Cantwell, Bipartisan Group of Senators Tell Appropriators: America’s Competitive…

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, led a bipartisan letter to Senate Appropriators underscoring that Congress must fully fund the CHIPS and Science Act in the Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations Bill to ensure U.S. global economic and technological leadership.

CHIPS and Science marks a significant bipartisan commitment to domestic manufacturing, regional innovation and strong supply chains,” the senators wrote. “Fully funded, it will foster an inclusive and highly-skilled 21st century workforce, expand scientific research and development across the nation, and unleash American innovation in emerging technologies.

Sen. Cantwell was joined in the letter by Sens. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jack Reed (D-R.I), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).

In their letter, the senators warned of the repercussions resulting from past failures to fund commitments Congress made in both the America COMPETES Act of 2007 and 2010.

“The lack of funding for these efforts prohibited agencies from fully delivering on their potential,” they wrote. “Instead of the rapid growth in technological strength Congress envisioned, the United States has suffered insufficient growth in the skilled workforce, increased supply chain vulnerabilities and rising competition from overseas.”

“To fulfill the promise of the CHIPS and Science Act, Congress must avoid the funding pitfalls that followed previous COMPETES Acts and fully fund the Chips and Science Act,” the senators added.  

The senators highlighted the critical priorities in the bipartisan bill, including:

  1. Department of Commerce Regional Technology Hubs and Recompete Pilot Program to stimulate technology innovation and workforce development in up to 20 geographically distributed regions and in persistently distressed communities. 
  2. National Science Foundation Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships to establish at least 10 research-driven Regional Innovation Engines and to help university technology transfer offices increase the patenting and startup activity needed to translate research into useful products.
  3. National Science Foundation Research and Workforce Development efforts to begin tripling the size of the NSF’s education efforts, which will create more than 40,000 new scholarships, fellowships and traineeships.
  4. National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and Manufacturing USA institutes, which will build on MEP’s 2021 track record of creating and retaining 125,746 U.S. manufacturing jobs and support small- and medium-sized manufacturers with cybersecurity, worker training, supply chain resiliency and technology adoption.

 

The letter can be found here and below:

 

November 21, 2022

 


The Honorable Patrick Leahy

Chairman

Committee on Appropriations

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Richard Shelby

Vice Chairman

Committee on Appropriations

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Jeanne Shaheen

Chair

Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice,
Science,

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