On May 19, the House again rejected the America COMPETES Act, legislation that would reauthorize the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. While the vote was 261 to 148 in favor of the bill, Democrats failed to gain the two-thirds majority required.
The failure marked the second time in a week that efforts to pass the bill by U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., and the Democratic leadership were derailed. On May 13, Gordon withdrew the bill from the House floor after opponents attached an amendment significantly cutting recommended funding levels.
In hopes of garnering Republican support, Gordon made two changes to the bill. But, reducing the number of years of authorized funding to three from five and banning salary payments to federal employees who had been disciplined for viewing pornography at work failed to garner sufficient support.
“I’m disappointed but not deterred,” Gordon said in a news release afterward. However, it is unclear when the bill will be introduced again.