American Geological Institute

Government Affairs Program

Legislative History and Digest of H.R. 3322


A bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1997 for civilian science activities of the Federal Government, and for other purposes.

SPONSOR: Rep. Robert Walker (R-PA)


As introduced - Sensenbrenner, Morella, Rohrabacher, and Schiff

The complete bill text can be found on Thomas: The Library of Congress Web Site. In Thomas, click on Full Text of Legislation, then 104th Congress Bills, then Search by Bill Number, type in hr 3322, hit RUN QUERY, and choose the most recent version.


(REVISED AS OF 05/30/96 -- Passed House, amended)


Title I: National Science Foundation
Subtitle A: National Science Foundation Authorization
Subtitle B: General Provisions
Title II: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Subtitle A: General Provisions
Subtitle B: Authorization of Appropriations
Subtitle C: International Space Station
Subtitle D: Miscellaneous Provisions
Title III: United States Fire Administration
Title IV: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Subtitle A: Atmospheric, Weather, and Satellite Programs
Subtitle B: Program Support
Subtitle C: Streamlining of Operations
Subtitle D: Miscellaneous
Title V: Environmental Protectional Agency
Title VI: National Institute of Standards and Technology
Title VII: Federal Aviation Administration Research, Engineering, and Development
Title VIII: National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program
Title IX: Miscellaneous
Title X: Further Authorizations

Omnibus Civilian Science Authorization Act of 1996 - Title I: National Science Foundation - National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1996 - Subtitle A: National Science Foundation Authorization - Authorizes appropriations to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for FY 1997.

(Sec. 114) Provides for reprogramming of appropriations.

Subtitle B: General Provisions - Amends the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 to direct NSF to include in its annual report to the President a strategic plan defining its goals, criteria, and procedures.

(Sec. 122) Requires NSF to submit to the Congress an annual upgrade and maintenance plan for national research facilities.

(Sec. 123) Amends the Academic Research Facilities Modernization Act of 1988 to give research facility grant priority to institutions or consortia that have not received such funds in the preceding five years.

(Sec. 124) Makes administrative amendments to the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, the National Science Foundation Authorization Act, 1976, the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1988, and the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act.

(Sec. 126) Subjects NSF temporary employees to the same financial disclosure requirements as apply to permanent employees.

(Sec. 127) Requires an institution of higher education receiving NSF funds to grant a military-educational leave of absence to a student on active military duty (other than training).

(Sec. 128) Renames the Critical Technologies Institute as the Science Studies Institute.

(Sec. 129) Requires NSF to consider the impact of a grant on undergraduate and graduate education before its award.

(Sec. 130) Authorizes the Director of NSF to appoint up to six Assistant Directors.

Title II: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - Subtitle A: General Provisions - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1997 - Makes various findings regarding the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Sets forth definitions for purposes of this title.

Subtitle B: Authorization of Appropriations - Chapter 1: Authorizations - Authorizes appropriations for NASA for: (1) human space flight; (2) science, aeronautics, and technology, including facilities construction and research and early detection systems for breast and ovarian cancer and other women's health issues; (3) mission support; and (4) the Inspector General.

(Sec. 215) Limits the total NASA FY 1997 authorization of appropriations.

(Sec. 216) Authorizes appropriations for the Office of Commercial and Space Transportation for FY 1997.

(Sec. 217) Authorizes appropriations for the Office of Space Commerce for FY 1997.

Chapter 2: Restructuring the National Aeronautics and Space Administration - Requires that the: (1) Administrator of NASA transmit to the Congress by July 31, 1996, a report on restructuring activities; and (2) President propose, no later than September 30, 1996, all enabling legislation required to carry out the actions described by the Administrator's report.

Chapter 3: Limitations and Special Authority - Sets forth funds uses, limitations, and special authorities.

Subtitle C: International Space Station - Requires the Administrator to deliver to the Congress a market study that examines the role of commercial ventures which could supply, use, service, or augment the International Space Station.

(Sec. 244) Requires the Administrator to: (1) submit annually to the Congress a Space Station Accounting Report containing a complete accounting of all costs of the space station, including cash and other payments to Russia; and (2) obtain quarterly reports from the Russian Space Agency which fully account for the disposition of funds paid or transferred by NASA to Russia.

Subtitle D: Miscellaneous Provisions - Amends Federal law to include reentry vehicles and related launch operations within the scope of commercial space launch activities. Mandates an annual report.

(Sec. 252) Requires an independent cost analysis of a NASA project that is projected to exceed a cost of $75 million before any funds may be obligated for Phase C of such project.

(Sec. 253) Establishes the Office of Space Commerce within the Department of Commerce.

(Sec. 254) Requires the Administrator to delay, at the Administrator's discretion or at the request of a private sector entity, for a period from one day up to five years, unrestricted public disclosure of technical data developed by research funded jointly by NASA and that entity under specified conditions. Requires the Administrator to annually report to the Congress on all determinations made respecting such public disclosure of technical data.

(Sec. 255) Directs the Administrator to: (1) establish within the Office of Space Access and Technology a procurement demonstration program; and (2) coordinate a technology procurement initiative.

(Sec. 256) Requires the Administrator to determine, prior to new facility construction or lease, that no existing NASA or other Federal facility is appropriate for the intended use.

(Sec. 257) Directs NASA to purchase, to the maximum extent possible, space science data from the private sector.

(Sec. 258) Directs the Administrator to: (1) transmit to the Congress a report on Mission to Planet Earth; (2) acquire space-based and airborne Earth remote sensing data provided by the private sector; (3) conduct a study to determine the extent to which baseline scientific requirements of Mission to Planet Earth can be met by the private sector; (4) prepare for transition from the Federal operation, or Federal management of contracted operation, of space transportation systems to the Federal purchase of commercial space transportation services for all nonemergency launch requirements; and (5) conduct a study of the feasibility of implementing the recommendation of the Independent Shuttle Management Review Team that NASA transition toward privatization of the Space Shuttle and submit a report on the study to specified congressional committees.

(Sec. 261) Amends the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1993 to make the launch voucher demonstration program permanent.

(Sec. 262) Directs the Administrator to provide for the privatization of NASA microgravity parabolic flight operations.

(Sec. 263) Amends the Unitary Wind Tunnel Plan Act of 1949 to include hypersonic activities.

(Sec. 264) Requires the Administrator, whenever feasible, to meet NASA facilities needs by selecting abandoned and under used buildings, grounds, and facilities in depressed communities.

(Sec. 266) Requires the Administrator to establish the position of Procurement Ombudsman for NASA to be responsible for: (1) reviewing proposed new missions to determine if such missions can be fulfilled by U.S. commercial providers; and (2) serve as a point of contact for procurement contractors and U.S. commercial providers.

Title III: United States Fire Administration - Fire Administration Authorization Act of 1996 - Amends the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 to authorize appropriations for FY 1997.

(Sec. 303) Prohibits Federal funds for Department of the Army housing unless it is protected by hard-wired smoke detectors by the earlier of the date of occupancy by the first Federal employees who were not occupants as of October 25, 1992, or October 25, 1998.

(Sec. 304) Permits successor fire safety standards to be used as guidelines in addition to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 74, NFPA Standard 13 or 13-R, or NFPA Standard 101 (Life Safety Code) for installation of hard-wired, single-station smoke detectors or automatic sprinkler systems in: (1) places of public accommodation affecting commerce; and (2) federally-assisted buildings.

(Sec. 305) Requires the Administrator of the U.S. Fire Administration to report to the Congress: (1) at least 60 days in advance of the termination or transfer to a private sector entity of any significant function of the Administration; and (2) on the manner in which the Administration intends to implement the budgetary reduction represented by the difference between the amount appropriated to it for FY 1997 and the amount requested in the President's FY 1997 budget request.

Title IV: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Authorization Act of 1996 - Subtitle A: Atmospheric, Weather, and Satellite Programs - Authorizes FY 1997 appropriations for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for: (1) National Weather Service (NWS) operations and research and public warning and forecast; (2) construction, repair, and modification regarding new and existing weather forecast offices; (3) climate and air quality research; (4) atmospheric research; (5) satellite observing systems; and (6) environmental data and information services.

Authorizes appropriations to complete the acquisition and deployment of the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System and NOAA Port (AWIPS) for all fiscal years beginning with FY 1997. Prohibits funding for any fiscal year, unless certain certifications are made to the Congress.

Amends the Weather Service Modernization Act to: (1) set forth procedures with respect to actions to close, automate or relocate any field office of the National Weather Service; (2) terminate the Modernization Transition Committee; and (3) direct the Secretary of Defense in conjunction with the NOAA Administrator to take immediate steps to ensure the reliability and operational availability of NEXRADs operated by the Defense Department.

Subtitle B: Program Support - Authorizes appropriations to NOAA for: (1) executive direction and administrative activities; (2) central administrative support. (3) aircraft services; and (4) facilities repairs and renovations.

Subtitle C: Streamlining of Operations - Prohibits appropriating funds for specified programs, centers, and activities.

(Sec. 442) Limits the total dollar amounts authorized to be used for NOAA travel and related expenses.

SubtitleD: Miscellaneous - Makes it unlawful for any unauthorized person to remove, move, damage, or interfere with any National Data Buoy Center weather data buoy. Provides for civil monetary penalties and rewards.

(Sec. 452) Makes the Secretary of Commerce, through the NWS, responsible for: (1) forecasts, serving as the sole official source of weather warnings; (2) issuance of storm warnings; (3) collection, exchange, and distribution of meteorological, hydrological, climatic, and oceanographic data and information; and (4) preparation of hydrometeorological guidance and core forecast information. Prohibits the NWS from competing (or assisting other entities in competing) with the private sector when a service is or can be provided by commercial enterprise unless the private sector is unwilling or unable to provide the service and the service provides vital weather warnings and forecasts for the protection of lives and property of the general public. Removes existing provisions relating to the duties of the Secretary regarding weather forecasting. Modifies provisions relating to NWS appropriations and estimates. Mandates a report to specified congressional committees detailing all NWS activities not conforming to this paragraph and outlining a timetable for their termination.

Title V: Environmental Protection Agency - Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1996 - Authorizes appropriations to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for FY 1997 for: (1) science and technology activities, including program management and support, for specified environmental research, development, and demonstration activities; (2) oil pollution research; and (3) research related to leaking underground storage tanks.

Specifies that no funds are authorized to be appropriated for: (1) the Environmental Technology Initiative; (2) the Climate Change Action Plan; (3) the North Dakota Center for Air Toxic Metals research; (4) drinking water research conducted by the American Water Works Association Research Foundation; (5) the Water Environmental Research Foundation; (6) the National Urban Air Toxics Research Center; (7) the Gulf Coast Hazardous Substances Research Center; (8) urban waste management research at the University of New Orleans; (9) the Resources and Agricultural Policy Systems Program; or (10) the Oil Spill Remediation Research Center.

(Sec. 504) Directs the Administrator to assign to the Assistant Administrator for Research and Development the duties of: (1) developing a strategic plan for scientific and technical research activities throughout EPA; (2) integrating that strategic plan into ongoing EPA planning activities; and (3) reviewing all EPA research to ensure the research is of high quality and does not duplicate any other research being conducted by EPA. Directs the Assistant Administrator to report annually to the Administrator and specified congressional committees on EPA research that is duplicative or not of sufficiently high quality.

(Sec. 505) Requires the Administrator to ensure that any graduate fellowship award to a student selected after the enactment of this Act is used only to support research that would further missions of the Office of Research and Development in fields in which there exists or is projected to exist a shortage in the number of scientists.

(Sec. 506) Mandates that the Science Advisory Board submit to the Congress and the Administrator an annual report that contains the views of the Board on proposed research programs as described in the President's budget for research, development, and demonstration activities at the EPA.

Requires the Science Advisory Board to conduct evaluations of the current and planned research, development, and demonstration activities of the EPA. Authorizes the Board to annually review research activities of the EPA and include the results of such review in the annual report.

Requires the Administrator to submit to the Congress any report required by law to be submitted to the Administrator by the Science Advisory Board. Requires that the Administrator make any such submission no later than 60 days after receiving the report from the Science Advisory Board.

Endocrine Disrupter Research Planning Act of 1996 - Requires the Administrator to submit to the Congress, along with the President's Budget Request for FY 1998, a plan for conducting research needed to objectively assess and characterize the risk of endocrine disrupters on human health and the environment.

Title VI: National Institute of Standards and Technology - Authorizes FY 1997 appropriations for the National Institute of Standards and Technology for: (1) scientific and technical research and services; and (2) construction of research facilities.

Title VII: Federal Aviation Administration Research, Engineering, and Development - FAA Research, Engineering, and Development Management Reform Act of 1996 - Authorizes FY 1997 appropriations for specified research, engineering, and development activities.

(Sec. 705) Revises certain requirements of the National Aviation Research Plan.

Title VIII: National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program - Amends the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 to authorize FY 1997 appropriations for the activities of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program for: (1) the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); and (2) the U.S. Geological Survey; (3) the National Science Foundation for engineering research and geosciences research; and (4) the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Title IX: Miscellaneous - Prohibits the use of any funds authorized under this title from being used for any lobbying activity.

(Sec. 902) Sets forth limitations on appropriations for FY 1997 and for subsequent fiscal years.

(Sec. 903) Authorizes the head of each Federal agency for which funds are authorized under this Act to exclude, for a period of five years, any individual who received funds from any Federal funding source for a project that was not subjected to a competitive, merit- based award process after FY 1996, from consideration for financial assistance awards made by that agency after FY 1996.

(Sec. 904) Expresses the sense of the Congress that any recipient, when expending grant monies, should purchase American made equipment and products.

(Sec. 905) Prohibits funds appropriated for civilian science activities of the Federal Government from being provided by contract or grant (including for student aid) to any higher education institution determined to have an anti-ROTC policy or a policy against military recruiting on campus. Requires a notice of the determination to be: (1) transmitted to the Secretary of Education and to the Congress; and (2) published in the Federal Register.

Title X: Further Authorizations - Authorizes additional appropriations for the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships program for FY 1997 and conditions that no funds may be used to establish a new center.


House Action(s)

Apr 25, 96:
Referred to the Committee on Science, and in addition to the Committees on Resources, Transportation and Infrastructure, and National Security, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Apr 30, 96:
Executive Comment Requested from Commerce.
Apr 30, 96:
Referred to the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans.
Apr 25, 96:
Full Committee Held Mark-up and Ordered Reported (amended) by the Yeas and Nays: 24 - 19 Prior to Introduction (Apr 24 96).
May 1, 96:
Reported to House by House Committee on Science. H. Rept. 104-550, Part I.
May 6, 96:
House Committee on Resources discharged.
House Committee on Transportation discharged.
House Committee on National Security discharged.
Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 272.
May 7, 96:
Rules Committee Resolution H. Res. 427 Reported to House.
May 9, 96:
Rule H. Res. 427 passed House.
May 29, 96:
Called up by House under the provisions of rule H. Res. 427.
Considered by House as unfinished business.
May 30, 96:
Considered by House as unfinished business.
The House adopted the amendments en gross as agreed to by the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union.
Passed House (Amended) by voice vote.
Senate Action(s)

Jun 3, 96:
Received in the Senate and read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce.

(Source: Library of Congress)

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Last updated July 12, 1996 by Heidi Mohlman, Government Affairs intern

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