The Week of September 14, 2020

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Space Weather Preparedness Bill Approaches Finish Line 
The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill the Senate passed in July delineating federal agency responsibilities for research, forecasting, and preparedness activities related to space weather. The Senate passed a similar bill two years ago, but it stalled when the House advanced a substantially different version. The chambers reached a compromise this year, which included the addition of a House-backed provision authorizing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to create a pilot program for obtaining space weather data from private companies. Congress has previously directed NOAA to create such a pilot program for terrestrial weather data and the agency is now planning to purchase commercial radio occultation data to incorporate into its operational weather forecasts.
House Also Voting on Rural STEM and COVID Racism Measures
Other bills up for a House vote this week include the bipartisan Rural STEM Education Act, which would direct the National Science Foundation to support research on ways to improve STEM instruction in rural schools, and a resolution that denounces anti-Asian sentiment connected to COVID-19. The resolution condemns behavior such as use of the phrase “Chinese Virus” and calls on federal law enforcement officials to …

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