Thune and Nelson on Senate Approval of Bipartisan Science and Technology Bill

Commerce Committee proposal to boost innovation and maximize scientific research opportunities passes

December 12, 2016

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who serve respectively as the chair and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued the following statements on Senate passage of S. 3084, the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA), with a substitute amendment reflecting common priorities of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee. The bill, introduced in the Senate by committee members Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), encourages scientific entrepreneurship, maximizes research opportunities, reduces administrative burdens for researchers, and promotes oversight of taxpayer-funded research. It would also enhance diversity in STEM fields, private-sector innovation, and manufacturing.
“This legislation represents a bipartisan and bicameral approach to boosting innovation and maximizing scientific research opportunities that Congress will pick up next year,” said Thune. “I congratulate Sen. Gardner and Sen. Peters for their outstanding efforts to find a bipartisan path to Senate passage of this legislation. I also appreciate House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith and Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson for working with us to find an agreement that can pass both chambers.”
“I’m proud to have joined Sens. Gardner and Peters on the effort to bolster scientific research,” said Nelson. “With passage in the Senate and strong bipartisan support in the House, I’m hopeful we’ll get something quickly passed into law next year that will help ensure America remains a world leader in innovation.”
Beginning in July 2015, Sens. Thune and Nelson selected Gardner and Peters to lead the Committee’s innovation and competitiveness working group that examined a path forward for updates to federal science and technology research policy. Science and technology leaders provided input to the working group for the development of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. The bill embraces updates policies at the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, among other federal science agencies.
Click here for bill text.
Click here to view a summary of the legislation provided by Sens. Gardner and Peters.