House of Representatives Advances Manufacturing and STEM Legislation Ahead of August Recess

Jul 31, 2019

by ASME.org

Ahead of the upcoming August recess, the House of Representatives has been busy voting on a myriad of legislation pertaining to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), advanced manufacturing, and energy research and development (R&D).

On the STEM front, the Building Blocks of STEM Act, which directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support STEM education research focused on early childhood (under the age of 11), passed by a voice vote in the House. The partner bill in the Senate has already been approved by the Senate Commerce Committee. This legislation orders the NSF to be mindful of the age groups for which it provides STEM education programs and requests that it work to improve the STEM programming it provides for early childhood education.

The House’s American Manufacturing Leadership Act, which seeks to “amend the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Act to make changes to the implementation of the network for manufacturing innovation, and for other purposes,” also recently passed by voice vote. This legislation focuses on the Manufacturing USA advanced manufacturing institutes program, which falls under the purview of NIST.

Among the provisions, the bill highlights the key role the program has played in advancing the state of U.S. manufacturing, and recommends that NIST receive $25 million per year for fiscal years (FY) 2020-2024 to maintain support for the program. The bill also recommends that the Department of Energy (DOE) receive $70 million a year for FY20-21, and $84 million for FY22-23. The Senate has a partner bill, the Global Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing Act, which was introduced to the Senate back in May.

The House also recently passed the Energy and Water Research Integration Act. The bill was introduced at the beginning of this Congress and seeks “To ensure consideration of water intensity in the Department of Energy’s energy research, development, and demonstration programs to help guarantee efficient, reliable, and sustainable delivery of energy and clean water resources.”

Among the provisions, the bill orders DOE to develop a strategic plan that identifies pertinent R&D opportunities, as well as establishes a clear set of technical milestones to achieve.  The bill also directs DOE to create an interagency advisory committee that will “promote and enable improved energy and water resource data collection, reporting, and technological innovation,” and tasks this committee with conducting annual workshops with non-federal experts and to report these findings and other activities in a biennial report.

To view the House Building Blocks of STEM Act in full, click here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/737

To view the Senate Building Blocks of STEM Act in full, click here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/737/text

To view the American Manufacturing Leadership Act in full, click here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2397/text

To view the Global Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing Act in full, click here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/1427/text

To view the Energy and Water Research Integration Act in full, click here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/34/text