Monday, June 29, 2020

HR 4091 Reported in House – ARPA-E Reauthorization

Last week the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee published their report on HR 4091, the ARPA-E Reauthorization Act of 2019. The Committee hearing on this bill was held on October 17th, 2020 where the bill was amended and adopted by a voice vote.

A look at the ‘Cosponsors’ page for this bill on shows exactly how politically successful the changes were that were made by Chair Johnson in the substitute language for the bill. Principally, those changes were a reduction in the large increase in annual spending authorization through 2024. Republicans had objected to the very-large proposed increase and were threatening to withhold support for the bill. The reductions found in the substitute language were significant enough that 24 Republicans have since signed on as cosponsors of the bill.

This new support ensures that this bill could be considered under the suspension of rules procedure in the House and indicate that there might be enough support in the Senate to have this bill added to Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies spending bill if/when that is introduced. This bill is not important enough to be considered in the Senate on its own (particularly in a COVID-19 affected election year) and there is still enough Republican opposition to the revised spending increase to ensure that it could not be considered under the Senate’s unanimous consent rule.

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