May 11, 2018
Capitol Update

In this issue:


The third annual MForesight National Summit will take place in Washington, DC on Wednesday, June 13. The summit will focus on the challenges that the American manufacturing industry faces as well as potential solutions.

MForesight has spent much of 2018 on the road connecting with key manufacturing players through a series of roundtables on the next steps to restoring and rebuilding American manufacturing. The findings of these “Grand Challenges in Manufacturing” roundtables will be presented and discussed at the summit. In addition, this year’s event features a line-up of speakers and interactive panels that will give audience members a chance to provide their perspectives on pressing issues such as strategies for creating and sustaining manufacturing jobs, preserving our innovation edge, national security, and maintaining global manufacturing leadership.

For more information on the event and to register, click here:

In the lead-up to the MForesight National Summit, on May 24th the House Manufacturing Caucus will host a briefing on “Manufacturing Prosperity: A Comprehensive, Long-Term Strategy for Global Leadership” and discuss the findings of MForesight’s new report. The event will feature thought leaders and industry experts on manufacturing policy as they discuss ways to strengthen the American manufacturing industry. Industry experts will share their suggestions on how to revitalize and build the manufacturing sector and discuss their thoughts on how to move forward. The event will take place in the United States Capitol Visitor Center from 2:30-4:30pm in the Congressional Meeting Room North.

Further information about the event can be found here:


NASA’s new four year strategic plan has set the moon in its sights once more. In response to the Trump Administration’s emphasis on space exploration activities, NASA plans to merge the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) with the advanced technology work in the Advanced Exploration Systems program to create a new Exploration Research and Technology organization. Further changes are still being contemplated and will be announced later this year.

In rolling out the plan along with the agency’s budget earlier this year, NASA’s Acting Administrator, Robert M. Lightfoot, Jr., laid out a series of long-term space exploration objectives, including the Moon and eventually Mars, and emphasized NASA’s partnership with the private sector as critical to achieve national goals. Lightfoot explained, “We are looking to secure the Nation’s long-term presence in low Earth orbit by partnering with industry to develop commercial orbital platforms and capabilities that the private sector and NASA can use after the cessation of direct U.S. Federal funding for ISS in 2025. NASA intends to shift its human spaceflight program out to the Moon and cis-lunar region, evaluating new habitat technologies, surface transportation systems, fuel generation, and storage solutions, as well as additional technologies that need to be developed prior to traveling to the surface of the Moon and deeper into space. In every domain, we intend to renew and strengthen our commitment to American commercial space companies, which are critical partners in the human exploration of the Moon, Mars, and beyond.”

To view the full repot, click here:


The Trump Administration recently submitted its proposed spending cuts to Congress, firmly setting its sights on the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program. The administration proposes eliminating the remaining $4.3 billion in unused funding from the $25 billion Obama-era initiative. The rationale behind these cuts is that the program has not made any loans since 2011, and only five total within the last decade.

The ATVM program was created in 2009, and has been credited with helping give Tesla a helping hand. Former VP for Regulatory Affairs at Tesla James Chen explained, “With the credit market completely locked up, there was no place to get support. The ATVM loan program was a really good place for us [Tesla].” In January 2010, Tesla received a ten-year $465 million loan to build its Model S, which hit the streets in 2012.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy supported these proposed cuts, stating in an op-ed in the Washington Examiner that “cutting wasteful spending should not be a partisan exercise.” However, not all are in favor of the proposed spending cuts, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) saying in a statement, “ [the proposal will] appease the most conservative special interests and [make the GOP] feel better about blowing up the deficit to give the wealthiest few and biggest corporations huge tax breaks.”

For more information on President Trump’s rescission package, visit:


The Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced up to $30 million in funding for selected projects under a new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program. The Duration Addition to electricitY Storage (DAYS) program is soliciting projects that will allow for long-term electric grid energy storage, using innovative new technologies. Selected projects will develop energy storage systems that use energy at a more economical rate than current systems, and can function in a universal location.

In a press release, DOE Secretary of Energy Rick Perry explained, “Building the grid of tomorrow will require new tools and technologies to ensure Americans have access to affordable and secure energy. At DOE, we are peering over the energy horizon and identifying the key technologies we need to support the power system of the future. These new storage options will offer us the opportunity to make the grid more resilient while enabling greater integration of our domestic energy resources.”

For more information on the DAYS program, visit:


The Task Force on American Innovation (TFAI) recently held a roundtable on Capitol Hill to discuss “Why business cares about federally funded R&D.” The event was co-hosted by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI), and included Senate staff and industry leaders. Participants discussed the importance of federal funding for research and development (R&D) to the business community, with specific attention paid to the importance of federal investment in basic research and the cultivation of the next generation of workers and entrepreneurs. The participants discussed domestic and global approaches to R&D, asking what the U.S. can do to stay competitive with other nations and to make sure the research innovations happening at our labs and universities are converted to U.S. jobs and companies. Industry participants also made note of the quickened time-to-market and commented on the role of regulations in the process.

For more information on TFAI, click here:

To listen to Sen. Peters discuss the importance of research on economic growth, innovation, and national security, click here:

The articles contained in Capitol Update are not positions of ASME or any of its sub-entities, unless specifically noted as such. This publication is designed to inform ASME members about issues of concern being debated and discussed in the halls of congress, in the states and in the federal agencies.

ASME Government Relations
1828 L Street, NW, Suite 810
Washington, DC 20036

Paul Fakes is the Regulatory and Government Relations Manager, Technology Policy. He covers Standards and Energy and Environment.

Samantha Fijacko is the Senior Government Relations Representative. She covers Advanced Manufacturing, Robotics and R&D.

Anne Nadler is the Government Relations Representative. She covers Bioengineering, STEM Education and R&D.