This week, in four different Congressional hearings, members of Congress got their first chance to weigh in on the multiple proposed changes to the National Science Foundation. Two of these hearings were with Congressional appropriators and concerned President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 “skinny” budget request that was released last week. The other two hearings were with the science authorizing committees – the House Science, Space and Technology Committee convened Thursday to consider “Reimagining our Innovation Future,” including some discussion of their newly introduced National Science Foundation for the Future Act, and the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee covered the yet to be reintroduced Endless Frontier Act from Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Young (R-IN). The good news is the initial reactions were mostly positive. However, there are concerns by some members about NSF’s ability to handle a large infusion of funds and whether it’s the right agency to secure the country’s competitiveness.
CRA Government Affairs
Posts categorized under: Information Technology R&D Highlights
Earlier today the Biden Administration released a high-level overview of their discretionary budget request for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22). Nicknamed a “skinny budget,” due to the fact that it only contains topline numbers for key departments and agencies and does not have many details on specific program requests, it does provide a look into the priorities of the new Administration. And from what we see in this request, research agencies across the federal government will do quite well under the Biden Administration’s plan.
Late last month, the Chairwoman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), joined by the Committee’s Ranking Member, Frank Lucas (R-OK), as well as the Research and Technology Subcommittee Chairwoman and Ranking Member, Haley Stevens (D-MI) and Michael Waltz (R-FL), introduced the H.R. 2225, “The National Science Foundation for the Future Act.” This legislation, which is a reauthorization of the agency, lays out their vision of the Foundation’s future, and it’s fairly audacious.
Last Wednesday, President Biden unveiled the first details of his administration’s infrastructure investment plan. Named “the American Jobs Plan,” it is a proposal to invest $2 trillion over a decade in American infrastructure, “that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China.” In a show of trust in the country’s research community, investments in scientific research and infrastructure are featured in the plan.
The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, a congressionally-chartered committee charged with reviewing AI and related technologies and making recommendations to address U.S. national security and defense needs, today released its final report, endorsing significant new investments in AI research, strategies for building the AI workforce, and guidance for using AI in warfare while upholding U.S. democratic values.
The “Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act” was reintroduced in both the House and Senate. The RISE Act authorizes nearly $25 billion in relief for research workforce and institutions at American institutes of higher education.
UPDATE (12/28/20): After threatening a veto, and risking a government shutdown, Trump signed the budget into law Sunday night. Fiscal Year 2021 is complete. Original Post: When last we left the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget process, we were waiting for Congress to get the final bill across the finish line. It took them two […]