The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold a markup on the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion tax and spend bill. Rep. Feenstra has repeatedly called this massive legislation a “Socialist Spending Spree,” warning it will worsen inflation and add trillions more to our national debt.
Feenstra proposed a number of amendments in an effort to improve the bill:
- Amendment to Add Biofuels to Bioenergy Technologies the Energy Department Will Research, Develop, and Demonstrate: This proposal would allow funding from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science to go towards carrying out demonstrations of advanced biofuels projects, which would include projects like the one proposed in Feenstra’s recently introduced Biofuel Cell Research Act.
- Amendment to Research Sustainable Aviation Biofuels: This proposal would ensure that funding going to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the purpose of sustainable aviation research and development will include research into biofuels. This legislation comes after Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm directly told Feenstra in a May committee hearing that she believes biofuels and biofuel technologies have a bright future in sustainable aviation fueling — but the administration thus far has been all talk and no action.
- Amendment to Bolster Research and STEM Education Activities: This proposal would ensure at least 20% of the research and education funding allocated in this bill would go towards states eligible for the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). EPSCoR helps strengthen STEM education programs in 25 states, including Iowa. Right now, states eligible for EPSCoR grants receive less than 12% of all federal research funding. In comparison, the top five states for federal research funding, most of which are on the coasts, receive 40% of all funding. Feenstra’s proposal seeks to level the playing field.
- Amendment to Require Federal Agencies to Report to Congress: This proposal adds a requirement for all federal agencies that receive funding in this package to report to Congress on its plans to sustain any new programs or infrastructure after this bill expires. The funding being allocated in this bill is not sustainable and floods agencies with a one-time infusion of cash. Feenstra’s proposal will ensure agencies have a plan when this $45 billion slush fund dries up, so that programs and projects initiated under this bill do not come to grinding halt.