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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
COMPETES Loses Again in House After Failing to Clear Higher Bar
19 May 2010 2:49 pm
Representative Bart Gordon (D–TN) lost his gamble today on behalf of the U.S. research community. The retiring chair of the House Science and Technology Committee watched dejectedly as a revised version of a bill to foster research and innovation went down to defeat on the House floor this morning for a second time in less than a week. Although legislators voted 261 to 148 in favor of it, it failed to win the supermajority required in this case.
Gordon won approval from the Democratic leadership to bring the America COMPETES Act to a speedy vote under a rule that prohibits amendments and limits debate but which require a two-thirds majority. The bill authorizes significant spending increases for the National Science Foundation, science at the Department of Energy, and two research agencies within the Department of Commerce. The first version (HR 5116) was derailed last Thursday in a parliamentary maneuver in which opponents added language cracking down on federal workers who view electronic pornography. Not wanting to appear to be in favor of pornography, supporters reluctantly voted for the amendment to recommit the bill, which was then pulled from consideration.
Gordon thought he had overcome that obstacle by incorporating the anti-pornography language into the new bill (HR 5325). He also accepted Republican demands to reduce the length of the bill from 5 years to 3 years, thereby lowering its overall price tag by several billion dollars. "I understand the concern of many of my colleagues about the overall size of a 5-year authorization, and this reduction is my sincere attempt at compromising on an issue that is very important to me. The bill before us today includes an overall funding reduction of almost 50% from H.R. 5116, as introduced," said Gordon during floor consideration.
But the changes weren't enough. Although every Democrat supported the new version, it won the votes of only 15 Republicans. Gordon needed a dozen more converts to gain the necessary two-thirds majority.