H.R. Senate Amend 5116: Senate Amendment to H.R. 5116— America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010

H.R. Senate

Senate Amendment to H.R. 5116— America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010

December 22, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

Senate Amendment to H.R. 5116 is expected to be considered on the House floor on Tuesday, December 21, 2010, under a closed rule, providing for one hour of debate.  The legislation was introduced by Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) on April 22, 2010.

Bill Summary

Senate Amendment to H.R. 5116 would provide a number of changes to the bill that was approved by the House in May 2010.  The bill would authorize nearly $46 billion over three years for research and development agencies, including the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Commerce’s (DOC) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  The legislation would provide $40 billion less than the original House-passed version (primarily due to authorization length reduction from 5 to 3 years) and would remove a number of expensive initiatives such as Energy Hubs, Clean Energy Consortium, and NSF construction grants.  The bill includes funding as follows:

  • $23.5 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF);
  • $2.9 billion for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST);
  • $16.9 billion for programs within the Energy Department's Office of Science and
  • $912 million for Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).


The Senate Amendment to H.R. 5116 would remove a number of provisions from the original House approved version and would include several new provisions, such as language reauthorizing certain NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) programs.  The bill would require both NASA and NOAA to expand certain educational initiatives.


  Below is a list of sections that are now provided in Senate Amendment to H.R. 5116:


Title I – Office of Science and Technology Policy



Title II – National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) [new title]

Sec. 201:  NASA’s contribution to innovation and competitiveness

Sec. 202:  NASA’s contribution to education

Sec. 203:  Assessment of impediments to space science and engineering workforce development for minority and under-represented groups at NASA

Sec. 204:  International Space Station’s contribution to national competitiveness enhancement

Sec. 205:  Study of potential commercial orbital platform


Title III – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) [new title]

Sec. 301:  Oceanic and atmospheric research and development program

Sec. 302:  Oceanic and atmospheric science education program

Sec. 303:  Workforce study


Title IV – National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Sec. 407:  NIST Fellowships


Title V – STEM Support Programs

Sec. 513:  Research experiences for high school students

Sec. 517:  EPSCoR

Sec. 518:  Sense of the Senate regarding STEM talent expansion program

Sec. 519:  Sense of the Senate regarding NSF contributions to basic R&D

Sec. 520:  Academic technology transfer and commercialization of university research

Sec. 521:  Study to develop improved impact-on-society metrics

Sec. 522:  NSF grants in support of sponsored post-doctoral fellowship programs

Sec. 524:  Cloud computing research enhancement

Sec. 551-556:  STEM-training grant program ($30 million)


Title VI – Innovation

Sec. 602: Expands loan guarantees for use and production of innovative manf. technologies to include loans for commercialization of those technologies.

Sec. 603 Expands regional innovation cluster grant program to create a science and research park development grant program ($300 m) and loan guarantee program for science park infrastructure ($21m)

Sec. 604 Study on economic competitiveness in U.S.


Title VII – NIST Green Jobs [new title]

Sec. 701:  Short title

Sec. 702:  Findings

Sec. 703:  NIST competitive grant program ($21 million)


Title VIII – General Provisions

Sec. 801:  GAO review

Sec. 802:  Salary Restrictions (porn language, but requires an employee to be convicted before losing salary)

Sec. 803:  Addition research authorities of the FCC


Title IX – Department of Energy

Sec. 901: DOE Summer Institutes for High School Students and Teachers

Sec. 902(a): Nuclear Science Talent Program

Sec. 902(b): Hydrocarbon Systems Talent Program

Sec. 902(c): DOE Early Career Awards Program

Sec. 902(d): PACE Graduate Fellowship Program

Sec. 902(e): Distinguished Scientist Program


Title X – Education [new title]

Sec. 1001:  References

Sec. 1002:  Repeals and conforming amendments

Sec. 1003:  Authorizations and appropriations and matching requirement


See:  America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 Legislative Digest (May 13, 2010) to view original House provisions


Provided below are a list of provisions that were removed from the House approved bill:


Title I – Science and Technology Policy

Secs. 101-107:  National Nanotechnology Initiative Amendments

Secs. 111-117:  Networking and Information Technology R&D program

Sec. 124:  Fulfilling the potential of women in academic science and engineering

Sec. 125:  National Competitiveness and Innovation Strategy


Title II – National Science Foundation (NSF)

Sec. 216:  Collection of Data on Demographics and Faculty

Sec. 221:  Support for Potentially Transformative Research

Sec. 222:  Facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration for National needs

Sec. 224:  Strengthening Institutional Research Partnerships

Sec. 226:  Sense of Congress on overall support for research infrastructure at the Foundation

Sec. 228:  Prize awards at NSF

Sec. 242:  Postdoctoral fellowship in STEM education research

Sec. 244:  Institutions serving persons with disabilities

Sec. 245:  Institutional integration

Sec. 246:  Postdoctoral research fellowships

Sec. 247:  Broadening participation training and outreach

Sec. 248:  Transforming undergraduate education in STEM

Sec. 251:  Grand Challenges in education research

Sec. 253:  Laboratory science pilot program

Sec. 257:  Sense of Congress regarding retention of graduate level STEM talent in US


Title III – STEM Education

Sec. 302:  Advisory committee on STEM education

Sec. 303:  STEM Education at the Department of Energy

Sec. 304:  Green energy education

Sec. 305:  Sense of Congress regarding K-12 engineering education (Dem. floor amendment)

Sec. 306:  Sense of Congress regarding preference for rural universities in grant applications

Sec. 307:  NAS report on strengthening the capacity of 2-year institutions of higher education to provide STEM opportunities

Sec. 308:  Encouraging federal scientists and engineers to participate in STEM education


Title IV - National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)

Sec. 404:  Reorganization of NIST labs

Sec. 404:  Bill is silent on specific authorization for Technology Innovation Program (TIP)

Sec. 411:  Nanomaterial research initiative as NIST

Sec. 412:  Disaster Resilient Buildings and Infrastructure

Sec. 413:  Report on the Use of Modeling and Simulation – changed significantly in Senate bill (Sec. 605)


Title V - Innovation

Sec. 504:  Clean Energy Consortium


Title VI – Department of Energy

Sections 601-610: Office of Science Programs.

Sec. 632: Energy Innovation Hubs.

Sec. 642. Cooperative research and development fund.

Sec. 651. Technology transfer database.


Title VII – Miscellaneous

Sec. 701:  Sense of Congress regarding priority for funding for activities recommended in RAGS report

Section 702:  Persons with Disabilities

Section 703:  Veterans and Service Members

Sec. 704:  Budgetary Effects

Sec. 706:  Prohibition on Lobbying

Sec. 708:  Information Request by Labor Organizations (Miller floor amendment)

Sec. 708:  Limitation on Gifts (Dem floor amendment)

Sec. 710:  Ineligibility for awards or grants (Solomon provision in MTR)


According the Committee on Science and Technology Republicans, the Senate Amendment to H.R. 5116 would include the following:


Member Concerns:

Increased Spending

The bill authorizes $46 billion, which includes $7.4 billion in new spending above FY 2010 appropriated levels.  Some other authorized spending are as follow:

o    Nearly $3.3 billion in new spending for DOE R&D Programs (a 14 percent increase over FY2010 appropriated levels);  

o    Over $900 million for ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency- Energy), a program not funded in the FY2010 base and controversial due to its focus on late-stage technology development and commercialization activities already supported by the private sector;

o    A total of $242 million for five workforce and education programs at DOE; and

o    An increase in Federal prize competition awards from a cap of $1-3 million to upwards of $50 million. 

Expanding Government

The bill would shift away from basic research and development and toward commercialization, market development, and green initiatives, including the following:


o    New DOC Loan Guarantee Program for innovative manufacturing ($60 million);

o    New DOC Loan Guarantee Program for science park construction and renovation that authorizes $ 7 million a year to cover the cost of guaranteeing $300 million in loans ($21 million);

o    New DOC Regional Innovation Program to support “innovation clusters” and a New Grant program for  science park infrastructure, including amounts of up to $750,000 to renovate or expand existing parks ($300 million);

o    New DOC NIST Green Manufacturing and Construction Program

o    New DOC NIST MEP Green Jobs Program ($21 million);  and

o    New NSF STEM-training grant program that duplicates existing efforts ($30 million).