Lawmakers moved on a host of bills this week centered around educational technology, including legislation aimed at restoring student privacy, bolstering the nation’s cybersecurity workforce, funding school security and better understanding participation in science and technology-related subjects among underrepresented groups.
A key House panel has rejected the Trump administration’s plan to create Space Force, a sixth branch of the U.S. military focused on orbital operations. The proposal “leaves many unanswered questions and lacks important details and supporting analysis to justify the proposed size, scope, cost, roles, and authorities for the new military service,” members of the Democrat-led House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee said in their report on the 2020 budget proposal.
With thousands of U.S. technology positions remaining unfilled every day, the need to grow a larger, more inclusive STEM workforce is clear. The challenge? How to proceed. We can help close the innovation workforce gap if we expand our investments in three key areas -- collaboration, inclusion and innovative educational policies -- including reauthorizing the Higher Education Act.
President Trump and lawmakers are looking to begin a massive trillion-dollar overhaul of the nation’s infrastructure, but costs are top of mind as financing becomes a key source of debate. Democratic leaders said last week they reached an agreement with Trump for a $2 trillion infrastructure initiative. They are expected to meet again in the coming weeks to discuss funding options.
Bipartisanship is a rare but critical commodity in Washington these days. So, it’s all the more laudable that a recently introduced Senate bill will promote U.S. production of minerals and materials critical to clean energy and electric vehicle value chains. The Minerals Security Act is an important first step in recognizing -- and responding to -- the fact that China is outcompeting the U.S in the transition to new energy technologies and vehicles.
The Senate Small Business Committee held a hearing yesterday on “Reauthorization of the SBA’s Innovation Programs,” which had a heavy emphasis on SBIR/STTR.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a report Wednesday calling on American businesses and policymakers to invest more in domestic capital in the United States and less on short-term financial profit for lasting economic growth and prosperity.
Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley pushed legislation Tuesday that would make it more difficult for American tech companies to export their technology to China. Hawley’s bill, which has few details. would require President Donald Trump to restrict any technology to China that would contribute to the communist country’s military. The Republican’s legislature would also place heavy restrictions on technology that influences artificial intelligence, semiconductors, and robots. It also would restrict any kind of tech that China might use to violate human rights.
NASA revealed Monday that it needs an additional $1.6 billion in funding for fiscal year 2020 to stay on track for a human return to the Moon by 2024. The space agency's budget amendment comes in addition to the $21 billion the Trump administration asked Congress for in March. In a teleconference with reporters on Monday evening, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the budget amendment was a "down payment" on what will be needed in future years to fund the program.