The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, on July 22, favorably reported S. 3605, the Senate version of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, sending it on the the full Senate for debate.
The text of the bill as reported is not yet available from THOMAS, however the text of the bill as introduced by Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia on July 15, 2010, does show differences from H.R. 5116, the version passed in the House. The Senate version contains no provisions concerning the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) or any other nanotechnology related provisions. It is possible that during debate, the bill may be amended to include provisions for NNI. It is also possible that, during debate, the language of H.R. 5116 may be substituted for the language of S. 3605, in the form of an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The Senate may also substitute the language of S. 3605 for that of H.R. 5116 and pass an amended version of H.R. 5116. Should that happen, the bill would be sent back to the House for its concurrence to the Senate amendment. Should the House vote not to concur, a conference committee would be established to produce a version that both the House and Senate could agree on.
Time is a factor in the passage of the bills. Congress will soon adjourn for the August recess and is expected to remain adjourned until after the November elections.
As with other House and Senate bills affecting nanotechnology, we will monitor and report the progress of S. 3605.