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Title of Law:Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005
Law #:Public Law 108-447
Passed by Congress:108th Congress (2nd Session)

The following are excerpts, highlighted in red, from the final legislation and/or conference report which contain National Academies' studies. (Pound signs [##] between passages denote the deletion of unrelated text.)

HR4818 Kolbe (R.-Ariz.) 12/6/04
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)

An original bill making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2005, and for other purposes. (Used as the vehicle for the fiscal 2005 omnibus appropriations bill.)
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TITLE III --- DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

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HIGHER EDUCATION

For carrying out, to the extent not otherwise provided, section 121 and titles II, III, IV, V, VI, and VII of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (“HEA”), as amended, section 1543 of the Higher Education Amendments of 1992, the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, title VIII of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, and section 117 of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, $2,134,269,000, of which $1,500,000 for interest subsidies authorized by section 121 of the HEA shall remain available until expended: Provided, That $9,876,000, to remain available through September 30, 2006, shall be available to fund fellowships for academic year 2006-2007 under part A, subpart 1 of title VII of said Act, under the terms and conditions of part A, subpart 1: Provided further, That notwithstanding any other provision of law or any regulation, the Secretary of Education shall not require the use of a restricted indirect cost rate for grants issued pursuant to section 117 of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998: Provided further, That $988,000 is for data collection and evaluation activities for programs under the HEA, including such activities needed to comply with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993: Provided further, That notwithstanding any other provision of law, funds made available in this Act to carry out title VI of the HEA and section 102(b)(6) of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 may be used to support visits and study in foreign countries by individuals who are participating in advanced foreign language training and international studies in areas that are vital to United States national security and who plan to apply their language skills and knowledge of these countries in the fields of government, the professions, or international development: Provided further, That of the funds referred to in the preceding proviso up to 1 percent may be used for program evaluation, national outreach, and information dissemination activities and $1,500,000 shall be used for a contract with the National Research Council to carry out an independent review of title VI international education and foreign language studies and the section 102(b)(6) Fulbright-Hays programs: Provided further, That the funds provided for title II of the HEA shall be allocated notwithstanding section 210 of such Act: Provided further, That $146,360,000 of the funds for part B of title VII of the Higher Education Act of 1965 shall be available for the projects and in the amounts specified in the statement of the managers of the conference report accompanying this Act.

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************************************************************************************
HRpt 108-792 - To accompany H.R.
4818 - MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR FOREIGN OPERATIONS, EXPORT FINANCING, AND RELATED PROGRAMS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2005, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Conference Committee
(11/19/04)
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TITLE IX—OCEANS AND HUMAN HEALTH ACT

SEC. 901. SHORT TITLE.

This title may be cited as the “Oceans and Human Health Act”.

SEC. 902. INTERAGENCY OCEANS AND HUMAN HEALTH RESEARCH PROGRAM.

(a) COORDINATION.—The President, through the National Science and Technology Council, shall coordinate and support a national research program to improve understanding of the role of the oceans in human health.

(b) IMPLEMENTATION PLAN.—Within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the National Science and Technology Council, through the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall develop and submit to the Congress a plan for coordinated Federal activities under the program. Nothing in this subsection is intended to duplicate or supersede the activities of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia established under section 603 of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998 (16 U.S.C. 1451 note). In developing the plan, the Committee will consult with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia. Such plan will build on and complement the ongoing activities of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, and other departments and agencies and shall—

(1) establish, for the 10-year period beginning in the year it is submitted, the goals and priorities for Federal research which most effectively advance scientific understanding of the connections between the oceans and human health, provide usable information for the prediction of marine-related public health problems and use the biological potential of the oceans for development of new treatments of human diseases and a greater understanding of human biology;

(2) describe specific activities required to achieve such goals and priorities, including the funding of competitive research grants, ocean and coastal observations, training and support for scientists, and participation in international research efforts;

(3) identify and address, as appropriate, relevant programs and activities of the Federal agencies and departments that would contribute to the program;

(4) identify alternatives for preventing unnecessary duplication of effort among Federal agencies and departments with respect to the program;

(5) consider and use, as appropriate, reports and studies conducted by Federal agencies and departments, the National Research Council, the Ocean Research Advisory Panel, the Commission on Ocean Policy and other expert scientific bodies;

(6) make recommendations for the coordination of program activities with ocean and human health-related activities of other national and international organizations; and

(7) estimate Federal funding for research activities to be conducted under the program.

(c) PROGRAM SCOPE.—The program may include the following activities related to the role of oceans in human health:

(1) Interdisciplinary research among the ocean and medical sciences, and coordinated research and activities to improve understanding of processes within the ocean that may affect human health and to explore the potential contribution of marine organisms to medicine and research, including—

(A) vector- and water-borne diseases of humans and marine organisms, including marine mammals and fish;

(B) harmful algal blooms and hypoxia (through the Inter-Agency Task Force on Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia);

(C) marine-derived pharmaceuticals;

(D) marine organisms as models for biomedical research and as indicators of marine environmental health;

(E) marine environmental microbiology;

(F) bioaccumulative and endocrine-disrupting chemical contaminants; and

(G) predictive models based on indicators of marine environmental health or public health threats.

(2) Coordination with the National Ocean Research Leadership Council (10 U.S.C. 7902(a)) to ensure that any integrated ocean and coastal observing system provides information necessary to monitor and reduce marine public health problems including health-related data on biological populations and detection of contaminants in marine waters and seafood.

(3) Development through partnerships among Federal agencies, States, academic institutions, or non-profit research organizations of new technologies and approaches for detecting and reducing hazards to human health from ocean sources and to strengthen understanding of the value of marine biodiversity to biomedicine, including—

(A) genomics and proteomics to develop genetic and immunological detection approaches and predictive tools and to discover new biomedical resources;

(B) biomaterials and bioengineering;

(C) in situ and remote sensors used to detect, quantify, and predict the presence and spread of contaminants in marine waters and organisms and to identify new genetic resources for biomedical purposes;

(D) techniques for supplying marine resources, including chemical synthesis, culturing and aquaculturing marine organisms, new fermentation methods and recombinant techniques; and

(E) adaptation of equipment and technologies from human health fields.

(4) Support for scholars, trainees and education opportunities that encourage an interdisciplinary and international approach to exploring the diversity of life in the oceans.

(d) ANNUAL REPORT.—Beginning with the first year occurring more than 24 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the National Science and Technology Council, through the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall prepare and submit to the President and the Congress not later than January 31st of each year an annual report on the activities conducted pursuant to this title during the preceding fiscal year, including—

(1) a summary of the achievements of Federal oceans and human health research, including Federally supported external research, during the preceding fiscal year;

(2) an analysis of the progress made toward achieving the goals and objectives of the plan developed under subsection (b), including identification of trends and emerging trends;

(3) a copy or summary of the plan and any changes made in the plan;

(4) a summary of agency budgets for oceans and human health activities for that preceding fiscal year; and

(5) any recommendations regarding additional action or legislation that may be required to assist in achieving the purposes of this title.

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HIGHER EDUCATION

For carrying out, to the extent not otherwise provided, section 121 and titles II, III, IV, V, VI, and VII of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (“HEA”), as amended, section 1543 of the Higher Education Amendments of 1992, the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, title VIII of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, and section 117 of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, $2,134,269,000, of which $1,500,000 for interest subsidies authorized by section 121 of the HEA shall remain available until expended: Provided, That $9,876,000, to remain available through September 30, 2006, shall be available to fund fellowships for academic year 2006-2007 under part A, subpart 1 of title VII of said Act, under the terms and conditions of part A, subpart 1: Provided further, That notwithstanding any other provision of law or any regulation, the Secretary of Education shall not require the use of a restricted indirect cost rate for grants issued pursuant to section 117 of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998: Provided further, That $988,000 is for data collection and evaluation activities for programs under the HEA, including such activities needed to comply with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993: Provided further, That notwithstanding any other provision of law, funds made available in this Act to carry out title VI of the HEA and section 102(b)(6) of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 may be used to support visits and study in foreign countries by individuals who are participating in advanced foreign language training and international studies in areas that are vital to United States national security and who plan to apply their language skills and knowledge of these countries in the fields of government, the professions, or international development: Provided further, That of the funds referred to in the preceding proviso up to one percent may be used for program evaluation, national outreach, and information dissemination activities and $1,500,000 shall be used for a contract with the National Research Council to carry out an independent review of title VI international education and foreign language studies and the section 102(b)(6) Fulbright-Hays programs: Provided further, That the funds provided for title II of the HEA shall be allocated notwithstanding section 210 of such Act: Provided further, That $146,360,000 of the funds for part B of title VII of the Higher Education Act of 1965 shall be available for the projects and in the amounts specified in the statement of the managers of the conference report accompanying this Act.

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TITLE VI—RELATED AGENCIES AND FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

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The conferees note the intense public interest in two recent events related to prescription drug safety—the changes ordered in anti-depressant drug labels and the September 2004 withdrawal of a widely-prescribed painkiller. The conferees are aware that FDA has undertaken a number of steps in response to concerns raised about drug safety in the aftermath of those incidents, including commissioning a study by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on how FDA handles drug safety issues. The conferees direct FDA to regularly advise the Committees about any changes that FDA anticipates regarding drug safety, and to provide the Committees with regular progress reports on the IOM review and with a copy of the IOM report as soon as it is completed.

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CONSTRUCTION, GENERAL

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Chesapeake Bay Environmental Restoration and Protection Program, Maryland and Virginia.—The conference recommendation includes $1,500,000 for this project. Within the funds provided, $400,000 is provided to continue environmental studies of non-native oysters.

The conferees expect the Corps, in conducting the Environmental Impact Statement [EIS] for introducing non-native oyster species into the Chesapeake Bay, to consider all alternatives, including restoration of native oyster species. The conferees also expect that the EIS will address the research gaps identified in the National Research Council report titled “Non-native Oysters in the Chesapeake Bay” and the Chesapeake Bay Program Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee report on the same subject.

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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

The conference agreement includes $662,777,000, to be offset by revenues of $534,354,000, for a net appropriation of $128,423,000. This reflects the statutory language adopted by the conference in fiscal year 2001 to reduce the fee recovery requirement to 90 percent in fiscal year 2005.

In fiscal year 2004, the conferees directed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to contract with the National Academy of Sciences for a study of spent nuclear fuel storage at commercial reactor sites. The National Academy completed this study and found a number of areas in which the NRC could improve its modeling of the risks to spent fuel storage and the mitigation of such risks. The conferees expect the NRC to take the necessary steps to improve its analyses, including the preparation of site-specific models, and to work with the utilities to ensure timely application of this information to mitigate risks.

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OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT

REGULATION AND TECHNOLOGY

The conference agreement provides $109,905,000 for regulation and technology as proposed by the Senate instead of $108,905,000 as proposed by the House. This total includes an indefinite appropriation estimated to be $100,000. The agreement includes $1,000,000 as proposed by the Senate to contract with the National Research Council for a review of coal reserves, research, and technologies. The agreement also directs the OSM to reprogram funds for e-government initiatives relating to disaster management and “SAFECOM” to help fund fixed costs.

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TITLE V—ACROSS-THE-BOARD RESCISSIONS

Sec. 501. The conference agreement includes an across the board reduction of 0.594 percent. This reduction should be applied to each program, project, and activity, except for Miscellaneous Payments to Indians, which has a different application of the rescission as specified in the statutory language.

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DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND RELATED AGENCIES
(Amounts in thousands)

 

FY 2004

FY 2005

 

Conference

 

Enacted

Request

Conference

vs. Enacted

      MBCUs, education and training

981

1,000

1,000

+19

 

—————

—————

—————

—————

            Subtotal, Advanced Research

38,215

30,500

43,300

+5,085

 

   Distributed Generation Systems — Fuel Cells

 

 

 

 

      Advanced research

9,876

---

12,376

+2,500

      Systems development

10,865

---

3,000

-7,865

      Vision 21 -hybrids

12,840

---

5,100

-7,740

      Innovative concepts

35,063

23,000

55,000

+19,937

      Novel generation

2,469

---

3,000

+531

 

—————

—————

—————

—————

            Subtotal, Distributed Generation Systems —

 

 

 

 

               Fuel Cells

71,113

23,000

78,476

+7,363

 

   U.S. /China Energy and Environmental Center

988

---

1,000

+12

 

—————

—————

—————

—————

         Subtotal, Fuels and Power Systems

271,713

183,000

288,076

+16,363

 

Gas

 

 

 

 

   Natural Gas Technologies

 

 

 

 

      Exploration and production

22,203

17,500

24,000

+1,797

      Gas hydrates

9,383

6,000

9,500

+117

      Infrastructure

8,939

---

8,471

-468

      Effective environmental protection

2,469

2,500

3,500

+1,031

 

—————

—————

—————

—————

         Subtotal, Gas

42,994

26,000

45,471

+2,477

 

Petroleum — Oil Technology

 

 

 

 

   Exploration and production supporting research

18,450

3,000

19,000

+550

   Reservoir life extension/management

6,914

5,000

6,000

-914

   Effective environmental protection

9,714

7,000

9,400

-314

 

—————

—————

—————

—————

         Subtotal, Petroleum — Oil Technology

35,078

15,000

34,400

-678

 

Cooperative R&D

8,395

3,000

8,400

+5

Fossil energy environmental restoration

9,595

6,000

9,600

+5

Import/export authorization

2,716

1,799

1,799

-917

Headquarters program direction

22,189

22,749

22,749

+560

Energy Technology Center program direction

69,221

69,251

69,251

+30

Clean coal program direction

14,815

14,000

14,000

-815

General plant projects

6,914

---

7,000

+86

Advanced metallurgical processes

9,876

8,000

10,000

+124

Special recruitment programs

---

---

665

+665

National Academy of Sciences program review

494

---

500

+6

 

—————

—————

—————

—————

         Total, Fossil Energy Research and Development

672,770

635,799

579,911

-92,859

 

—————

—————

—————

—————

Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves

 

 

 

 

 

Oil Reserves

 

 

 

 

   Production and operations

9,699

8,676

8,676

-1,023

   Management

8,296

9,324

9,324

+1,028

 

—————

—————

—————

—————

         Total, Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves

17,995

18,000

18,000

+5

 

—————

—————

—————

—————

Elk Hills School Lands Fund

 

 

 

 

 

Elk Hills school lands fund

---

36,000

---

---

      Advance appropriations from previous years

36,000

36,000

36,000

---

      Advance appropriations, FY 2005

36,000

---

---

-36,000

      Advance appropriations, FY 2006

---

---

36,000

+36,000

 

—————

—————

—————

—————

         Total, Elk Hills School Lands Fund

72,000

72,000

72,000

---

 

—————

—————

—————

—————

Energy Conservation

 

 

 

 

 

Vehicle technologies

178,003

156,656

169,756

-8,247

Fuel cell technologies

65,187

77,500

76,000

+10,813

 

Intergovernmental activities

 

 

 

 

   Weatherization assistance grants

227,166

---

---

-227,166

   State energy program grants

43,952

40,798

44,798

+846

   State energy activities

2,324

2,353

2,353

+29

   Gateway deployment

35,170

29,716

35,456

+296

 

—————

—————

—————

—————

         Total, Intergovernmental activities

308,612

72,867

82,617

-225,995

 

Distributed energy resources

61,023

53,080

60,980

-43

Building technologies

59,866

58,284

68,084

+8,218

Industrial technologies

93,068

58,102

76,411

-16,657

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PUBLIC HEALTH IMPROVEMENT AND LEADERSHIP

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The conference agreement includes $1,000,000 for the Institute of Medicine to conduct a study that includes recommendations regarding appropriate nutritional standards for the availability, sale, content, and consumption of food at school, with particular attention given to foods offered in competition with federally-reimbursed meals and snacks.

#####

CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES

PROGRAM MANAGEMENT

#####

The conference agreement does not provide $1,000,000 for an Institute of Medicine study of the Medicare 75 percent rule as proposed by the Senate. The House did not have a similar provision.

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OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY

GENERAL DEPARTMENTAL MANAGEMENT

#####

The conference agreement includes $500,000 for a study by the Institute of Medicine regarding the training of physicians for public health careers, as proposed by the Senate. The House report did not contain a similar provision.

The conference agreement includes $1,000,000 to establish an interagency committee to examine major regulations governing the health care industry to simplify them to reduce cost. The House report provided $2,000,000 through policy evaluation funds for this activity. The Senate report did not contain a similar provision.

The conferees are concerned about the absence of mechanisms to ensure the delivery of necessary psychosocial care to individuals with cancer and their family members. The conference agreement provides $1,000,000 for the Secretary, working in collaboration with the Institute of Medicine and relevant government agencies and non-profit entities, to study the delivery of psychosocial services to cancer patients and their families in the community setting. Specifically, the report should include an analysis of: (1) the capacity of the current mental health and oncology provider system to deliver such care and the anticipated resources required nationwide; (2) available training programs for professionals providing psychosocial and mental health services; and (3) existing barriers to access to such care. The Secretary is encouraged to issue recommendations to address these issues.

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HIGHER EDUCATION

#####

International Education and Foreign Language Studies

The conference agreement includes $93,211,000 for the domestic activities of the international education and foreign language studies programs as proposed by the House instead of $89,211,000 as proposed by the Senate. Within the conference agreement, $1,500,000 is included for a study by the National Research Council as described in House Report 108-636.

#####

National Academies’ Science, Technology and Economic Policy (STEP) Board, Washington, DC to study changing labor force requirements -- 200,000

#####

INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION SCIENCES

#####

The conferees believe that a greater focus must be placed on the use of randomized controlled trials, longitudinal studies, and other research that meets the standards set by the National Research Council. For this reason, the conferees strongly encourage IES to work with the Secretary to create a competitive preference system whereby schools would receive priority for awards by agreeing to participate in randomized research studies. One potential system would entail funding schools in pairs, where at random one school would receive a new program immediately and the other would receive it a year later, thereby creating conditions conducive to randomized controlled studies.

#####

HIGHWAY SAFETY PROGRAMS

The conference agreement provides the following funding levels for highway safety programs:

#####

NAS Tire Study 250,000

#####

NAS tire efficiency study.—The conferees direct NHTSA to provide an update to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations on the status of the NAS tire efficiency study by December 31, 2004, as proposed by the House.

#####

COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Appropriates $3,284,000 as proposed by the House and the Senate. The conference agreement also includes a transfer of $1,000,000 to the Office of Environmental Quality Management Fund, with which the conferees direct CEQ, in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies as appropriate, to contract with the National Academy of Sciences within 60 days of enactment to conduct a study of the environmental, including landscape/viewshed, impacts of wind energy projects in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands. This study is to conclude with appropriate recommendations, such as viewshed and other criteria, regarding the siting of wind turbines in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands and should be submitted to the Committees no later than December 2005.

#####

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

The joint explanatory statement of the managers herein reflects the agreement of the conferees on NASA programs and activities. The operative funding levels for programs and activities are those funding levels specified in this joint explanatory statement of the managers. Where no funding level is specified, NASA is directed to make a final determination of funding level for fiscal year 2005 and is required to notify the Congress under the established operating plan procedures of the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate. The conferees direct NASA not to charge any administrative expenses to congressionally directed spending on specific projects. These costs should be absorbed within the funding provided.

The conferees note that the House had requested a report from NASA documenting the reconciliation and correction of discrepancies between NASA’s fund balance and the U.S. Treasury’s reported balances as of September 30, 2003. NASA has not yet satisfied the reporting requirement specified in the House report, even though the report was due on September 30, 2004, over 45 days ago. NASA is directed to expeditiously complete the requested report and formally submit it to the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate. Included in the report should be an explanation of any outstanding discrepancies and potential remedies.

As part of the proposed exploration vision, NASA will begin to phase-out existing programs in order to accommodate the vision. These plans must be clearly identified in order for NASA to smoothly transition older programs to make way for missions associated with the vision. As part of this process, the conferees direct NASA to include in all future budget justifications the phase-out schedules and any out-year termination dates of its programs.

The conferees direct the National Academy’s Space Studies Board to conduct a thorough review of the science that NASA is proposing to undertake under the space exploration initiative and to develop a strategy by which all of NASA’s science disciplines, including Earth science, space science, and life and microgravity science, as well as the science conducted aboard the International Space Station, can make adequate progress towards their established goals, as well as providing balanced scientific research in addition to support of the new initiative. This study should be completed no later than March 15th, 2005.

The conferees have included substantial funding for the space exploration initiative, but to date there has been no substantive Congressional action endorsing the initiative. The conferees note that the initiative is a very long-term endeavor and will require tens of billions of dollars over the next two decades. As such, the initiative deserves and requires the deliberative benefit of the Congress. To this end, the conferees call upon the appropriate Committees of jurisdiction of the House and Senate for action to specifically endorse the initiative and provide authorization and guidance. NASA is directed to forward a comprehensive package of authorization legislation for consideration by the 109th Congress.

The conferees are concerned that the current implementation plans for the new vision do not properly address the requirements for the heavy lift capability that may be necessary to carry out the space exploration initiative. A complete review of such plans must be conducted prior to embarking fully upon the implementation of the initiative. In order to assess heavy lift capability needs, NASA shall report to the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate, no later than 180 days from the date of enactment of this Act, regarding NASA’s heavy lift capability needs and plans to meet those needs immediately and in the future. NASA is encouraged to look at concepts currently being developed in the Falcon program with DARPA that could have an impact on future heavy lift program development.

The conferees are concerned about the implications of full cost accounting procedures on the operation of NASA’s wind tunnels. Rates charged to U.S. airframe, engine and component manufacturers are significantly higher than facilities in Europe. The conferees are concerned that the impact of such high fees will drive U.S. companies and jobs overseas and result in the closing of NASA’s wind tunnels. Therefore, the conferees direct NASA to restructure the fees charged for use of the agency’s wind tunnels to make them competitive with rates charged overseas and report back to the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate by March 1, 2005 on their plan to restructure the fee system. Furthermore, the conferees prohibit NASA from closing any wind tunnels during fiscal year 2005.

The conferees agree with the direction in the Senate report that NASA is to include the out-year budget impacts on all operating plan proposals. The operating plan and all resubmissions also shall include a separate accounting of all program/mission reserves.

The conferees agree with the Senate direction that NASA shall provide appropriate funds for the completion of the current NAPA review of NASA’s organizational, programmatic, and personnel structures, including funds to review the recently announced NASA organization transformation and the recommendation contained in the Aldridge report for NASA to consider conversion of some NASA centers to Federally Funded Research and Development Centers.

The conferees are concerned that that sole source contracting can stifle competition and discourage new investment in space-related activities and should be avoided as much as practicable. The conferees direct NASA to submit to the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate, each intention by NASA to enter into a sole source contract no later than 10 days before a contract is awarded; this requirement shall apply to all new contracts and contract modifications of more than $500,000 where a new contractor is involved or a new activity is added to an existing contract.

The conferees agree that from within the funding provided, $291,000,000 is to be used for a servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. The conferees believe a successful servicing mission to Hubble should be one of NASA’s highest priorities and have provided a substantial increase in funding to accomplish this goal. The conferees direct NASA to report to the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate on the status of their plan to service Hubble and the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences within 90 days of enactment of this Act.

Finally, the conferees note that NASA has requested and the conferees have provided unrestrained transfer authority between the Exploration Capabilities account and the Science, Aeronautics, and Exploration account. The conferees have taken this action because NASA needs flexibility as it completes its transition to full cost accounting. While this transfer authority can be used for purposes other than addressing full cost accounting issues, NASA is cautioned to do so with restraint.

#####

RESEARCH AND RELATED ACTIVITIES

#####

The conferees do not object to the allocation of not to exceed $6,000,000 for continued planning and design for the National Ecological Observatory Network if the Director of the Foundation determines such funding is warranted. The conferees reiterate the language in the House report regarding the National Research Council’s recommendations regarding this project. The conferees concur that funding provided may be used for a new class of Science and Technology Centers if the Director of the Foundation determines such funding is warranted when measured against other priorities within the agreed upon total for this account.

######

************************************************************************************
SRpt 108-341 - To accompany S. 2804 - DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2005
Senate Appropriations
(9/14/04)
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#####

OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT

REGULATION AND TECHNOLOGY

Appropriations, 2004 $105,384,000

Budget estimate, 2005 108,905,000

Committee recommendation 109,905,000

The Committee recommends an appropriation of $109,905,000 for regulation and technology, which is $1,000,000 above the budget estimate. The Committee notes that, despite the significant amount of funding dedicated to coal research, the United States does not have an integrated and coordinated coal research and development approach for all stages of the coal life cycle. Most coal-related research funding is directed toward the use of coal in power generation, not in the mining and reclamation of coal or in its use in other promising, alternative applications. The Committee is concerned that no comprehensive review of coal has been undertaken in the recent past. Therefore, with the additional $1,000,000 provided above the request, the Committee directs the Office of Surface Mining to contract with the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences for a study of coal to include, among other things, a review of coal reserves, an assessment of the categories of coal research currently being carried out in the United States, and a review of how technologies are being transferred to coal mine operators and other users. The study should be completed within 2 years, with interim reports supplied to the Committee as appropriate. A comparison of the budget estimate and the Committee recommendation is as follows:

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**************************************************************************************SRpt 108-345 - To accompany S. 2810 - DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2005
Senate Appropriations
(9/15/04)
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OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY

GENERAL DEPARTMENTAL MANAGEMENT

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Public Health Training.—The Committee is aware that public health physicians play an important role in the Federal, State and local public health infrastructure and are critical for public health preparedness. However, currently there is not a generally agreed upon model for training physicians for public health careers. Therefore, the Committee has included $500,000 for a study by the Institute of Medicine to determine what knowledge and skills are needed by public health physicians; what type of training program would prepare physicians for public health careers; how many training programs are needed to maintain an adequate public health physician workforce; and how these training programs should be funded.

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HRpt 108-636 - To accompany H.R. 5006 - DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2005
House Appropriations
(9/7/04)
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HIGHER EDUCATION

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International education and foreign languages studies

Domestic programs

The bill provides $93,211,000 for the domestic activities of the international education and foreign languages studies programs, $4,000,000 above the fiscal year 2004 appropriation and the budget request. The program assists graduate and undergraduate foreign language and area studies programs and students at institutions of postsecondary education. Programs include national resource centers, foreign language and area studies fellowships, undergraduate international studies and foreign language programs, international research and studies projects, business and international education projects, international business education centers, language resource centers, American overseas research centers, and technological innovation and cooperation for foreign information access. In general, the Secretary has discretion to allocate funding among these various activities.

The Committee finds that globalization and the war on terrorism have increased America’s need for international experts as well as for citizens with foreign language skills and global understanding. The bill includes $1,500,000 of which $500,000 shall be derived from the one percent set aside for Title VI national activities, to support a contract with the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies, through its Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE), for an independent review of the Title VI international education and foreign language studies and section 102(b)(6) Fulbright-Hays programs.

The Committee requests that the NRC review the adequacy and effectiveness of Title VI and Fulbright-Hays in addressing their statutory missions and in building the nation’s international and foreign language expertise—particularly as needed for economic, foreign affairs and national security purposes. The study should include, but not be limited to, evaluating the performance of these programs in: (1) supporting research, education and training in foreign languages and international studies, including opportunities for such research, education and training overseas; (2) reducing shortages of foreign language and area experts; (3) infusing a foreign language and area studies dimension throughout the educational system and across relevant disciplines including professional education; (4) producing relevant instructional materials that meet accepted scholarly standards; (5) advancing uses of new technology in foreign language and international studies; (6) addressing business needs for international knowledge and foreign language skills; (7) increasing the numbers of underrepresented minorities in international service; and (8) conducting public outreach/dissemination to K-12 and higher education, media, government, business, and the general public. The study should convene experts and scholars widely accepted in the scholarly community with expertise in foreign language and international studies, including international business education. The study may commission the collection of new data and conduct appropriate, rigorous analyses of such data. The Committee requests that the NRC submit its final report to the Secretary of Education and the Congress not later than two years after date of enactment of this bill, with an interim report to be submitted after 15 months.

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