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House Clears Smith-Gardner American Innovation and Competitiveness Bill for Enactment

Dec 16, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON -  House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today applauds passage of the American Innovation and Competiveness Act (S. 3084). The Senate approved this legislation last week. Today’s House action will send the bill to the president’s desk for his signature.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act is the result of a four-year effort to strengthen and reform the agencies and programs that administer taxpayer-supported basic research. This bill maximizes the nation’s investment in basic research, and helps boost U.S. competitiveness, creates jobs and spurs new business and industries. It improves accountability and transparency, reduces administrative burden on researchers, enhances agency oversight, which improves research coordination, and reforms federal science agency programs to increase the impact of taxpayer-funded research.

“I thank Sens. John Thune and Cory Gardner for their leadership and persistence in getting us to the point of passage. I would also like to thank House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy for his tireless effort in helping to shepherd this ‘Innovation Initiative’ bill across the finish line. I look forward to seeing this bill signed by the president and enacted into law for the betterment of our country.”

Background:

This bill represents a bicameral, bipartisan agreement between legislation that recently passed the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and nine House Science Committee bills that passed the full House over the last two years, including H.R. 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015

The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act maximizes basic research by improving transparency and accountability, reducing administrative burdens for researchers, and reforming federal science agencies to increase the impact of taxpayer-funded research.

This legislation incorporates Chairman Smith’s national interest criterion as part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) merit review process, which ensures transparency and accountability by requiring a non-technical justification of all federal funded research projects. S. 3084 also reforms NSF major research facility construction to prevent future nine-figure cost overruns and prohibit use of taxpayer funds for liquor, lobbyists and foreign travel.

In addition, this legislation strengthens cybersecurity research and IT coordination at all federal agencies, and imposes new penalties for research falsification. The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act authorizes and encourages private-public science prizes to solve important science and technology problems. It also encourages broader participation in STEM studies and careers.

This legislation incorporates House-passed provisions from the following bills:

  • H.R. 1806, America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 introduced by Chairman Lamar Smith
  • H.R. 1119, Research and Development Efficiency Act introduced by Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.)
  • H.R. 1156, International Science and Technology Cooperation Act introduced by Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.)
  • H.R. 1162, Science Prize Competition Act introduced by Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.)
  • H.R. 1764, United States Chief Technology Officer Act introduced by Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.)
  • H.R. 1924, Hispanic Opportunity Program in Education and Science Act introduced by Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY)
  • H.R. 3293, Scientific Research in the National Interest Act introduced by Chairman Lamar Smith
  • H.R. 5049, NSF Major Facility Research Reform Act introduced by Rep. Barry Loudermilk
  • H.R. 5312, Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Modernization Act of 2016 introduced by Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.)
  • H.R. 5636, National Institute of Standards and Technology Campus Security Act introduced by Rep. Barry Loudermilk
  • H.R. 5639, National Institute of Standards and Technology Improvement Act introduced by Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.)

For a general summary of each title of S. 3084, click here.

114th Congress