Friday, 15 March 96 Washington, DC
1. HALFWAY THROUGH THE FISCAL YEAR, CONGRESS NEEDS ONE MORE WEEK?
There have now been two train wrecks, ten continuing resolutions, and vetoes galore since the 1996 fiscal year began. To avert yet another government shutdown at midnight tonight, Congress passed its tenth
CR yesterday -- it expires in one week. The House has passed an omnibus spending bill for whatever is
left of FY 96, but it won't make it with President Clinton; it doesn't even make it with the Senate,
which is trying to find something Clinton will sign. And whatever the Senate comes up with must
still be reconciled with the House. Don't unbuckle your seat belt yet.
2. REMEMBER THE LINE-ITEM-VETO? IT'S BEEN COMATOSE FOR A YEAR.
The House passed it as part of the "Contract with America" just four weeks after the 104th Congress
convened. Uhmm, you don't remember the Contract either? It's the one that had term limits in it.
Anyway, the Senate passed a similar bill just one month later. All that remained was for the House
and Senate to iron out relatively minor differences. Alas, the House couldn't seem to get around to
appointing its conferees. With the prospect that an omnibus spending bill might actually be passed,
leaving no line items to veto, the patient's eyes have suddenly opened.
3. PUBLIC SESSION: "SCIENCE POLICY IN AN ERA OF POLITICAL CHANGE"
is scheduled for 8:00 am on Monday at the March Meeting of the American Physical Society in St. Louis.
The panel includes: Allan Bromley, former Science Advisor to President Bush and President-Elect of the
APS; Ernest Moniz, Associate Director for Science of the White House Office of Science and Technology
Policy; Tom Weimer, Staff Director of the House Science Subcommittee; and Pat Windham, Staff of the
Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Mike Lubell, APS Director of Public Affairs will
serve as moderator. It will be in Room 274, America's Center. Persons not registered for the Meeting are
also invited to attend.
4. SCIENCE IN AMERICAN STRIFE: SMITHSONIAN RENEGES ON COMMITMENT.
Two years after "Science In American Life" opened at the Museum of American History, the American
Chemical Society, which paid $5.3M for the tawdry exhibit, is warning other potential donors to the
Smithsonian against doing the same thing, according to a story in Nature. WN carried the first public
criticism of the exhibit, calling it a catalogue of weapons of mass destruction, environmental horrors and
social injustice (WN 17 Jun 94), and the APS Council expressed its
"profound dismay" (WN 18 Nov 94). The new head of the
Smithsonian, I. Michael Heyman, in a talk to the National Press Club, acknowledged the lack of balance
, and promised changes (WN 24 Feb 95). He gave similar assurances to
the ACS, which privately echoed the complaints of the APS (WN 14 Apr
95). But after a year of futile negotiations, an embittered ACS has decided to go public with its
criticism of the exhibit.