The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 9:45 a.m. to consider the following legislative measure and nominations.
Click here for additional information on nominees.
1. S. 3277, Space Frontier Act of 2018, Sponsors: Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
2. S. 2242, the COASTAL Implementation Act of 2017, Sponsor: Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)
3. S. 2861, Passenger Rail Crew Protection Parity Act, Sponsors: Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.)
4. S. 3119, the Endangered Salmon Predation Prevention Act, Sponsors: Sens. James Risch (R-Idaho), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)
5. S. 3143, the National Quantum Initiative Act, Sponsors: Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)
6. S. 3265, Waterfront Community Revitalization and Resiliency Act, Sponsor: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
7. S. 3273, Port Operations, Research, and Technology Act, Sponsor: Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)
8. Nomination of Martin Oberman, of Illinois, to be a Member of the Surface Transportation Board
*Agenda subject to change
Executive Session Details:
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Full Committee Markup
Senate Dirksen Building, Room G50
A live video of the markup and additional information will be available at www.commerce.senate.gov
Chairman John Thune
Good morning. Thank you all for being here. Today we have another full agenda with seven legislative items and one nomination.
I’m especially pleased that we’ll consider the National Quantum Initiative Act, which Ranking Member Nelson and I introduced with our House Science Committee colleagues, Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Johnson.
They recently passed their measure through Committee and are looking for House floor consideration in the fall. I am hopeful our bill can follow a similar path in the Senate.
Advancing quantum science has immense economic and national security implications for the United States. This legislation will establish a national quantum program and keep us ahead of our competitors, including China, in the race to develop technological breakthroughs based on quantum science.
We will also be considering the nomination of Martin Oberman to the Surface Transportation Board.
I am hopeful that, once we act on Mr. Oberman’s nomination today, the full Senate can move quickly to confirm the other two STB nominees pending on the floor and we can finally have a full slate of five Board members.
I am disappointed that we are not also considering Rick Dearborn’s nomination to the Amtrak Board of Directors today, but I understand that some members have requested additional time before we proceed.
He is a well-qualified nominee with a passion for public service and passenger rail. I look forward to considering him at the Committee’s next markup.
With that, I will turn to Senator Nelson for any opening remarks.
Mr. Chairman, we have a full slate before us.
I’m proud to join with Senators Cruz and Markey in carrying on our tradition of bipartisan space legislation with the Space Frontier Act.
The bill updates commercial launch and Earth observation regulations, extends the ISS through 2030 and expands opportunities for partnerships with NASA under the agency’s enhanced use lease authority.
And for companies who are experimenting with exciting new commercial activities in space, the bill clarifies that they can continue to seek authorization through the Department of Transportation’s Payload Review Process while Congress ponders more expansive changes to agency authorities.
This is going to provide a nice boost for our growing space economy and the twenty-first century jobs that go along with it.
I am also pleased to join you, Chairman Thune, on the National Quantum Initiative Act. This bill will create a new focus on quantum research.
It is critical that the United States start growing our investments in quantum research if we are going to keep pace with China, the E.U. and others.
Winning the quantum race will benefit the U.S. economy and national security.
Finally, a quick note on Senator Wicker’s ports bill. He and I have worked on this together and I want to thank him for his thoughtful approach.
I appreciate the feedback from maritime labor industries on this bill and look forward to continuing to work on a bipartisan basis to seek improvements that will help safeguard maritime jobs.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.