National Institute of Standards and Technology

"The country's future is dependent on the success of federal agencies such as the two that we have before us today."
-- Sen. Bill Frist

15 May 1997

PENA CONFIRMED AS ENERGY SECRETARY: On March 12, Federico F. Pena was confirmed as Secretary of Energy. The Senate vote was 99-1, with only Senator Rod Grams (R-MN) voting against Pena. Grams' opposition was fueled by his disagreement with the Administration over policies for building a nuclear waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Grams argued that Pena "has not provided the needed answers or displayed the leadership necessary to help resolve this pressing national issue.... I cannot, in good conscience, today vote to confirm Mr.

14 Mar 1997

Several weeks into fiscal year 1999, Congress found itself with eight of the thirteen FY 1999 appropriations bills still incomplete. It bundled these remaining bills into a single, "omnibus" measure that the White House accepted after more than a week of intense, last-minute negotiating. This omnibus bill, H.R. 4328, contains FY 1999 appropriations for the Department of Commerce and many other federal departments and agencies, as well as some emergency funds.

28 Oct 1998

One of the last bills passed by the House before Members departed for the August recess was H.R. 4276, the FY 1999 Commerce, Justice and State appropriations bill, passed on August 6. The NIST section of the bill remains the same as that passed by the House Appropriations Committee on July 15 (see FYI #112.)

19 Aug 1998

On July 20, the House Appropriations Committee passed H.R. 4276, its version of the FY 1999 Commerce, Justice and State Appropriations bill, which funds NIST. (The Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version on June 25; it was then approved by the full Senate on July 23.)

29 Jul 1998

New NIST Director Ray Kammer took some heat as he testified in front of House Commerce Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) on March 11. Rogers, known to be harsh at times with NIST witnesses, did not spare Kammer.

19 Mar 1998

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is part of the Department of Commerce's Technology Administration.

13 Feb 1998

Congress has now left for its August recess. It is scheduled to return on September 8, with less than one month to go before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1. In a rush of activity before leaving town, the House passed several FY 2000 appropriations bills, including those that fund NIST and the Department of Energy's civilian R&D programs.

16 Aug 1999

In the Senate Commerce, Justice and State Appropriations bill (S. 1217), passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 10, NIST made out quite well in general. The committee report recommends more FY 2000 funding for NIST than the Administration asked for. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and construction funding would receive more than requested, while NIST's in-house labs would be funded at approximately the requested level.

29 Jun 1999

Recent action has taken place on several items of interest to the science community. Yesterday, the Administration released its proposal for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which includes teacher professional development in math and science education. Also yesterday, the full House passed H.R. 1654, the three-year NASA Authorization Act of 1999. Today, the Senate is scheduled to take up H.R.

20 May 1999


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