As Congressional leaders and President Biden restart the process of enacting a domestic agenda that can pass a divided Congress, focusing on our nation’s science and technology future — a set of critical investments and related policies that enjoy broad bipartisan support — is a good place to start. In fact, it could be an opportunity to use an old-fashioned, but effective legislative strategy: the bipartisan appropriations process. Without question, there’s no shortage of support for science and technology on both sides of the aisle but over the years, that support has failed to translate into a national priority. Until now.
As President Biden and Congressional leaders restart the process of enacting a domestic agenda that can pass a divided Congress, focusing on our nation’s science and technology future is a good place to start. We have drafted a white paper highlighting investments made in the infrastructure package, those that were under consideration in the reconciliation bill, and those proposed in the appropriations bill in key priority areas. Collectively, these bills can serve as a blueprint for expanding funding in science and technology and keeping the U.S. globally competitive in 2022 and beyond.
Re: “The Morning: Frustration over stalled bill” from December 9, 2021, David Leonhardt concludes, “America’s global rivals are no doubt cheered by the dysfunction.” We share Leonhardt’s concern that bipartisan legislation (the U.S. Innovation and Competition and NSF for the Future Acts) that would provide a sorely needed blueprint for U.S. global competitiveness in science and technology investment remains unfinished. In addition, proposed increases in annual funding for science and technology have been postponed for consideration until next year, which freezes federal investments in place just when we need progress more than ever. And the sweeping Build Back Better legislation, which also includes new programs that would strengthen the U.S. science enterprise, remains mired in debate.
President Biden proposed a much-needed booster shot for American science and technology in his 2022 budget. But to fuel a true American restoration, we must wholeheartedly embrace science and technology research and development, coordination, and education. Additionally, the nation’s competitiveness with rising international science and tech powers requires a bold plan for sustained growth in investment over the long term. The Biden administration should set a target of at least doubling science and technology investment of GDP by 2026.
In November 2020, STAC released the Science & Technology Action Plan (STAP), with recommendations centered on three overarching themes – Leadership, Coordination, and Investment – and focused on confronting threats within four broad categories: Public Health and Healthcare, Environment and Climate Change, Food and Water Security, and Energy Production, Utilization, and Storage. In January of 2021, STAC launched the implementation of the Action Plan and is making great strides.
Sudip Parikh, co-chair of the Science and Technology Action Committee, released the following statement applauding the House’s passage of the National Science Foundation for the Future Act, H.R. 2225, on behalf of the Committee.
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee markup of H.R. 2225, National Science Foundation for the Future Act, is another encouraging sign that Congress is focused on and committed to bolstering our nation’s science and technology capacity. A strategic investment in S&T and STEM education, the NSF for the Future Act, if funded, would boost our nation’s capacity to combat existing and emerging societal threats and strengthen our competitiveness in the global economic arena.
The Science and Technology Action Committee today released the following statement applauding the Senate’s passage of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act and encouraging swift passage by the House. The Committee also calls for increased funding for the Office of Science and Technology Policy to coordinate and fund essential cross-agency partnerships.
Science Committee Applauds Lander’s Confirmation as Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
Yesterday was a historic day for science and technology in the United States. We heartily applaud the confirmation of Dr. Eric Lander as the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and member of the President’s Cabinet. We are also thankful for the President's bold funding for science and technology focused agencies and departments.
The Science & Technology Action Committee's letter to the editor calls for greater funding for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). This funding is critical for OSTP to have a substantive role in coordinating the cross-agency projects needed to deliver science and technology solutions to some of society’s greatest challenges.