterprises to craft a responsible language.
    Additionally, as I noted, the Manager's Amendment now 
appears to create an earmark for the benefit of one or two 
companies, and I don't know what this would cost the taxpayer, 
but it is unclear why we should do this or what we hope to 
learn.
    With that, I yield back, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you. I moved to last--strike the 
last word and recognize myself to speak on the amendment.
    The amendment would strike Observing System Simulation 
Experiments from the legislation, and I oppose this amendment. 
OSSEs play a very important part in the observing system. 
Planning for NOAA, these tools are available at a quantitative 
easing--assessing of the relative value and the benefits of 
potential observing capabilities and systems which aid in 
NOAA's accurate forecasting abilities. Two weeks ago, the 
current head of NOAA, Dr. Kathy Sullivan, called these 
experiments one of the tools to help determine what new data or 
technologies will yield the best improvement in forecasting 
accuracy. Likewise, former NOAA Administrator called Observing 
System Simulation Experiments a powerful tool to inform our 
strategies for investing in observing networks.
    NOAA recently contracted with Riverside Global Science 
Solutions to assess its approach to future satellite gaps, and 
their report stated clearly that OSSEs should be a normal part 
of NOAA planning and evaluations. Moreover, OSSEs are critical 
to determine how best to mitigate the degradation of NOAA 
weather services and should be used to inform decisions which 
proposed alternatives and combinations of alternatives provide 
the best cost-benefit to gap mitigation.
    And with that, I yield back.
    Are there others who would like to address the amendment?
    Ms. Bonamici. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes. I recognize Ms. Bonamici.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    And I am not disagreeing that OSSEs can be a valuable tool, 
as we heard in the testimony. But, as explained, the amendment 
would strike the provision, and I hope that we can continue to 
work to make this a better section, even in light of the 
Manager's Amendment.
    We have heard pretty clear testimony that the section is 
problematic, but given the Chairman's commitment to work with 
me as we move forward, I will withdraw this amendment and hope 
we can discuss this issue further and work out bipartisan 
language regarding the use of OSSEs before this bill moves 
forward for a markup at the Full Committee.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Okay. Thank you. And with that, the 
amendment is withdrawn.
    The next amendment on the roster is an amendment offered by 
the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Grayson. And the clerk shall 
report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 2413 offered by Mr. Grayson of 
Florida, amendment number 144.
    [The amendment of Mr. Grayson appears in Appendix I.]
    Chairman Stewart. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading.
    Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize Mr. Grayson for five minutes to discuss his 
amendment.
    Mr. Grayson. Mr. Chairman, this amendment simply 
reestablishes equal treatment under this bill for hurricanes 
and tornadoes. I recognize that our time is very limited this 
morning, as the Chairman has already pointed out. Maybe it 
might be better for me to just reserve the balance of my time 
in the hope that we can move quickly on this.
    I reserve the balance of my time.
    Chairman Stewart. The Chair recognizes the reserving 
balance of your time.
    Are there others who would like to speak to the amendment?
    The Vice Chairman, Mr. Bridenstine.
    Mr. Bridenstine. I would just like to support the gentleman 
from Florida in this amendment.
    Chairman Stewart. Was there further discussion on the 
amendment?
    Hearing none, the vote occurs on the Grayson amendment.
    All in favor, say aye.
    Those opposed, say no.
    The ayes have it, and the amendment is agreed to.
    The next amendment on the roster is an amendment offered by 
the gentlelady from Oregon, Ms. Bonamici. The clerk shall 
report the amendment. My apologies. Ms. Edwards.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 2413 offered by Ms. Edwards of 
Maryland, amendment number 003.
    [The amendment of Ms. Edwards appears in Appendix I.]
    Chairman Stewart. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading.
    Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize Ms. Edwards now for five minutes to explain her 
amendment.
    Ms. Edwards. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    My amendment would strike Section 8 of the bill entitled 
``Computing Resources Prioritization Report.'' This section 
requires NOAA to issue a plan for high-performance computing 
support of its advanced research and operational weather 
prediction models. Included in this plan, NOAA must identify 
opportunities to reallocate existing computer resources to 
improve operational weather prediction.
    While this language, on its face, seems like it would be 
helpful to move towards a shared goal of improving operational 
weather prediction models, I believe in reality it would be 
detrimental to the Agency and to our Nation. NOAA's weather and 
climate computing takes place both in the Office of Oceans and 
Atmosphere Research, OAR, as well as the National Weather 
Service.
    While they are not rigid lines, much of the weather and 
climate research computing takes place at OAR, and much of the 
operational weather computing takes place at the National 
Weather Service. The provision in this bill attempts to take 
the resources of OAR with the functions of the National Weather 
Service. The result of this would be a reduction in research 
computing focused on climate and weather. This amendment really 
aims to undermine climate research computing, and I simply 
cannot support this.
    The witnesses at the June 26th Subcommittee hearing were 
clear. All of these activities are critical for the improvement 
of weather and climate forecasting, and each is related. Not 
one of the witnesses advocated the approach that has been taken 
in the majority bill, none, not a single one, not even the 
witnesses called by the majority. Even after holding two 
hearings, no witness was able to support this effort. Moreover, 
acting Administrator Sullivan specifically cautioned against 
this approach in her testimony at the hearing.
    I believe that the proper path forward would be to find 
sufficient resources to improve all of these vital activities 
which save lives and are critical to the economy.
    Of course, I realize that the hands of my Republican 
colleagues are tied in this respect as they continue to push 
for flat or lowered funding levels, even as we require and 
expect more of our science agencies, a wholesome problem on 
this Committee and the Congress.
    In particular, I would like to highlight that although this 
bill and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle claim a 
desire to improve operational weather computing at NOAA, they 
all voted against providing NOAA with the resources to do just 
that in the Sandy Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. 
That legislation provided NOAA with funds to improve 
specifically operational and weather research computing. Acting 
Administrator Sullivan testified that these funds will allow 
NOAA to improve their operational computing power tenfold by 
2015.
    So my colleagues had a chance to do something concrete to 
improve the same operational computing at NOAA and yet they 
chose not to. I think it is a better approach to recognize the 
resources required to accomplish these goals and to ensure 
these improvements, rather than prescribing organizational 
changes that truly serve to be a detriment in the long term 
while ignoring the real challenges. I urge adoption of the 
amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you, Ms. Edwards.
    The Chair recognizes the Vice Chair, Mr. Bridenstine.
    Mr. Bridenstine. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    This amendment would strike Section 8 of this bill, the 
computing resources prioritization reports, which directs NOAA 
to issue a plan for high-performance computing support of its 
advanced research and operational weather prediction models. I 
oppose this amendment. It is crucial that computer resources 
remain a top priority to advance weather forecasting research 
and models. Over the years, an imbalance has formed between the 
resources available for weather and climate modeling research. 
Do we have a--the graph there? Computer resources available to 
weather are substantially lower than that of climate.
    [Chart]
    Mr. Bridenstine. I would like to show on the screen a chart 
developed by Dr. Cliff Mass at the University of Washington. 
The first five bars illustrate the computing power of NOAA's 
climate-focused supercomputers. The first five bars are NOAA's 
climate computing supercomputers. The last bar shows the 
capability of the National Weather Service's operational 
computer. I don't know if you guys can see the last bar. I 
can't see it from here. The imbalance is clear, and the chart 
speaks for itself, which is why the bill includes a provision 
requiring a review. It's just a review of how NOAA's 
supercomputers can be put to use for weather forecasting, not 
just climate science.
    I yield back.
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you, Mr. Bridenstine.
    I would move to strike the last word and recognize myself 
to speak on the amendment.
    Ms. Edwards, we are sympathetic to your pleas for funding, 
and in a perfect world, we would be able to fund everything 
that we would like to. We would be able to fund many needs that 
perhaps go unfunded today. But the reality is is that we have 
to prioritize and we have to choose, that one of the great 
dangers, I believe, facing the future of our Nation is our 
inability to do--be effective at that. And I believe that this 
bill helps us move NOAA and other--and setting their priorities 
move forward in an effective way.
    Is there further discussion on the amendment?
    Ms. Bonamici. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. The Chair recognizes the Ranking Member.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I move to 
strike the last word.
    Chairman Stewart. So ordered.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I want to state my support for Ms. Edwards' amendment. Yes, 
we should increase our support for operational weather 
computing, but I cannot agree with increasing support for the 
operational weather computing by reducing weather and climate 
research computing resources, and that is what Section 8 of 
this bill attempts to do.
    I also want to note, as Ms. Edwards did, that this Congress 
just recently appropriated millions of dollars for upgrades to 
NOAA's operational weather computing. That was about $25 
million for a supercomputer that was in the Sandy supplemental 
project so that the National Weather Service will, once 
implemented, have the most powerful computer and computing 
ability, probably, in the world.
    Acting Administrator Sullivan testified that as a result of 
those appropriated dollars, NOAA's operational weather 
computing power would increase tenfold by 2015. So this seems 
like an issue that we just recently addressed.
    We need to be financially responsible, Mr. Chairman. And 
so, as we move forward, although we have to have sustained 
support for improvements to both operational and research 
computing at NOAA, the best way to do that is continue 
supporting NOAA when they make their budget requests. Reducing 
other important parts of the agency is counterproductive, and I 
cannot support that.
    For this reason, I urge adoption of the amendment, and I 
yield back. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you, Ms. Bonamici.
    Is there further discussion on the amendment?
    Mr. Neugebauer. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes.
    Mr. Neugebauer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am going to rise 
in opposition to this amendment. I think your chart was very 
compelling, and as I understand Section 8, it basically says 
to--six months after enactment of this act, that NOAA Chief 
Information Officer, in coordination with the Assistant 
Administrator of OAR, they'll come up with a plan on what is 
the best utilization of the computer resources that they have 
to make sure that they're dedicating enough resources to the 
prediction side. Am I missing something here?
    Chairman Stewart. I don't believe so, Mr. Neugebauer.
    Mr. Neugebauer. Yes. And, as I think the Chairman pointed 
out, you know, we don't have an unlimited amount of resources 
here. And every agency--every federal agency in our entire 
government is going to have to be looking at how they're 
utilizing American, hard-working taxpayers' money and making 
sure that we are utilizing them in the most efficient and 
effective way. And I think moving some of those dollars away 
from research on climate change to saving lives for weather 
prediction--probably the American people think that is a pretty 
good investment on our behalf. And so I urge other Members not 
to support this amendment.
    Mr. Takano. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes. And thank you, Mr. Neugebauer. And, 
I am sorry, was there--
    Mr. Takano. I seek recognition, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes.
    Mr. Takano. Mr. Chairman, I would like to comment briefly 
and then yield the balance of my time to my colleague, Ms. 
Edwards. It has become apparent to me that the pleas of balance 
are disingenuous, that this is really an attempt to undermine 
research efforts on the Federal Government on climate change.
    You know, I find it absurd that the balance--the term 
balance is being used to justify this with charts that purport 
to show an inordinate amount of resources being spent on 
climate--the federal resources that we must continue to support 
acquiring knowledge and acquiring better understanding of the 
total systems in order to understand the more localized effects 
that result in weather.
    I yield the balance of my time to my colleague.
    Ms. Edwards. Thank you to my colleague, Mr. Takano.
    And I just want to point out to the majority that the chart 
that has been shown--and it is important for the public to 
understand this--does not reflect the $25 million at all, not 
even on the chart. And so, you know, I think, you know, if we 
are thinking about fiscal responsibility, then it is 
responsible for us to acknowledge the $25 million that is 
actually already going to the National Weather Service that 
acting Director Sullivan pointed out to us to show how they 
plan to raise the computing capacity.
    I would also like to say again that I understand, because 
it has been clear on this Subcommittee, it has been clear and 
our Full Committee, that there is a deep animus to anything 
related to climate research on the side of the majority. But 
the fact is that climate impacts weather and that our experts 
need to have the full knowledge and expertise about this impact 
so that there can be better forecasting so that it works for 
our farmers and for our industry.
    And I suppose you can bury your head in the sand, if there 
is any sand left on the beach, when another severe climate 
event happens and our weather services are not able to keep up 
with that for the American public.
    And so those are the choices that we have, but the reality 
is that whoever causes climate, wherever it is caused, it is 
impacting weather and it impacts our weather forecasting. And 
it is important for us as policymakers to stop having this 
silly debate and to provide the agencies with the resources 
that they need to respond so that our communities are not 
further devastated by the impacts of severe weather events.
    And I would just close by saying to my colleagues, really 
pleading with them, that for our coastal communities, for our 
communities in the midsection of our States that are 
experiencing very, very severe weather events and not to have 
the kind of capacity that we need to save lives is very 
irresponsible, and I would rather see us make sure that we 
spend those resources appropriately, recognizing money that has 
already been designated, funding that has already been 
designated to provide for greater computing power and not to 
destroy the element that is there that is going to help our 
scientists better understand the impact of climate on weather.
    And when another community is devastated, whether it is 
this year or next year or the year after, I guess I would leave 
it to the scientists on this Committee to explain to the 
American public how we failed them.
    And with that, I yield.
    Mr. Sensenbrenner. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes, the Chair recognizes Mr. 
Sensenbrenner.
    Mr. Sensenbrenner. Mr. Chairman, I moved to strike the last 
word and yield to the gentleman from Oklahoma.
    Chairman Stewart. So noted.
    Mr. Bridenstine. Thank you, Mr. Sensenbrenner.
    I just would like to bring up the chart one more time if 
that is possible.
    [Chart]
    Mr. Bridenstine. Okay. So the last bar there is a bar that 
is significant. And it is true that $25 million is not included 
in that last bar and it is true that that would be a tenfold 
increase. But when you go from that bar, which is pretty much--
you can't see it from here. It doesn't--you increase it by 
tenfold and it's still the lowest bar on the chart. This does 
not in any way reflect balance, as the folks on the other side 
of the aisle has--have tried to insinuate, that we are 
unbalanced. This is what is unbalanced, if you look at that 
chart. And if you increase the last bar by 10 times, it is 
still going to be the lowest bar on the chart.
    What we do need is we do need balance because the priority 
here is to save lives. I have constituents in Oklahoma who have 
been dealing with these, you know, catastrophic weather events 
for hundreds of years in Oklahoma we have been dealing with 
this. And certainly, our goal here is not to render ineffective 
the research on climate. Our goal here is to save lives, and to 
do that, we have to prioritize on weather forecasting and 
warning.
    I yield back.
    Mr. Sensenbrenner. I yield back as well.
    Chairman Stewart. I thank both the gentleman. The Chair 
would comment as some of the things that are being said. It is 
not our intention at all to undermine climate research. As the 
Vice Chairman has pointed out, we are simply trying to bring 
some balance and to set priorities, and we recognize that there 
are people in coastal areas that have great concerns with 
climate research, but there are millions of people living in 
the central and southern parts of this Nation that have great 
interest as well in weather research. And we have seen the 
devastating impacts very clearly that that can have on their 
lives this last spring and will continue to.
    So, with that, is there any further discussion on the 
amendment?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. Chairman, just--I move to strike the 
last word.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes, Mr. Rohrabacher.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. And I appreciate the Chairman's sincerity 
and his efforts to reach out to the minority on this. And let 
me just say I think that you have struck a balanced approach, 
but if I could speak up for an unbalanced approach for a 
moment.
    As this chart amply demonstrates, for the last 10 to 15 
years there has been a huge imbalance in the passing out and 
the granting of research grants by--whether it is Department of 
Energy or whether it is NOAA or whatever agency it happens to 
be. And that huge imbalance, in order to correct that, will 
take--will mean that we have to focus more heavily on one side 
than the other. You correct imbalances by focusing on the 
imbalance. And to suggest that that is itself not trying to 
make things better but are--is an unbalanced approach is 
actually irrational.
    Let me suggest from a distance, and you take a look at how 
much money the Federal Government has been putting into climate 
research, it's no wonder those of us who are skeptical that 
mankind is causing the climate to change, no wonder that we are 
a bit disturbed because climate research, if you--with a close 
look has become synonymous with research cronyism.
    Over the last 10 years we have seen--and actually 20 years 
now, we have seen grant after grant being given for--to anyone 
who can come up with something that will excite the public 
about global climate change in a way that would suggest that 
mankind is responsible in order to justify restrictions on 
human activity or control of human activity by the government. 
We have seen everything from the polar bears are disappearing 
and all the way to the--my coastal district is going to be 
flooded, and there is not going to be any more sand, which is--
was just mentioned by one of our colleagues.
    This type of basic research aimed at alarming the public to 
the point that the public will accept further levels of a 
decline in their standard of living or control of their lives 
and their economic activities is something that is very 
disturbing to us and should not be taken lightly. That is one 
side of the--what we are talking about in a broader view. And 
while I accept the Chairman's balanced approach, I am very 
happy to be the aggressive person in trying to point out the 
nonsense that we are talking about.
    Second of all, the people that we are--that are the most 
concerned about making decisions and trying to determine where 
the best use of our tax dollars is going to be, the things that 
will really help our own people, the people--will protect our 
people from weather incidents that cause people to die or lose 
their income, those people who are the most vocal about 
sequestration are now trying to suggest that we can't 
prioritize, and we can't in any way try to rectify the fact 
that these research grants have been so out of balance for so 
long.
    And so I would suggest that we--this type of debate is 
fundamental to people who would kind of have an honest 
disagreement on whether or not the climate cycles are caused by 
human activity or caused by the sun. That's an honest 
disagreement, and I think that it pops up every now and then in 
debates on policy just like this.
    But as I say, the big picture is as important in the 
understanding of this debate as are the details in this 
legislation.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher.
    The Chair recognizes the Ranking Member, Ms. Bonamici.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    I had two questions for Mr.--Vice Chair Bridenstine, one of 
which you already answered, Mr. Bridenstine, about how the 
chart is not reflect the Sandy supplemental funding.
    And my other question, if you could please give us the 
underlying data for the chart, because we would like to 
determine whether it considers the use of other agency 
computers by NOAA. So we would appreciate receiving that.
    And also, just in response to some of the discussion and 
further support of Ms. Edwards' amendment, I would like to just 
point out that when Dr. Droegemeier was here from Oklahoma, his 
written testimony says this: ``Climate models have proven 
capable of reproducing environments hundreds of years in the 
past and thus can be useful for determining future environments 
and hence the types of storms that might be expected to form 
within them. Conversely, our understanding of and ability to 
predict high-impact weather will improve climate model 
representations of storms' precipitation, the radiation budget, 
and even chemical processes. We are moving toward the day when 
we no longer use separate models for weather and climate and 
our investments likewise should reflect that trajectory.''
    I again support Ms. Edwards' amendment, and I yield back. 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you, Ms. Bonamici.
    And we recognize the Vice Chair.
    Mr. Bridenstine. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    The chart there came from--it was developed by Dr. Cliff 
Mass of the University of Washington who, from all evidence 
that I have seen, is not by any stretch necessarily a 
conservative researcher. And certainly I think that that chart 
is accurate, and it reflects priorities that have been 
mismanaged over time.
    And so with that I would also say that Dr. Droegemeier was 
very clear about the fact that we do have an ability--given the 
advancing technology of today, we do have the ability--to 
predict tornadoes up to an hour in advance. And if you 
remember, during his testimony he showed us charts, lines of 
tornadoes that they predicted an hour in advance and not only 
that they would form but the direction that they would go, and 
they were extremely accurate.
    That reflects the fact that we can save lives, and we can 
save property, and we can prevent catastrophic economic effects 
from these kind of disasters if we do properly prioritize.
    And so with that I will yield back.
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you. Is further discussion on the 
amendment?
    Mr. Grayson. May I be recognized, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes, sir. The Chair recognizes the 
gentleman from Florida.
    Mr. Grayson. Thank you. The chart in question that we have 
been debating now for, oh, geez, almost half an hour has a Y 
axis that is listed as P capacity petaflops. Is there anybody 
in the majority who can identify what a petaflop is?
    I yield. I take it the answer is no.
    Mr. Bridenstine. It is the ability to do--it's computing 
capacity, the ability to do calculations.
    Mr. Grayson. How many?
    Mr. Bridenstine. That's a great question.
    Chairman Stewart It's a thousand teraflops.
    Mr. Grayson. A thousand teraflops, all right. And what is a 
teraflop?
    Chairman Stewart. That is a--one million megaflops.
    Mr. Grayson. Oh, okay. Well, I see where this is going. 
What is a megaflop?
    Mr. Bridenstine. It is one more than a flip-flop.
    Mr. Grayson. Listen, here is the point. The point is that 
we have been talking about a chart that simply says in visual 
form that we are devoting more computer resources to climate 
than we are to weather. I don't think there is anything really 
wrong with that. Climate is a much more difficult problem to 
map than weather it is. It is just intrinsically more 
complicated. It deals with much longer periods of time than 
weather does. It is like saying, well, an MRI of the brain is 
going to be more complicated than an MRI of the arm. That is 
just the way it is. And with that understanding, I think that 
Ms. Edwards' observations are well taken.
    I yield the rest of my time.
    Chairman Stewart. I thank you, Mr. Grayson.
    Is there further discussion on the amendment? Hearing none, 
the vote occurs on the amendment.
    All in favor, say aye.
    Those opposed, say no.
    The nays have it, and the amendment is not agreed to.
    Ms. Edwards. I would ask for a recorded vote, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. The clerk will call the roll.
    The Clerk. Mr. Stewart.
    Chairman Stewart. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bridenstine.
    Mr. Bridenstine. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bridenstine votes no.
    Mr. Sensenbrenner.
    Mr. Sensenbrenner. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Sensenbrenner votes no.
    Mr. Rohrabacher.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Rohrabacher votes no.
    Mr. Neugebauer.
    Mr. Neugebauer. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Neugebauer votes no.
    Mr. Brown.
    [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Weber.
    Mr. Weber. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Weber votes no.
    Ms. Bonamici.
    Ms. Bonamici. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Bonamici votes aye.
    Ms. Brownley.
    [No response.]
    The Clerk. Ms. Edwards.
    Ms. Edwards. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Edwards votes aye.
    Mr. Takano.
    Mr. Takano. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Takano votes aye.
    Mr. Grayson.
    Mr. Grayson. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Grayson votes aye.
    Mr. Stewart is recorded as voting no. Mr. Chairman----
    Chairman Stewart. The clerk will report the vote.
    The Clerk. Mr. Chairman, four Members have voted aye; six 
members have voted nay.
    Chairman Stewart. The amendment is not agreed to.

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

    The next amendment on the roster is an amendment offered by 
the gentlelady from Oregon, Ms. Bonamici. And the clerk will 
report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 2413 offered by----
    [The amendment by Ms. Bonamici appears in Appendix I.]
    Chairman Stewart. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading.
    Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize Ms. Bonamici for five minutes to explain her--
the amendment.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    As we heard in the testimony, severe weather events that 
can result in the loss of life and property have become all too 
frequent in recent years. We have seen it across the country, 
and we know the consequences can be devastating. That is why we 
are here today. The willingness and ability to improve weather 
forecasting at NOAA is something that this bill intends to do, 
but as I said in the June 26th hearing on the bill, if we want 
to improve weather forecasting, we should focus on the actual 
weather forecasters' needs at the National Weather Service.
    The witness--witnesses who testified before the 
Subcommittee at the June 26th hearing agree. The current 
authorizing language focuses only on funding at the OAR, the 
Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, which is contrary 
to the stated intention of this legislation. If improving 
weather forecasting is the goal, then the bill should not fund 
OAR's weather effort over the work of the National Weather 
Service. This could prove to be both problematic within NOAA 
and importantly, counterproductive.
    Therefore, I offer this amendment that removes the language 
in the bill that authorizes OAR only. It is a common-sense 
amendment, Mr. Chairman.
    I yield back.
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you, Ms. Bonamici. I move to strike 
the last word and recognize myself to speak to the amendment.
    The amendment would completely strike Section 11 of this 
bill and the authorization of the appropriations. I oppose this 
amendment. Striking the authorization for appropriations of 
these activities would cut at the heart of the bill's very 
purpose. We are ensuring that the priorities of the bill--to 
protect lives through increased weather research--is funded 
through a Congressional mandate. In these austere times, it is 
critical that our most important research programs are 
authorized by Congress and thus are protected by future 
budgetary constraints.
    Is there further discussion on the amendment?
    Ms. Bonamici. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes, the Chair recognizes the Ranking 
Member.
    Ms. Bonamici. Mr. Chairman, as I explained earlier, I have 
serious concerns about this section of the bill, which is why I 
have offered this amendment and explained why it is problematic 
and counterproductive to the goal of improving weather 
forecasting.
    But given the Chairman's commitment to work with me as we 
move forward, I am going to withdraw this amendment and look 
forward to addressing this issue as we work to improve the 
bill.
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you. The Chair recognizes the 
Ranking Member as withdrawing the amendment. We appreciate your 
willingness and look forward to working with you on that. And 
with that, the amendment is withdrawn.
    The final amendment on the roster today is an amendment 
again offered by the gentlelady from Oregon, Ms. Bonamici. And 
the clerk shall report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 2413 offered by Ms. Bonamici 
of Oregon, amendment number 005.
    [The amendment of Ms. Bonamici appears in Appendix I.]
    Chairman Stewart. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading.
    Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize Ms. Bonamici for five minutes to discuss her 
amendment.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    As I explained in the prior amendment, putting all of the 
emphasis on OAR is not consistent with our intention to improve 
weather forecasting at NOAA.
    We heard testimony from NOAA and experts in the weather 
community at the June 26th hearing cautioning this Committee 
about the detrimental consequences if weather research programs 
are emphasized over other research programs or if research is 
emphasized over weather forecasting. Resources for research are 
already under constraints across all federal agencies, 
especially with the cuts already in place and slated to be 
implemented from the sequestration. This bill in its current 
form makes things worse and actually jeopardizes research at 
NOAA that could improve weather forecasting.
    NOAA needs a solid research portfolio and a solid weather 
forecasting portfolio. Weakening one to strengthen the other 
could have serious negative consequences for NOAA's ability to 
provide accurate, timely weather forecasting, and the witnesses 
at the June 26th hearing all seemed to agree. A strategy that 
emphasizes progress in all areas of NOAA's research enterprise 
can only be accomplished if the OAR has the resources it needs.
    In order for OAR to accomplish NOAA's weather forecasting 
objectives, I propose this amendment that would strike through 
the current section that authorizes only certain programs and 
replaced it with language that authorizes funding for all 
programs and research within OAR. The funding levels proposed 
in my amendments are FY 2012 spending levels with three percent 
for inflation added for each year over the next five years. 
This replacement language will make NOAA whole again and 
relieve the Agency from the negative impacts of sequestration.
    I yield back, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Thank you, Ms. Bonamici.
    I move to strike the last word and recognize myself to 
speak to the amendment.
    The amendment once again would strike parts of--or entirely 
Section 11, which authorize appropriations for weather research 
and technology transfers and replace it with an authorization 
of all NOAA research activities, including climate and weather. 
It also calls for significant spending increases in the out 
years. And as we've seen with other amendments, this amendment 
would gut the bill's fundamental objective, which is to 
prioritize weather research without increasing spending. To 
paraphrase the Vice Chairman, Mr. Bridenstine's, earlier 
comments, if we want to make weather research and public safety 
a priority, we have to prioritize weather research and public 
safety. It is as simple as that. And for these reasons, I 
strongly oppose the amendment.
    Is there further discussion on the amendment?
    Ms. Bonamici. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Stewart. Yes, Ms. Bonamici.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Again, as with the other amendments, I have serious 
concerns about this section of the bill, which is why I have 
offered this amendment. We have received pretty clear testimony 
that this section could be problematic and counterproductive to 
the goal of improving weather forecasting.
    However, as with the other amendments, given the Chairman's 
commitment to work with me as we move forward, I will withdraw 
this amendment. I look forward to addressing this issue as we 
work to improve the bill.
    And, Mr. Chairman, I just want to add, with this amendment, 
as with others, I hope and trust that we can have these 
conversations before we move to a Full Committee markup. I am 
here, as you are, to improve weather forecasting and, as was 
discussed earlier in this Subcommittee markup, there is a lot 
of room for bipartisan cooperation here, and having a 
bipartisan bill significantly increases our chances of having 
legislation that can be signed into law and will actually 
improve weather forecasting.
    So I am withdrawing this amendment as well as the others 
with the understanding that we are going to continue to work 
together with the goal of improving weather forecasting in a 
bipartisan bill that I hope all Members will be able to support 
and--
    Mr. Grayson. Will the gentlelady yield before the 
gentlelady finishes?
    Ms. Bonamici. Yes, I will yield, Mr. Grayson.
    Mr. Grayson. Thank you. I just wanted to ask the majority 
where these numbers came from. This is just for my own 
edification. And I understand that the amendment is being 
withdrawn, so it will become moot, but I just want to know 
where the numbers 80 million and 20 million and 20 million came 
from. Maybe you can explain that to me. I will yield to anybody 
who can do that.
    Mr. Bridenstine. I would like to get back to you on that.
    Mr. Grayson. Yes. All right. I yield back.
    Chairman Stewart. All right. The Chair thanks the Ranking 
Member for her comments. And once again, we look forward to 
working in a bipartisan fashion. And the Chair recognizes that 
the amendment has been withdrawn.
    Are there any further amendments?
    Hearing none and a reporting quorum being present, the 
question is on the bill, H.R. 2413, as amended.
    Those in favor, say aye.
    Those opposed, say no.
    The ayes have it, and the bill as amended is agreed to.
    I move that the bill H.R. 2413, as amended, be favorably 
reported to the full Committee on Science, Space, and 
Technology and the staff be authorized to make necessary 
technical and conforming changes.
    Without objection, so ordered.
    If there is any further discussion, that completes our 
business, and this concludes the Subcommittee markup. The 
Subcommittee on Environment stands adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 11:29 a.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
                               Appendix I

                              ----------                              


        H.R. 2413, WEATHER FORECASTING IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2013,

                Section-by-Section Analysis, Amendments

                            Amendment Roster




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                     Section-by-Section Analysis of

         H.R. 2413, WEATHER FORECASTING IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2013


[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                               Amendments

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                            Amendment Roster

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                XXIII. PROCEEDINGS OF THE FULL COMMITTEE
                          MARKUP ON H.R. 2413,
            THE WEATHER FORECASTING IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2013

                              ----------                              


                       THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2013

                  House of Representatives,
       Committee on Science, Space, and Technology,
                                            Washington, DC.


    The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 9:08 a.m., in Room 
2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Lamar Smith 
[Chairman of the Committee] presiding.
    Chairman Smith. The Committee on Science, Space and 
Technology will come to order. Without objection, the Chair is 
authorized to declare recesses of the Committee at any time. 
Pursuant to Committee Rule 2F and House Rule 112(h)(4), the 
Chair announces that he may postpone roll call votes. Now, I 
will recognize myself in opening statement.
    The Science, Space and Technology Committee today meets to 
mark up four bills, H.R. 2413, the Weather Forecasting 
Improvement Act of 2013 offered by Mr. Bridenstine of Oklahoma, 
H.R. 2431, the National Integrated Drought Information System 
Reauthorization Act of 2013, sponsored by Mr. Hall of Texas, 
H.R. 2981, the Technology and Research Accelerating National 
Security and Future Economic Resiliency Act of 2013, or 
TRANSFER Act, sponsored by Mr. Collins of New York, and H.R. 
3625, offered by Mr. Brooks of Alabama, which provides for 
termination liability costs for certain high priority NASA 
projects. Each of the bill sponsors will explain their bill in 
more detail shortly. But let me offer my views on each very 
briefly.
    Mr. Bridenstine's weather forecasting bill protects lives 
and property through improved weather research to better 
forecast warnings of tornadoes and hurricanes. Now, I want to 
compliment Mr. Bridenstine for working with Environment 
Subcommittee Chairman Chris Stewart and Ranking Member Suzanne 
Bonamici in drafting a bipartisan amendment which strengthens 
this bill.
    Our second bill is H.R. 2431, the National Integrated 
Drought Information System Reauthorization Act of 2013 by Mr. 
Hall. And I thank the gentleman for his persistent leadership 
over the years on this issue. Droughts in Texas and elsewhere 
had been severe, and the NIDIS program has helped state and 
local governments, farmers, ranchers and others both monitor 
and predict drought conditions. A companion bill has already 
been reported by the Senate Commerce Committee. The goal is to 
reach an agreement with our Senate counterparts so we can put 
this bipartisan bill on the President's desk early next year.
    Our third bill, the TRANSFER Act, sponsored by Mr. Collins 
of New York, has bipartisan co-sponsors and many endorsements. 
The bill accelerates the transition of technology developed at 
universities, Federal laboratories and non-profit research 
institutions to the private sector. Mr. Collins has himself 
started several small businesses and currently chairs the Small 
Business Health and Technology Subcommittee. His personal 
experience has made him a champion for small businesses.
    Finally, our fourth bill sponsored by Mr. Brooks of Alabama 
protects funding for key NASA programs. It also frees up over 
half a billion dollars in funding that Congress already 
provided the agency toward the development of the space launch 
system, an Orion crew vehicle and space station operations. 
Unfortunately, NASA's chief financial officer decided to change 
NASA's rules on termination liability three years ago from the 
way NASA managed termination liability for over 50 years. We 
need to fix this situation with this bill. These funds will be 
freed up to do what Congress intended, develop these high 
priority NASA programs. With an amendment to be sponsored by 
Ms. Edwards that I support, we have bipartisan support for Mr. 
Brooks' bill to address NASA termination liability. And I want 
to thank Mr. Brooks for his initiative on this issue, along 
with Space Subcommittee Chairman Steve Palazzo who also sought 
to address this issue with the NASA reauthorization bill.
    All four bills provide bipartisan commonsense solutions 
that will keep America competitive and on the forefront of 
innovation. So I urge my colleagues to support all the bills.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Smith follows:]
               Prepared Statement of Chairman Lamar Smith

    The Science, Space, and Technology Committee meets today to mark-up 
four bills:

    
  H.R. 2413, the ``Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 
2013,'' offered by Mr. Bridenstine of Oklahoma;

    
  H.R. 2431, the ``National Integrated Drought Information 
System Reauthorization Act of 2013,'' sponsored by Mr. Hall of Texas;

    
  H.R. 2981, the ``Technology and Research Accelerating 
National Security and Future Economic Resiliency Act of 2013,'' or 
TRANSFER Act, sponsored by Mr. Collins of New York; and

    
  H.R. 3625, offered by Mr. Brooks of Alabama, which 
provides for termination liability costs for certain hi-priority NASA 
projects.

    Each of the bills' sponsors will explain their bill in more detail 
shortly, but let me offer my views on each.
    Mr. Bridenstine's weather forecasting bill protects lives and 
property through improved weather research to better forecast warnings 
of tornadoes and hurricanes.
    I want to compliment Mr. Bridenstine for working with Environment 
Subcommittee Chairman Chris Stewart and Ranking Member Suzanne Bonamici 
in drafting a bipartisan amendment that strengthens this bill.
    Our second bill today is H.R. 2431, The National Integrated Drought 
Information System Reauthorization Act of 2013, offered by Mr. Hall of 
Texas. I thank the gentleman for his persistent leadership over the 
years on this issue.
    Droughts in Texas have been severe, and the NIDIS [pronounced NEYE-
Diss] program has helped state and local governments, farmers, 
ranchers, and others both monitor and predict drought conditions.
    A companion bill has already been reported by the Senate Commerce 
Committee. The goal is to reach an agreement with our Senate 
counterparts so we can put this bipartisan bill on the President's desk 
early next year.
    Our third bill, the TRANSFER Act, sponsored by Mr. Collins of New 
York has bipartisan cosponsors and many endorsements.
    This bill accelerates the transition of technology developed at 
universities, federal laboratories and non-profit research institutions 
to the private sector. Mr. Collins has himself started several small 
businesses and currently chairs the Small Business Health and 
Technology Subcommittee. His personal experiences make him a champion 
for small businesses.
    Finally, our fourth bill, sponsored by Mr. Brooks of Alabama, 
protects funding for key NASA programs. It also frees up over half a 
billion dollars in funding that Congress already provided the agency 
toward the development of the Space Launch System and Orion Crew 
Vehicle and Space Station operations.
    Unfortunately, NASA's Chief Financial Officer decided to change 
NASA's rules on termination liability three years ago from the way NASA 
managed termination liability for over 50 years. We seek to fix this 
situation with this bill.
    These funds will be freed up to do what Congress intended-develop 
these high-priority NASA programs.
    With an amendment to be sponsored by Ms. Edwards that I support, we 
have bipartisan support for Mr. Brooks' bill to address NASA 
termination liability.
    I want to thank Mr. Brooks for his initiative on this issue, along 
with Space Subcommittee Chairman Steve Palazzo, who also sought to 
address this issue with the NASA authorization bill.
    All four bills provide bipartisan common-sense solutions that will 
keep America competitive and on the forefront of innovation. I urge my 
colleagues to support all four bills.

    Chairman Smith. I now recognize the Ranking Member, the 
gentlewoman from Texas, Ms. Johnson, for her opening statement.
    Ms. Johnson. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And I do 
apologize for whatever this voice may come out to be this 
morning. Today, we are marking up four relatively bipartisan 
bills, and it is my hope that they will be even more bipartisan 
after today's markup.
    First, we have H.R. 2413, the Weather Forecasting 
Improvement Act of 2013. Weather forecasting and weather 
research are issues that should be truly bipartisan. And I am 
very pleased that with the addition of the Manager's Amendment, 
we now have a bill that we can receive bipartisan support. As 
amended, this will be a strong bill, and it will improve 
weather forecasting at NOAA. And I urge my colleagues to 
support it. One of the things that we learned as we received 
expert advice on this legislation is that weather research can 
be strengthened but that we cannot do it at the expense of 
ocean or climate research. These are all pieces of the same 
puzzle. The progress in all of these areas is necessary for 
progress in any single area. This bill would improve weather 
research at NOAA and better integrate that research within the 
forecasting community. And it accomplishes this without harming 
the other important work that NOAA does. I want to especially 
commend environmental--Environment Subcommittee Chairman Mr. 
Stewart, Ranking Member Ms. Bonamici, and the bill's sponsor, 
Mr. Bridenstine, for their cooperative spirit and hard work 
that got us to where we are today. I hope that we can use this 
process as a model for future bipartisan legislative action.
    Next, we have 2431, the National Integrated Drought 
Information System Reauthorization Act of 2013. This vital 
program was originated by my friend and former chairman, Mr. 
Ralph Hall, in 2006. The program provides critical draft--
drought information to communities all across our nation. Over 
the past three decades, it is estimated that droughts have cost 
our country hundreds of billions of dollars in economic 
impacts. Loss estimates from the 2012 drought alone run upwards 
of $17 billion. Moreover, the effects of climate change are 
anticipated to exacerbate this problem in many parts of our 
country, including in our home State of Texas. In the light of 
the scope of the economic impacts of drought and the potential 
of the NIDIS programs to lessen these impacts, I am concerned 
that we are cutting the program's authorization level. My 
colleague from Oregon has an amendment to modestly increase the 
authorization levels, and I plan on supporting that amendment 
and urge my others to do as well.
    The next bill being considered is H.R. 2981, the TRANSFER 
Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Mr. Collins and Mr. Kilmer 
that will help accelerate the commercialization of federally 
funded research. Our investment in basic research has led to 
incredible discoveries that improve our lives. But identifying 
and moving those ideas into the marketplace is not an easy 
task. In today's economy, private capital is even harder to 
come by, especially for unproven technologies. This is where 
the TRANSFER Act can make an impact. It can move good ideas and 
technologies further along the path toward commercialization. 
It can help spur the creation of new startups and spinoffs, and 
help those new businesses succeed by providing resources, and 
maybe even more importantly, advice and services. I would like 
to commend my colleagues for their hard work to improve 
technology transfer.
    Now, just recently, the small business community has raised 
some concerns over how the TRANSFER Act is funded. While I 
strongly support the thrust of this bill, I do want to 
emphasize that these concerns will need to be addressed in 
order for this bill to move forward. I am a little concerned 
that we are rushing to mark this bill up without having first 
identified a viable path forward on this issue. This bill was 
crafted by our Committee, and it also was referred to this 
Small Business Committee. Kicking this bill over to the Small 
Business Committee without having identified a funding fix 
seems like a recipe for inaction. I hope we can continue to 
work on this issue and ultimately get this bill enacted. But I 
am concerned that rushing the bill to markup today will not 
make this any easier.
    Finally, we consider H.R. 3625, to provide for termination 
liability costs for certain National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration projects. This bill makes necessary changes to 
the way in which NASA accounts for termination costs in their 
flagship programs. When Congress funds spacecraft development, 
we want the funding to go to spacecraft development. We don't 
want sufficient portions of the funding to be aside--set aside 
for just in case money for potential termination costs. 
Unfortunately, this requires a legislative fix because the 
Anti-Deficiency Act requires some reserves. And, frankly, NASA 
is unable to float these reserves anymore due to the tight 
budgetary times we are in. I look forward to a productive 
markup today. And I yield back. Thank you. [The prepared 
statement of Ms. Johnson follows:]
       Prepared Statement of Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson

    Thank you Mr. Chairman. Today we are marking up four relatively 
bipartisan bills, and it is my hope that they will be even more 
bipartisan after today's markup.
    First we have H.R. 2413, the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 
2013.
    Weather forecasting and weather research are issues that should 
truly be bipartisan, and I'm very pleased that with the addition of the 
manager's amendment, we now have a bill that will receive bipartisan 
support. As amended, this will be a strong bill, and it will improve 
weather forecasting at NOAA, and I urge my colleagues to support it.
    One of the things that we learned as we received expert advice on 
this legislation is that weather research can be strengthened, but that 
we cannot do it at the expense of ocean or climate research. These are 
all pieces of the same puzzle, and progress in all of these areas is 
necessary for progress in any single area.
    This bill will improve weather research at NOAA and better 
integrate that research with the forecasting community, and it 
accomplishes this without harming the other important work that NOAA 
does.
    I want to especially commend Environment Subcommittee Chairman 
Stewart, Ranking Member Bonamici, and the bill sponsor Mr. Bridenstine 
for their cooperative spirit and hard work that got us to where we are 
today. I hope that we can use this process as a model for future 
bipartisan legislative action.
    Next we have H.R. 2431, the National Integrated Drought Information 
System Reauthorization Act of 2013.
    This vital program was originated by my friend and former Committee 
Chairman Ralph Hall in 2006. The program provides critical drought 
information to communities all across our Nation.
    Over the past three decades it is estimated that droughts have cost 
our country hundreds of billions of dollars in economic impacts. Loss 
estimates from the 2012 drought alone run upwards of 70 billion 
dollars. Moreover, the effects of climate change are anticipated to 
exacerbate this problem in many parts of our country, including in my 
home state of Texas.
    In light of the scope of the economic impacts of drought, and the 
potential of the NIDIS program to lessen these impacts, I am concerned 
that we are cutting the program's authorization level. My colleague 
from Oregon has an amendment to modestly increase the authorization 
levels, and I plan on supporting that amendment, and urge others to do 
so as well.
    The next bill being considered is H.R. 2981, the TRANSFER Act, a 
bipartisan bill introduced by Mr. Collins and Mr. Kilmer that would 
help accelerate the commercialization of federally funded research.
    Our investment in basic research has led to incredible discoveries 
that improve our lives, but identifying and moving those ideas into the 
marketplace is not an easy task. In today's economy private capital is 
even harder to come by, especially for unproven technologies.
    This is where the TRANSFER Act can make an impact. It can move good 
ideas and technologies further along the path toward commercialization. 
It can help spur the creation of new start-ups and spin-offs and help 
those new businesses succeed by providing resources-and maybe even more 
importantly- advice and services.I'd like to commend my colleagues for 
their hard work to improve technology transfer.
    Now, just recently the small business community has raised some 
concerns over how the TRANSFER Act is funded. While I strongly support 
the thrust of this bill, I do want to emphasize that these concerns 
will need to be addressed in order for this bill to move forward. I'm a 
little concerned that we are rushing to mark up this bill without 
having first identified a viable path forward on this issue.
    This bill was crafted by our Committee, but it also was referred to 
the Small Business Committee. Kicking this bill over to the Small 
Business Committee without having identified a funding fix seems like a 
recipe for inaction. I hope we can continue to work on this issue and 
ultimately get this bill enacted, but I'm concerned that rushing the 
bill to markup today will not make this any easier.
    Finally, we will consider H.R. 3625, To provide for termination 
liability costs for certain National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration projects. This bill makes necessary changes to the way 
in which NASA accounts for termination costs in their flagship 
programs.
    When Congress funds spacecraft development, we want the funding to 
go to spacecraft development. We don't want significant portions of the 
funding to be set aside as ``just in case'' money for potential 
termination costs. Unfortunately, this requires a legislative fix 
because the Anti-Deficiency Act requires some reserves, and frankly, 
NASA is unable to float these reserves anymore due to the tight 
budgetary times we are in.
    I look forward to a productive markup today, and I yield back.

    Chairman Smith. Thank you, Ms. Johnson. Pursuant to notice, 
I now call up H.R. 2413, the Weather Forecasting Improvement 
Act of 2013, which was introduced by Representative Bridenstine 
and submitted by the Subcommittee on Environment. And the clerk 
will report the bill.
    The Clerk. H.R. 2413, the Weather Forecasting Improvement 
Act of 2013, as amended by the Subcommittee on Environment.
    [H.R. 2413 appears in Appendix I]
    Chairman Smith. Without objection, the bill would be 
considered as read, and the gentleman from Oklahoma, Mr. 
Bridenstine, is recognized for five minutes to explain the 
bill.
    Mr. Bridenstine. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is truly an 
honor to see the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act come 
before this Committee today. Today's markup is of important 
legislation. This important legislation is the result of months 
of hard work by a coalition of Members and staff on both sides 
of the aisle, as well as the individuals and the invaluable 
input that we have all received from experts and leaders in 
academia and business. And of course, let us not forget 
constituents like mine in Oklahoma who have seen firsthand the 
devastating effects or tornadic activity. I want to thank the 
Chairman of the Full Committee, Mr. Smith, and the Chairman of 
the Environment Subcommittee, Mr. Stewart, not only for their 
co-sponsorship of this legislation but for their leadership and 
commitment to seeing this bill moved to the House floor. I also 
want to thank the Ranking Member of the Environment 
Subcommittee, Ms. Bonamici, and her staff for their willingness 
to work with us on the amendment in the nature of a substitute 
that will allow the bill to pass this Committee with strong 
bipartisan support.
    H.R. 2413 makes the protection of lives and property the 
top priority of NOAA and follows through on that commitment by 
prioritizing funding and other resources on severe weather 
detection and forecasting while not increasing overall 
spending. Millions of Americans, both in government and private 
industry, have dedicated their careers and lives to the mission 
of providing their fellow citizens with accurate, timely 
weather forecasts, and the technology this bill advances will 
greatly assist their efforts. In particular, I have seen 
firsthand the capabilities of phased array radar in the 
American military, and I am certain that it will help lead 
America's weather forecasting efforts towards the goal of 
having zero preventable deaths occur as a result of severe 
weather systems like a tornado. For Oklahomans and for all 
Americans, I urge adoption of the Stewart/Bonamici amendment 
and passage of this important legislation. Thank you, Mr. 
Chairman.
    Chairman Smith. All right. Thank you, Mr. Bridenstine. We 
have two amendments listed on the roster in regard to this 
bill, and we will proceed now with the first amendment, which 
is an amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. 
Stewart and Ms. Bonamici. And the clerk will report the 
amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 
2413, the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2013 offered 
by Mr. Stewart of Utah and Ms. Bonamici of Oregon.
    [The amendment of Mr. Stewart and Ms. Bonamici appears in 
Appendix I]
    Chairman Smith. Okay. Without objection, the amendment will 
be considered as read. And the gentleman from Utah is 
recognized to explain the amendment.
    Mr. Stewart. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and the Ranking 
Member, Ms. Johnson, to both of you for your leadership. Again, 
I would like to thank my friend, Jim Bridenstine, for his 
leadership and vision in offering this legislation. And 
finally, to the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, Ms. 
Bonamici, for her willingness to work so hard in finding 
agreement on this legislation. And I have to add that for me, 
this has been a gratifying experience of what I think is 
bipartisan cooperation, and I think we are seeing its fruition 
today.
    Mr. Chairman, the Manager's Amendment in the nature of a 
substitute includes a number of clarifying and, in some cases, 
substantive provisions made in response to some of the valuable 
testimony submitted by the witnesses in our two hearings on 
this bill and subsequent hearings on the potential satellite 
gap. The Subcommittee worked to help inform the Committee of 
NOAA's weather forecasting challenges and opportunities related 
to the problematic management research prioritization and 
commercial data acquisition. This input has led to an improved 
work product and changes that were included in this amendment.
    Mr. Chairman, I have a letter of support to this amendment 
from the University Corporation of Atmospheric Research, 
President Tom Bogdan, and I would like to add that to the 
record.
    Chairman Smith. Okay. Without objection, so ordered.
    [The information appears in Appendix II]
    Mr. Stewart. The amendment before us prioritizes protection 
of public safety and forward looking weather research. It 
improves the procurement of observing systems for getting data 
from space, air and land and opens up NOAA's process to 
encourage private sector weather solutions. The amendment is a 
long term down payment to upgrade our weather prediction 
systems that has, in some cases, fallen behind international 
standards. The need to adopt this amendment and the bill cannot 
be overstated. As we heard from witnesses at a hearing in this 
Congress, we are facing a critical gap in active weather 
satellites beginning as early as 2016. This bill will help to 
mitigate this gap by allowing NOAA access to critical satellite 
weather data from outside of their agency in the event that 
this gap does materialize.
    We may not agree on every detail, but I think we certainly 
agree that improved weather forecasting is an important 
national priority. And this amendment will help NOAA to achieve 
that objective protecting lives and property through weather 
research and improved forecasting. And with that, Mr. Chairman, 
I would yield back my time.
    Chairman Smith. Thank you, Mr. Stewart. Does the 
gentlewoman from Oregon wish to be recognized?
    Ms. Bonamici. Yes, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Smith. The gentlelady is recognized.
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am honored to join 
Subcommittee Chairman, Mr. Stewart, in offering this amendment 
in the nature of a substitute. Members on both sides of the 
aisle can be assured that this important bill has become a 
truly bipartisan effort built on extensive advice from the 
weather community. Mr. Bridenstine introduced a very well-
intentioned bill that went a long way toward improving the 
tools available to NOAA for evaluating emerging forecast 
technologies. His emphasis on tornado research was appropriate 
and very helpful. At the Subcommittee markup, Mr. Grayson added 
a beneficial amendment for a focused hurricane research 
program.
    This amendment, in the nature of a substitute, adds to the 
tools and programs of the original bill. Many experts told us 
that to improve weather forecasting, the research at OAR and 
the forecasting at NWS needed to be better coordinated and 
integrated. This amendment contains provisions to accomplish 
that.
    The amendment will provide for NOAA to use the Department 
of Defense model of integrating operational needs and research. 
We have language in this amendment that will more tightly align 
the research at OAR with the operational needs of the weather 
service. The amendment also includes incentives to open up NOAA 
to insights from the broader weather community. At every 
opportunity, we charge the agency to consult with the American 
Weather Industry and researches as they develop research plans 
and undertake new initiatives. We also press NOAA to get 
serious about its growing private sector solutions to their 
data needs. We make clear that we expect as historical support 
for extramural research to continue even as research at OAR 
expands.
    The engine of weather forecasting innovation has not always 
been found within NOAA but in the labs and research communities 
that work with NOAA. That must continue. The amendment 
establishes a new Federal Advisory Committee Act, or FACA 
Committee, to provide ongoing advice about public sector 
innovations the weather service could--should consider 
adopting. The amendment establishes a visiting scholars program 
to let top academics work side by side with NWS forecasters. 
The FACA panel and the visiting scholars program replicate the 
continuous innovation that European meteorologists have 
experienced through their use of visiting researchers and 
outside advice.
    The amendment provides an explicit focus on tapping the 
expertise of social scientists in communicating risk and 
working in communities. Witnesses' emphasize the importance of 
this work. The best forecasting skill and technology in the 
world won't be effective unless we deliver the messages to the 
public and they result in real action. As amended, the bill is 
designed to improve public safety, enhance the American economy 
and transform the innovation culture at NOAA.
    I can assure Members on my side of the aisle that we have 
addressed the issues that were brought up during the 
Subcommittee markup. Weather research is strengthened, but not 
at the expense of other important work. During the committee 
process, we heard from witness after witness who stressed that 
weather forecasting involves many different scientific 
disciplines. This amendment reflects and understanding that we 
cannot choose one area of research at the expense of others 
without endangering the process as a whole. I ask my caucus 
colleagues to support this bipartisan amendment.
    I want to thank Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Johnson 
for giving us this support to work out a compromise. I want to 
thank Mr. Bridenstine for his willingness to work with us and 
consider changes to the original bill. And I particularly want 
to thank Chairman Stewart. All along, Mr. Stewart's attitude 
has been collaborative and constructive, and the result is a 
bipartisan bill that I hope will swiftly move to the floor and 
through the Senate. I know the Chairman shares with me a core 
belief that weather should not be a partisan issue and that the 
American public needs and deserves the best weather forecasting 
system we can provide.
    The majority staff, particularly Dan Byers, Clint Woods and 
Taylor Jordan worked hard on this and deserve the thanks of all 
the Committee Members. On our side, Dan Pearson and Andrea 
Jones spent countless hours working to move this effort 
forward. And I am grateful for their tireless commitment on the 
issue. And I also want to give special thanks to Eric Ffitch 
from my office for his hard work on this bill as well.
    The weather community deserves recognition for their 
generous and comprehensive advice as we work toward this 
amendment and through the bill. Each side has made compromises 
along the way. It is not the bill the friends--my friends on 
this side of the aisle would--it is not the bill that my 
friends on the other side of the aisle started with, and it is 
not the bill that we would likely move, were we in the 
majority. But it is a bill that we can move together with broad 
support in the weather community, and it is a bill that will 
make measurable improvements in weather research and weather 
forecasting.
    And, finally, Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to 
include letters in the record from the American Commercial 
Space Weather Association, Planet IQ, the Weather Coalition, 
GeoOptics and four universities. And with that, Mr. Chairman, I 
yield----
    Chairman Smith. Okay. Without objection, so ordered.
    [The information appears in Appendix II]
    Ms. Bonamici. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.
    Chairman Smith. Thank you, Ms. Bonamici. Are there any 
amendments to the amendment in the nature of a substitute? The 
gentleman from California, Mr. Rohrabacher, is recognized.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman, I have 
an amendment at the desk.
    Chairman Smith. The clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to the amendment in the nature of a 
substitute to H.R. 2413 offered by Mr. Rohrabacher.
    [The amendment of Mr. Rohrabacher appears in Appendix I]
    Chairman Smith. Without objection, the amendment will be 
considered as read, and the gentleman from California is 
recognized to explain the amendment.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. My 
amendment would make small, but I think good and important 
changes to Section 10 of the commercial weather data, and in 
the subsection regarding the strategy to procure quality 
commercial weather data. My amendment would do two things, 
change the wording from cost effectiveness to expected cost 
effectiveness of these commercial opportunities, and it would 
also ensure that this strategy includes an expected timeline 
for implementation.
    The first change, the use of the word expected, is 
important because it is a statement that we understand this to 
be an estimate based on the best available data. But since what 
we are telling the administration to provide is outside their 
comfort zone, outside their normal practices and policies, that 
we understand the reported cost effectiveness will not be with 
the same confidence level that we are used to seeing from these 
people. So an example of this might be in NASA's COTS program 
to ensure the capabilities of commercial companies to deliver 
cargo to the international space station. The way the COTS 
program was designed is great and should be a guide for what we 
use for other similar activities in the future where we are 
bringing in the private sector. But they weren't really able to 
capture necessarily the cost effectiveness of these same 
opportunities before we actually tried the system out. NASA had 
an expectation of what the cost effectiveness would be of this 
commercial resupply, but none of the cost models could 
accurately predict within the normal confidence levels how this 
program would turn out. And it turned out, of course, to be 
much better than anyone predicted. So as we move forward with 
commercial acquisition of weather data, which I think is an 
important goal, the broad range of ways we can do that--and we 
are looking at those broad ranges--I think it is important for 
us to acknowledge that no cost model is likely to give us the 
full value of the benefit that we are likely to see. Now, we 
will end up understanding that when we try this 
commercialization, we actually end up getting more benefit than 
what is usually predicted using the standard ways of predicting 
benefit.
    My second change, the inclusion of a timeline--note the 
word '`expected'' here as well--is also small but important. A 
timeline makes a strategy more real in the people's mind. 
Otherwise, it just becomes a binder on the shelf that gets 
dusted off every year to see what we didn't get done over the 
previous 12 months. So if we have a timeline of what we want to 
accomplish, that is sort of a--I believe that gives people who 
are--who should be implementing this policy a much greater 
reason and guidelines of how to do that and how serious they 
should take it and--during a given time period. For that 
reason, I believe that this Committee should make it clear and 
explicit that we are expecting a timeline to be part of this 
strategy.
    Now, I understand, Mr. Chairman, there is an agreement that 
my amendment and my proposals will be looked at seriously. And 
if everybody reaches a consensus that it will be in some way 
worked into the Manager's Amendment. And understanding that 
agreement, I am now withdrawing the amendment that I had just 
proposed.
    Chairman Smith. And thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher. Without 
objection, the amendment will be withdrawn. And let me reaffirm 
your comments and say that we do expect to be able to continue 
to massage the language between here and the House floor and we 
would expect to adopt some of that language in the Manager's 
Amendment. So appreciate your comments and appreciate your 
efforts.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for 
that. And I would just note that I didn't mention the patent 
issue once during my comments.
    Chairman Smith. That is also appreciated. Are there any 
other amendments to the amendment in the nature of a 
substitute? If not, the question is on agreeing to the 
amendment in the nature of a substitute. All in favor, say aye. 
Those opposed, no. And the ayes have it. And the amendment in 
the nature of a substitute is agreed to. Are there any other 
amendments to the underlying bill? And if not, a reporting 
quorum being present, the question is on the bill, H.R. 2413, 
as amended, those in favor say aye. Opposed, nay. The ayes have 
it in the Bill, as amended, is ordered reported favorably. 
Without objection, the Motion to Reconsider is laid upon the 
table. I move that the bill, H.R. 2413, as amended, be 
favorably reported to the House and the Staff be authorized to 
make any necessary technical and conforming changes. Without 
objection, so ordered.
                               Appendix I

                              ----------                              


        H.R. 2413, WEATHER FORECASTING IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2013,

                Section-by-Section Analysis, Amendments

                            Amendment Roster




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                     Section-by-Section Analysis of

       H.R. 2413, THE WEATHER FORECASTING IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2013

     As amended by the Subcommittee on Environment on July 9, 2013

Section 1. Short Title.

    This section establishes the short title as the ``Weather 
Forecasting Improvement Act of 2013.''

Section 2. Public Safety Priority.

    This section directs the Under Secretary of the National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA Administrator) to make weather 
forecasting to protect lives and property NOAA's top planning and 
management priority in relevant line offices.

Section 3. Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation.

    This section directs the Assistant Administrator of the Office of 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) to undertake a weather research 
program and directs the Assistant Administrator to place priority 
emphasis on developing more accurate and timely warnings and forecasts 
of high impact weather events that endanger life and property. Section 
3 further defines the specific program elements to include advanced 
radar, aerial systems, computing/modeling, and Observing System 
Stimulation Experiments (OSSE) and codifies a longstanding joint OAR-
National Weather Service (NWS) tech transfer program, moving its 
funding from NWS. Finally, Section 3 directs NOAA to support academic 
weather research through competitive grants and contracts.

Section 4. Tornado Warning Extension Program.

    This section establishes a Tornado Warning Extension Program 
focused on developing and extending accurate tornado forecasts and 
warnings beyond one hour in order to reduce loss of life, injury, and 
damage to the economy.

Section 5. Hurricane Warning Precision Program.

    This section establishes a hurricane warning precision program 
aimed at developing and extending accurate hurricane forecasts and 
warnings in order to reduce loss of life, injury, and damage to the 
economy.

Section 6. Weather Research and Development Planning.

    Section 5 directs NOAA to develop a prioritized weather research 
plan to guide activities authorized under the Act and restore U.S. 
leadership in weather modeling, prediction, and forecasting. The 
section requires the plan to identify, through consultation with the 
National Science Foundation, the research necessary to integrate social 
science knowledge into weather forecast and warning processes.

Section 7. Observing System Planning.

    Section 6 directs NOAA to maintain a list of observation data 
requirements and systematically evaluate the combination of systems 
necessary to meet such requirements. This section further directs NOAA 
to identify current and potential future data gaps in observing 
capabilities and develop a range of options to address any identified 
gaps.

Section 8. Observing System Simulation Experiments.

    This section directs NOAA to undertake Observing System Simulation 
Experiments (OSSEs) to quantitatively assess the relative value and 
benefits of observing capabilities and systems. This section identifies 
specific instances when OSSEs must be performed.

Section 9. Computing Resources Prioritization Report.

    Section 9 directs NOAA to issue a plan that: (1) assures that NOAA 
aggressively pursues the newest, fastest, and most cost effective high 
performance computing technologies in support of its weather prediction 
mission; (2) assures a balance between the research requirements; (3) 
takes advantage of advanced development concepts; and (4) identifies 
opportunities to reallocate existing advanced computing resources from 
lower priority uses to improve operational weather prediction.

Section 10. Commercial Weather Data.

    This section clarifies that restrictions in existing law 
prohibiting the sale of weather satellite systems to the private sector 
do not extend to the purchase of weather data through contracts with 
commercial providers or the placement of instruments on private 
payloads.

Section 11. Definitions. This section provides definitions for terms in 
                    the bill.

Section 12. Authorization of Appropriations.

    Section 11 authorizes, out of funds made available for OAR's 
operations, research, and facilities appropriations account, $100 
million for each of Fiscal Years 2014 through 2017 to carry out the 
weather research program established under section 3. It further 
specifies that out of the $100 million provided in this section, $80 
million is authorized for weather laboratories and cooperative 
institutions and $20 million is authorized for weather and air 
chemistry research programs. Finally, this section also authorizes $20 
million annually to carry out the joint technology transfer initiative 
described in section 3.
                               Amendments

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                            Amendment Roster

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                              Appendix II

                              ----------                              


                         Letters for the Record





             Letter submitted by University Corporation of
               Atmospheric Research, President Tom Bogdan


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               Letter submitted by The Weather Coalition


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                    Letter submitted by Stein Sture,
                     Vice Chancellor for Research,
                    University of Colorado Boulder;

                  Susan Avery, President and Director,
               Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; and

                            Margaret Leinen,
             Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography,
          Vice Chancellor, University of California-San Diego;

         Lisa Graumlich, Dean of the College of the Environment
                        University of Washington

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           Letter submitted by the ACSWA Executive Committee

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                     Letter submitted by GeoOptics

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                      Letter submitted by PlanetiQ


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