Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today passed two bipartisan Science, Space, and Technology Committee bills: the American Super Computing Leadership Act of 2014 (H.R. 2495), introduced by Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) and the Tsunami Warning, Education, and Research Act (H.R. 5309), introduced by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Susan Bonamici (D-Ore.). Both bills passed the House by voice vote.

The Tsunami Warning, Education, and Research Act reauthorizes an important program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and sharpens its focus on tsunami detection, forecasts and warnings. Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) was an original cosponsor of H.R. 5309.

Chairman Smith: “The recent absence of tsunami disasters here in the U.S. does not mean we should stand by as spectators.  The threat is very real.  The tsunami resulting from the 2011 earthquake in Japan caused massive destruction and is a vivid reminder of the need for enhanced early warning capabilities. This bill strengthens scientific research on these phenomena, fosters outreach programs, and advances technological forecasts to better understand and respond to disasters when they occur.”

The American Super Computing Leadership Act requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a plan to bring the United States into the next generation of super computing, also known as exascale computing. The Advanced Scientific Computing Research program at DOE is the primary federal research and development program for these computing technology breakthroughs. High performance computing has enabled researchers to push beyond our previously understood scientific boundaries. 

Rep. Hultgren: “Exascale computing, exceeding the existing generation of super computing power by 10,000 percent, represents an exciting new world of science and American leadership. Unfortunately, America is falling behind as China boasts the world’s fastest computer and is not slowing down. Massive gains in computing power are necessary to meet our national security, scientific, and health care needs. Testing our nuclear stockpile as it ages will require more and more advanced computer simulations. Advanced modeling of the human brain gives scientists a better understanding of what causes Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease, and what can treat it. Faster computing power speeds up drug development to get cures for our nation’s top killers to the marketplace faster so Americans receive better health outcomes.”