Chairwoman Johnson Opening Statement for Full Committee Markup of Five Innovation Bills
Good morning, and welcome to today’s markup of 5 excellent bipartisan bills. All of these bills will help to ensure that our Nation remains a leader in innovation. Importantly, these bills also help to ensure that the whole Nation participates in that innovation economy, and that the whole Nation reaps the economic fruits of that participation.
The first bill we will take up today is Representatives Stevens’ and Waltz’s National Institute of Standards and Technology for the Future Act. I am proud to cosponsor this bill, and I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their thoughtful engagement and enthusiastic support for this critical agency. 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 at a time when many of its buildings are in poor to critical condition. 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.
The next bill that we will consider is H.R. 3858, the National Science and Technology Strategy Act of 2021. I want to thank Representatives Waltz and Ross for their work on this legislation. This bill directs the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, or OSTP, to undertake a comprehensive review of the Nation’s innovation landscape. The bill also directs OSTP to use this analysis to develop a national science and technology strategy.
The next bill that we will be considering is H.R. 4588, the Regional Innovation Act of 2021. I want to thank my colleagues, Representatives Wild and Baird, for their important work on this legislation. Over the last few decades, much of the science and technology funding and capacity in this country has been concentrated in a few cities and regions. This bill would establish programs at both the Commerce and Energy Departments to address this imbalance. It will create more shared prosperity from our federal R&D dollars by creating regional technology and innovation hubs across the country.
Next we will consider H.R. 4606, the Energizing Technology Transfer Act. This bill is an updated version of a bipartisan bill that I and Representative Fleischmann introduced last year. It authorizes programs and funding to support Department of Energy technology transfer activities. These activities are critical to bringing the fruits of our public investments in clean energy research, development, and demonstration projects into the hands of America’s communities. The bill also includes provisions to support the next generation of inventors and entrepreneurs, and I want to thank Congresswoman Ross and Congressman Meijer for leading this important piece of legislation.
The last bill on the roster today is the Steel Upgrading Partnerships and Emissions Reduction Act which is sponsored by Representative Gonzalez and Representative Lamb. This bill authorizes a program at the Department of Energy to advance technologies that will help reduce emissions from the steel manufacturing sector. Allowing American steel manufacturers access to advanced and innovative technologies will ensure that the domestic steel manufacturing industry will remain competitive through the 21st Century.
I look forward to a productive markup today.
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