Ensuring Leadership in Science and Technology
?Global competition in science and technology has emerged as an urgent bipartisan priority – and we are prepared to meet the challenge of our global competitors.
The Committee invests significant time and effort in understanding cutting edge technologies that will drive innovation and economic growth while protecting our Nation’s intellectual property and security.
The future of science and innovation is in cross-cutting, state of the art research conducted by our federal laboratories, federal scientists, and colleges and universities. Together, we will not only lead the world in innovation, we will also lead the world in solutions to today’s most pressing societal challenges.
- Passed the America COMPETES Act in the House. On February 4, the House pass the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength Act of 2022. The America COMPETES Act makes historic investments to surge production of American-made semiconductors, tackles supply chain vulnerabilities to make more foods in America, bolsters America's scientific research and technological leadership, and strengthens America's economic and national security at home and abroad. The America COMPETES Act of 2022 includes transformative, bipartisan legislation from the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
- Passed bipartisan legislation to fund American Science and Innovation at National Science Foundation (NSF). The United States has long been a beacon of excellence in science and engineering. As global competition in research and development increases, we must continue to lead and chart a course of growth. H.R. 2225, the National Science Foundation for the Future Act, passed the House on June 28, 2021 by a vote of 345-67. This legislation will set NSF on a path for significant and sustainable growth. The bill addresses challenges at all levels of STEM education and training; supports activities and partnerships to broaden participation in NSF-funded projects; establishes a new directorate to accelerate progress on emerging technologies and advance research-driven solutions to societal challenges like climate change and inequality.
- Passed bipartisan legislation fully authorize the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. H.R. 3593, the Department of Energy Science for the Future Act, passed by the House on June 28, 2021 by a vote of 351-68, authorizes significant, steady, and sustainable growth for the DOE Office of Science’s wide-ranging research. The DOE Office of Science is the nation's largest supporter of research in the physical sciences, and it is the lead federal agency supporting scientific research for energy applications.
- Introduced legislation to fund American Science and Innovation at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. H.R. 4609, the NIST for the Future Act, is a comprehensive 5-year reauthorization for the agency. These accounts fund important measurement and technology research, as well as NIST’s extramural manufacturing programs. The bill would also support NIST’s infrastructure needs. In total, the legislation authorizes $7.9 billion over 5 years, allowing for growth that is both ambitious and sustainable. These investments are necessary to support a critical federal agency charged with helping to advance U.S. competitiveness and innovation. On July 27, 2021 the Committee held a full Committee Markup of H.R. 4609, the National Institute of Standards and Technology for the Future Act of 2021. It passed the House as part of the America COMPETES Act.
- Held a hearing on strengthening the United States microelectronics workforce. Advanced microelectronics are a primary driver of economic growth and scientific advancement. On February 15, 2022, the Subcommittee on Research and Technology held a hearing to understand the critical workforce needs of the U.S. microelectronic manufacturing sectors as part of the ongoing investments in increasing domestic production. Members examined current semiconductor workforce and training pipelines; explored gaps between current and future workforce needs; and discussed strategies to expand and diversify the microelectronics workforce. Science Committee Member Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) is the sponsor of the Microelectronics Research for Energy Innovation Act. This bill, included in the America COMPETES Act which passed the House on February 4, 2022, would authorize a crosscutting initiative aimed at leveraging DOE capabilities, including its National Laboratory complex and its partners in industry and academia, to tackle foundational challenges in the scientific areas relevant to microelectronics and to support workforce development related to microelectronics.
- Held a hearing to provide a status update and review of NASA’s Artemis Initiative. NASA’s Artemis initiative encompasses the programs and projects that relate to human exploration to destinations beyond low Earth orbit (LEO), primarily focused on the return of astronauts to the surface of the Moon in preparation for the future human exploration of Mars. On March 1, 2022 the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics held a hearing to examine the status of plans and progress on the NASA’s Artemis initiative; to review challenges related to the implementation of those activities; and to understand the factors that contribute to overall success in the nation’s Moon to Mars efforts, among other issues.
- Held a hearing on Brain Drain and impact it has on our federal workforce. Career scientists in the Federal Government are instrumental in shaping America’s scientific priorities, funding cutting-edge research, and ensuring that policies are crafted on the basis of the best available science. Unfortunately, in recent years, due to political and budgetary pressures, the federal scientific workforce has struggled. Too many career scientists have decided to leave. On March 17, 2021 the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight held a hearing to assess recent widespread departures of career scientists from the Federal Government. The Subcommittee examined the cause and extent of the employment decline within the federal scientific workforce, as well as the implications of a smaller scientific workforce for science-based agencies. The Subcommittee also discussed potential policies to rebuild federal scientific capacity. Submitted to the record during the hearing was a Staff report prepared by the majority: Scientific Brain Drain: Quantifying the Decline of the Federal Scientific Workforce
- Passed bipartisan legislation to support diversity and equality in STEM. On May 18, 2021, the House passed H.R. 210, the Rural STEM Education Research Act; H.R. 144, the Supporting Early-Career Researchers Act; H.R. 204, the STEM Opportunities Act; H.R. 2027, the MSI STEM Achievement Act; and H.R. 2695, the Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act. Each of the bills will help make significant advancements to improve and strengthen the U.S. STEM pipeline.