Last week, the full House of Representatives passed the National Science Foundation for the Future Act (H.R. 2225) and the DOE Science for the Future Act (H.R. 3593). Both bills passed by wide, bipartisan margins; the NSF bill passed on a 345-67 vote, while the DOE SC bill passed by 351-68. The bills now head into a conference process with the Senate’s United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021.
CRA Government Affairs
Posts categorized under: Policy
Last week, the full House Science, Space, and Technology Committee considered their NSF for the Future Act (H.R. 2225) and the recently introduced DOE Science for the Future Act (H.R. 3593). In another departure from their counterparts in the Senate, the committee marked-up both bills in a bipartisan environment with each amendment being approved on unanimous voice-votes. Both pieces of legislation were likewise approved on a bipartisan basis, with no votes in opposition.
Last night, the Senate passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), which includes the Endless Frontier Act.
On Friday, President Joe Biden released his $6 trillion, detailed request for the FY 2022 Federal Budget, including a 9 percent increase for Federal investments in research and development across the government. This strong commitment to R&D in a budget request is a marked departure over the budget requests for science in the previous administration.
The Computing Research Association applauds the bipartisan effort to increase dramatically investments in American science and technology research at the National Science Foundation through the introduction of the National Science Foundation for the Future Act (H.R. 2225).
Yesterday, Senator Schumer (D-NY), the Senate Majority Leader, along with Senator Young (R-IN) and a bipartisan group of 10 other Senators, reintroduced the Endless Frontier Act (EFA), legislation that would authorize $100 billion in new funding for the National Science Foundation and make the agency responsible for maintaining the country’s global leadership in innovation. There is also a bipartisan version introduced in the House. Regular readers will recall that this bill was introduced last year and its reintroduction has been anticipated.
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.
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.