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).
CRA Government Affairs
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: nsf
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.
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.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021; the $1.9 trillion bill that is meant to provide additional relief to the country to address the impacts of the ongoing COVID pandemic. As the Senate approved the measure on Saturday, the bill now heads to President Biden for signing into law.
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.
In a piece written by Jeffrey Mervis at Science, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are expected to receive emergency funding as part of the COVID relief bill that is moving through Congress. Specifically, NSF would receive $650 million and NIST $150 million in a one-time budget allocations from the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Both agencies would be required to use the funds to help the nation, and specifically the science research community, recover from the impacts of the pandemic, as per the terms of the overall relief package. According to Mervis, the money for NSF is, “likely to be spent on more research on pandemic-related topics, as well as more support for educating the next generation of scientists and engineers,” while, “the funds for NIST…are expected to bolster its network of manufacturing research institutes.” While a far cry from the $26 billion that the higher education community is seeking in emergency relief, this money will be much needed help for the country’s research community. We’ll be watching the relief package as it makes its way through Congress; the expectation is that the bill will come up for a final vote some time in early-to-mid March. Please keep checking back for updates.
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 […]
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.