AAU joined 34 other leading science, engineering, and higher education organizations in sending a letter asking Congress to reach a final agreement by the end of July on the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260) and the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength Act (H.R. 4521). A sensible, bipartisan “final agreement coupled with supplemental funding would bolster U.S. competitiveness, address supply chain issues, and enhance U.S. security,” the letter notes.
The letter points out the various similarities between the science and technology portions of the two bills and urges Congress to use them as a basis for a final agreement. For example, both bills authorize the creation of a new directorate at the National Science Foundation and an increase in NSF funding overall. Both bills also authorize the creation of regional tech hubs and an initiative to advance innovation in biology research and development; they also expand opportunities for students and institutions involved in STEM research and education.
The letter emphasizes that Congress should include funding to make the “creative, focused approaches in the legislation” a reality. It urges Congress to add “$10 billion in supplemental appropriations” for NSF, the Department of Energy, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology as part of the final agreement as well as “$52 billion in appropriations for the domestic semiconductor manufacturing industry.” Swift action from Congress now will enable the United States to maintain its leadership in science and technology for years to come, the letter says.