Computing Research Policy Blog

The Computing Research Association (or CRA) has been involved in shaping public policy of relevance to computing research for more than two decades. More recently the CRA Government Affairs program has enhanced its efforts to help the members of the computing research community contribute to the public debate knowledgeably and effectively.

Tag Archive: DOE

National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act Inches Closer to Passage

Last week the long awaited conferenced National Defense Authorization Act (or NDAA; the defense policy bill) was publicly released. Regular readers will recall that earlier in the year that the House Science Committee’s National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act (HR 6216) was included in the House version of the NDAA. At that time, there was no equivalent in the Senate NDAA and it was unclear if it would survive the conference negotiations. Fortunately, the AI Initiative Act was included in the conference agreement released last week.

FY21 Update: Senate Releases Numbers in Preparation for Budget Endgame in December

When last we left the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget process, we were worried about a potentially stalled continuing resolution at the end of September. Luckily, no one wanted to shut down the government just before the November Election; a CR was passed and signed into law. The CR created a new deadline to get a permanent budget into place, which is December 11th. Now with the election behind us, and hoping to jumpstart the process, yesterday the Senate Appropriations Committee released its slate of appropriations bills. Let’s get into the details.

Update from CCC: NSF Advances Artificial Intelligence Research with New Nationwide Institutes

In case you missed it — the CCC Blog has coverage of National Science Foundation’s recently announcement “establishing new artificial intelligence institutes to accelerate research, expand America’s workforce, and transform society in the decades to come.” This move is in line with one of the recommendations in the CCC-led AI roadmap report, A 20-Year Community Roadmap for AI Research in the US. This is great news; and, when combined with the efforts in Congress to bolster AI research — including adding the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act of 2020 to the House National Defense Authorization Act, which is a piece of “must pass” legislation — signals that AI research is likely to stay a hot-topic in Washington for some time. Keep checking back for more updates.

FY21 Appropriations Update: House Numbers for the Dept of Energy are Better than the Administration’s but are Not Great

Continuing our review of the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) federal budget, we turn to the House Appropriations Committee’s Energy and Water bill. This bill contains the budgets for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE SC) and ARPA-E, as well as funding for the Exascale Computing R&D program, for which DOE is the lead federal agency. While the House’s numbers are significantly better than the 17% cut that the Administration requested in February, they represent a fairly small increase over last year’s budget. Let’s get into the details.

House SS&T Committee Introduces Bipartisan AI Research Bill to Significantly Increase Research Authorizations

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) yesterday introduced long-awaited legislation aimed at solidifying the U.S. leadership role in artificial intelligence research, education, and workforce development.

Final FY20 Appropriations: Mostly Increases for Research but There is Some Bad News

Just in time for the calendar year 2020, and almost three months after the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) began, Congress is finally finishing up its work on the Federal budget with two Minibuses of all the appropriations legislation. For the research community, it’s mostly good news but there are a few clouds in the sky: the National Science Foundation will see very modest increases under the bill, and the defense research accounts are essentially flat-funded.

Appropriations Update: House FY20 Energy & Water Bill is out and there are Reasons for Optimism

In June, the House of Representatives passed their version of the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) Energy and Water appropriations bill, including increases for some key computing programs at Department of Energy. This bill contains the budgets for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE SC) and ARPA-E, as well as funding for the Exascale Computing R&D program, for which DOE is the lead federal agency. While the increases are probably positive news for the computing research community, uncertainty about overall Federal spending levels likely puts these specific appropriations levels in doubt. Nevertheless, the bills at least send a signal about the areas House Democrats see as priorities for the Federal government in FY20.