Senate Democrats

S. 761, the America Competes Act

Summary and Background

On March 5, 2007, Majority Leader Reid and 35 co-sponsors introduced S. 761, the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act of 2007 (the America Competes Act).  The legislation focuses on three primary areas to improve American competitiveness in the 21st Century: 

1)     increasing research investment;

2)     strengthening educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics from elementary through graduate school; and

3)     developing an infrastructure that will enhance innovation and competitiveness in the United States.

S. 761 is a bipartisan legislative response to recommendations contained in the National Academies’ “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” report and the Council on Competitiveness’s “Innovate America” report.  The legislation includes proposals from several bills that were introduced in 109th Congress, including S. 3936, the National Competitiveness Investment Act, which was introduced by Senators Frist, Reid, Stevens, Inouye, Domenici, Bingaman, Enzi, Kennedy, Ensign, Lieberman, Alexander, Mikulski, and Hutchison in September 2006; S.2902, the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act of 2006, which was passed without opposition by the Senate Commerce Committee in May 2006; and S.2197, the Protecting America’s Competitive Edge Through Energy Act of 2006, which was passed without opposition by the Senate Energy Committee in April 2006.  

S. 761 was the subject of a hearing entitled “Strengthening American Competitiveness for the 21st Century” before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on March 7, 2007.  Bill Gates, the Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, testified at the hearing about the need to invest in education, healthcare, and basic science research in order to secure America’s economic and technological leadership in the future. 

Major Provisions

Division A:  Commerce and Science

Title I — Office of Science and Technology Policy; Government-wide Science

Section 1101: National Science and Technology Summit.  S. 761 would require the President to convene a National Science and Technology Summit within 180 days of enactment to evaluate the nation’s science and technology enterprises.  After the summit, the President would be required to issue a report within 90 days identifying key research and technology challenges and recommending areas of investment for federal research and technology programs over the next five years.

S. 761 would also require the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), beginning in 2008, to publish and submit an annual report to Congress that contains recommendations for areas of investment for federal research and technology programs.  Each report submitted during the five year period after the Summit would need to consider the Summit report’s recommendations.

Section 1102: Study on Barriers to Innovation.  S. 761 would also direct OSTP to enter into a contract, no more than 90 days after enactment, with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct a study to identify various forms of risk for businesses that create barriers to innovation.  The legislation includes a non-exclusive list of areas to be studied and reviewed, ranging from competitive hiring to the regulatory system to rising health care costs to interactions with institutions of higher education.  A study must be completed one and four years after the start of the contract.  The bill would authorize $1 million to NAS for Fiscal Year 2008 to conduct the study.

Section 1103: National Innovation Medal.  S. 761 would amend the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to rename the “National Technology Medal” to the “National Technology and Innovation Medal.”

Section 1104: Release of Scientific Research Results.  Within 90 days of enactment, S. 761 would direct OSTP, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the heads of all federal civilian agencies that conduct scientific research, to develop and issue a set of principles for communicating scientific information and research to other agencies, policy makers, and the public, with the goal of creating an open exchange free from suppression or distortion of findings.  OSTP would be required to ensure that all federal civilian agencies that conduct scientific research develop policies and procedures regarding the public release of data and findings no later than 180 days after the legislation’s enactment.  

Section 1105: Semiannual Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Days.  S. 761 would express the sense of Congress that OSTP should encourage all elementary and middle schools to observe a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Day twice every school year for the purpose of facilitating interaction between of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics professionals and grade school students.  Toward this end, the sense of Congress would also provide that OSTP encourage the participation of federal employees, the private sector, and institutions of higher learning in activities at their local schools on these special days.

Section 1106: Study on Service Science.  S. 761 would also express a sense of Congress that the federal government should better understand and respond strategically to the emerging management and learning discipline known as “service science.”  No later than 270 days after enactment, OSTP, through NAS and in consultation with institutions of higher education, should conduct a study on how the federal government should best support service science through research, education, and training.

Title II — Innovation Promotion

Section 1201: President’s Council on Innovation and Competitiveness.  S. 761 would require the President to establish a President’s Council on Innovation and Competitiveness to advise the President and develop a comprehensive agenda to promote innovation in the public and private sectors.  The agenda would be submitted to Congress and the President within one year of the bill’s enactment and updated at least once every two years.  The Council would be chaired by the Secretary of Commerce and would include the heads of the following agencies: Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Labor, and Treasury along with the heads of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Science Foundation, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, OMB, OSTP, Environmental Protection Agency, and other relevant federal agencies involved in innovation.  In performing its duties, the Council would consult with advisors from the private sector, labor, scientific organizations, academic institutions, and other nongovernmental organizations working in the areas of science and technology.

Section 1202: Innovation Acceleration Research.  S. 761 would also require the President, through the head of each federal research agency, to establish the “Innovation Acceleration Research Program” to support and promote innovation in the U.S. through research projects that are considered too novel or span too many of disciplines to survive the traditional peer review process.  To support the program, the President should require each department or agency that sponsors scientific research to direct, as a goal, eight percent of its annual research budget to innovation acceleration research under the program. 

Title III — National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Section 1301: NASA’s Contribution to Innovation.  S. 761 would establish NASA as a full participant in interagency activities to promote competitiveness and innovation, and to enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.  The legislation would identify NASA’s balanced science program as an essential part of NASA’s contribution to the innovation and economic competitiveness of the U.S.  Further, the bill would express the sense of Congress that funding NASA at the levels authorized in the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 would better enable the agency to contribute to this effort.  NASA would also be required to submit an annual report to Congress and the President that describes its activities under this section and how funding decisions were made. 

Section 1302: Aeronautics Institute for Research.  S. 761 would consolidate NASA’s aeronautics research authorized under the NASA Authorization Act into the Aeronautics Institute for Research within NASA.  The Institute would be directed to cooperate with relevant programs in the Departments of Transportation, Defense, Commerce, and Homeland Security, including the Joint Planning and Development Office established under the VISION 100-Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act.  The Institute may also coordinate with the Next Generation Air Transportation Senior Policy Committee established under the VISION Act as well and should consult with the public and ensure participation from private sector experts. 

Section 1303: Basic Research Enhancement.  S. 761 would establish, within NASA, a Basic Research Executive Council to oversee the distribution and management of programs and resources that support basic research activity.  The Council would be comprised of the most senior agency officials representing space science, earth science, life and microgravity sciences, and aeronautical research fields.  At a minimum, the Council would set criteria for identifying fundamental research, set research priorities, review and evaluate research activity within the agency, make recommendations regarding needed adjustments in research activities, and provide annual reports to Congress on research activities. 

Section 1304: Aging Workforce Issues Program.  S. 761 would express the sense of Congress that NASA should implement a program to address aging workforce issues in aerospace that would:  1) document technical and management experiences of senior NASA employees before they leave NAS.Amdt.2) provide incentives for retirees to return to NASA to teach new NASA employees about their lessons and experiences; and 3) provide for the development of an award to recognize senior NASA employees for their contributions to knowledge sharing.

Section 1305: Conforming Amendments.  S. 761 would amend the NASA Authorization Act to require that NASA’s assessment include an examination of the number and content of science activities that may be considered as fundamental or basic research, whether incorporated within specific missions or conducted independently of any specific mission.  In addition, the bill would require NASA to assess how NASA’s science activities can best be structured to ensure that basic and fundamental research be effectively maintained and coordinated with national goals in competitiveness and innovation and in contributing to national scientific, technology, engineering, and mathematics leadership.

Section 1306: Fiscal Year 2008 Basic Science and Research Funding.  S. 761 would direct NASA to transfer $160 million from its accounts for the funding of basic science and research for Fiscal Year 2008, provided there are unobligated funds available.

Title IV — National Institute of Standards and Technology

Section 1401: Authorization of Appropriations.  S. 761 would authorize appropriations for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) from Fiscal Years 2008 through 2011, including authorizations for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program (MEP).  The MEP authorizations would be taken from the authorizations provided for NIST.  Authorization levels would be set as follows:

 

FY 2008

FY 2009

FY 2010

FY 2011

NIST Total

$703.611

$773.972

$851.369

$936.506

MEP

$115

$120

$125

$130

Section 1402: Amendments to the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980.  S. 761 would eliminate the Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology at the Department of Commerce and the Technology Administration at the Department of Commerce. 

Section 1403: Innovation Acceleration. S. 761 would name the Innovation Acceleration Research Program (see Section 1202) at NIST as the “Standards and Technology Acceleration Research Program,” for which NIST would be required to set aside no less than eight percent of the funds made available to its measurement laboratories.

Section 1404: Manufacturing Extension.  S. 761 would amend the NIST Act to create a probationary program for MEP centers that have not received a satisfactory rating.  If a troubled center’s issues are not addressed in one year, the Director would be required to conduct a competition to select a new operator for the center.

S. 761 would permit the Department of Commerce to accept funds from other federal agencies and the private sector to strengthen U.S. manufacturing.  Private sector contributors would not be considered in the calculation of the federal share of capital and annual operating and maintenance costs.  Funding accepted from other federal departments or agencies, however, would be considered.

Section 1405: Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Technology.

S. 761 would re-establish the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Technology (EPSCoT), previously managed by the Technology Administration, at NIST.  Further, S. 761 would require that in making awards under this section, NIST shall ensure that the awards are awarded on a competitive basis, which includes a review of the relevant activities’ merits.  Special emphasis would be given to those projects that would increase the participation of women, Native Americans (including Native Hawaiians and Alaska Natives), and other underrepresented groups in science and technology.  A matching requirement would be imposed, requiring that 50 percent of EPSCoT’s costs (other than for planning activities) be funded by non-federal sources.

Section 1406: Technical Amendments to the NIST Act and Other Technical Amendments. S. 761 would make several technical amendments to the NIST Act:     1) lift the limitation on NIST-sponsored research fellowships under current law; 2) clarify NIST’s authority to issue grants and cooperative agreements, along with contracts, cooperative research and development agreements, and other appropriate instruments; and 3) bring NIST authority into conformance with the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act

S. 761 would also:  1) clarify NIST’s authority to purchase memberships in scientific organizations and pay registration fees for NIST employees to attend conferences;      2) permit NIST to utilize a portion of its operating funds in the production of high priority Standard Reference Materials; and 3) ensure that, once recovered through sales, the working capital fund resources would be available to maintain future supplies.  In addition, the legislationwould permit funds transferred to NIST from other federal agencies for the production of Standard Reference Materials to be transferred to the fund. 

Further, S. 761 would:  1) update several measurements found in the statute to be consistent with current practice and internationally recognized standards; 2) allow NIST to retain the depreciation surcharge that is assessed against all federal agencies and returned to the Treasury for the upkeep of public buildings; and 3) strike NIST authority for the Non-Energy Inventions program (which is now operated by the Department of Energy).

Title V — Ocean and Atmospheric Programs

Section 1501: Ocean and Atmospheric Research and Development Program.  S. 761 would require the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in consultation with NSF and NASA, to establish a coordinated program of ocean and atmospheric research and development to promote U.S. leadership in ocean and atmospheric science.

Section 1502: NOAA Ocean and Atmospheric Science Education Programs.  S. 761 would require NOAA to conduct, develop, support, promote, and coordinate formal and informal educational activities at all levels to enhance public awareness and understanding of ocean, coastal, and atmospheric science and stewardship by the general public.  In conducting those activities, the Administrator should build upon the existing educational programs and activities of the agency.  The legislation would also direct NOAA, appropriate NOAA programs, ocean and atmospheric science and education experts, and interested members of the public to develop a science education plan that would set forth education goals and strategies for NOAA, as well as programmatic actions to carry out such goals and priorities over the next 20 years.  This plan would be reevaluated and updated every five years.

Division B:  Department of Energy

Section 2003: Mathematics, Science and Engineering Education at the Department of Energy (DOE).  S. 761 would create a Director of Mathematics, Science and Engineering Education Programs within DOE.  The Director would coordinate all mathematics, science and engineering education Department-wide, including new programs in science, mathematics, and engineering education that would be established by the bill.  The new programs would include:

·        A competitive grants program to assist states in establishing or expanding public, statewide specialty schools for math and science and authorization for the National Laboratories to assist in teaching courses and provide scientific equipment for such schools (with an authorization of $140 million over four years);

·        Summer internships in math and science for middle and high school students, including internships at the National Laboratories (with an annual authorization of $15 million for three years);

·        A program at each of the National Laboratories to support a Center of Excellence in Mathematics and Science at one public secondary school near each National Laboratory;

·        Summer institutes at each of the National Laboratories through grants to universities and other nonprofit entities, to strengthen math and science teaching skills of K-12 teachers (with an authorization of $190 million over four years);

·        Competitive, merit-based grants to universities that establish or expand nuclear science and engineering degree programs (with an authorization of $140 million over four years); and

·        Research grants for early-career scientists and engineers pursuing innovative, independent research meeting certain qualifications with a limit per grant of $100,000 per year for up to five years (with an authorization of $91 million over four years).

Section 2004: DOE Early Career Research Grants.  S. 761 would authorize $91 million over four years for a program to provide research grants to early-career scientists and engineers pursuing innovative, independent research. 

Section 2005: Advance Research Projects Authority-Energy.  S. 761 would establish the Advanced Research Projects Authority-Energy (ARPA-E) within DOE to support research with the potential to overcome long-term, high-risk technological barriers in the development of applied energy technologies, including carbon neutral technologies.

Section 2006: Authorization of Appropriations for the DOE Office of Science.  S. 761 would authorize doubling of funding for the DOE’s Office of Science over ten years.

Section 2007:Discovery Science and Engineering Innovation Institutes.  S. 761 would authorize $10 million per year per institute to establish multi-disciplinary institutes centered at National Laboratories to apply fundamental science and engineering discoveries to technological innovations related to the missions of DOE and America’s global competitiveness.

Section 2008: PACE Graduate Fellowship Program.  S. 761 would authorize $93 million over four years to establish a competitive graduate fellowship program for up to 700 students pursuing doctoral degrees in DOE mission areas with certain requirements.

Section 2009: The Title IX Compliance.  Under S. 761, DOE would be required to conduct compliance review to ensure compliance with Title IX to ensure that female students have equal access to the programs supported by federal grants.

Section 2010: High-Risk, High-Reward Research.  Under S. 761, DOE would be required to establish a grant program to encourage the conduct of high-risk, high-reward research at the agency.

Section 2011: Distinguished Scientists Program.  S. 761 would authorize $290 million over four years to establish a joint program between universities and national laboratories to support up to 100 distinguished scientists positions.

Division C:  Education

TITLE I – TEACHER ASSISTANCE

SUBTITLE A – TEACHERS FOR A COMPETITIVE TOMORROW

The purpose of this subtitle is to develop and implement undergraduate programs leading to a baccalaureate degree with concurrent teacher certification that provide integrated courses of study in mathematics, science, engineering, or critical foreign languages, and teacher education, as well as master’s degree programs in mathematics, science, or critical foreign language education for current teachers to enhance their content knowledge and pedagogical skills.

Section 3113: Programs for Baccalaureate Degrees in Mathematics, Science, Engineering, or Critical Foreign Languages, with Concurrent Teacher Certification.  S. 761 would authorize competitive grants for partnerships to develop and implement programs that integrate teacher education with programs of study for undergraduate students majoring in mathematics, engineering, science or a critical foreign language, so that students can obtain baccalaureate degrees with concurrent teacher certification.  These partnerships would consist of institutions of higher education, departments of mathematics, engineering, science or critical foreign languages, teacher preparation programs and high-need local educational agencies and their schools.  

Section 3114: Programs for Master’s Degrees in Mathematics, Science, or Critical Foreign Languages Education.  S. 761 would authorize competitive grants for partnerships to develop and implement 2- or 3-year part-time master’s degree programs in mathematics, science, or critical foreign language education for current teachers to improve their content knowledge and pedagogical skills.  These partnerships would consist of institutions of higher education, departments of mathematics, engineering, science or critical foreign languages, teacher preparation programs and high-need local educational agencies and their schools. 

Section 3115: General Provisions.  S. 761 contains provisions that would be applicable to both the baccalaureate and master’s degree programs.  Under both programs, grants would be for five years; recipients would be required to provide matching funds; and grant funds could be used only to supplement, not supplant, other federal or state funds. The Secretary would be required to evaluate the programs and provide an annual report to Congress on their impact on student academic achievement.

Section 3116: Authorization of Appropriations.  S. 761 would authorize to be appropriated a total for both programs of $210,000,000 for Fiscal Year 2008, and such sums as may be necessary for each of the three succeeding Fiscal Years, and specify the proportion of the total funding that is to be spent carrying out each of the two programs.

SUBTITLE B – ADVANCED PLACEMENT AND INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE PROGRAMS

The purpose of this subtitle is to raise academic achievement through Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs by increasing the number of teachers serving high-need schools who are qualified to teach AP or IB courses in mathematics, science, and critical foreign languages; increasing the availability of such courses in high-need schools, including courses that prepare students to enroll and succeed in AP and IB; and increasing the number of students attending high-need schools who take such courses and take and pass the examinations.

Section 3123: Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Programs.  S. 761 would authorize competitive grants to achieve the purposes of this subtitle and would authorize $58 million for Fiscal Year 2008, and such sums as may be necessary for each of the three succeeding Fiscal Years.  Grants would be for five years, and priority would be given to eligible entities that are part of a statewide strategy for increasing the availability of AP or IB courses in mathematics, science, and critical foreign languages, or pre-AP or pre-IB courses in such subjects, in high-need schools.  Recipients would be required to provide matching funds, but the Secretary would have the authority to waive all or part of the matching requirement in cases of serious hardship.  The Secretary would be required to evaluate the program carried out under this section and provide an annual report to Congress on the program’s impact on student academic achievement. 

TITLE II – MATH NOW

Section 3201: Math Now for Elementary School and Middle School Students Program.  S. 761 would authorize a grant program to improve instruction in mathematics for elementary school and middle school students, and to provide targeted help to students struggling with mathematics, to enable all students to reach or exceed grade-level academic achievement standards.  Grants funds would be used to implement mathematics instructional materials and interventions, provide professional development activities, and conduct continuous progress monitoring of students in mathematics.  State educational agencies would be awarded grants on a competitive basis to enable them to award grants to eligible local educational agencies. 

Grants would be for five years, and priority would be given to applications for projects that would implement statewide strategies for improving mathematics instruction and raising the mathematics achievement of students, particularly those in grades four through eight.  There would be a matching requirement for state agencies that receive funding under this Section, but the Secretary would have the authority to waive all or part of the requirement in cases of serious hardship.  The Secretary would be required to evaluate the program carried out under this section and provide an annual report to Congress on the program’s impact on student achievement and teacher performance.  This section would authorize $146.7 million for Fiscal Year 2008, and such sums as may be necessary for each of the three succeeding Fiscal Years.

TITLE III – FOREIGN LANGUAGE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM.

The purpose of this title is to increase significantly both the opportunities to study critical foreign languages programs and the number of students who become proficient in critical foreign languages.

Section 3303: Program Authorized.  S. 761 would authorize a competitive grant program to enable institutions of higher education and local educational agencies working in partnership to establish programs of study in critical foreign languages.  These grants would be for five years.  There would be a matching requirement, but the Secretary would have the authority to waive all or part of it in cases of serious hardship.  The Secretary would be required to evaluate the program carried out under this section and provide an annual report to Congress on the results of the evaluation.  

Section 3304: Authorization of Appropriations.  S. 761 would authorize $22 million to be appropriated for Fiscal Year 2008, and such sums as may be necessary for each of the three succeeding Fiscal Years.

TITLE IV – ALIGNMENT OF EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Section 3401: Alignment of Secondary School Graduation Requirements with the Demands of 21st Century Postsecondary Endeavors and Support for P-16 Education Data Systems.  S. 761 would provide competitive grants to states to promote better alignment of elementary and secondary education with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in institutions of higher education, in the 21st century workforce, and in the Armed Forces.  This section would also authorize competitive grants to support the establishment or improvement of statewide P-16 education longitudinal data systems to assist states in improving the rigor and quality of content knowledge requirements and assessments, ensure that students are prepared to succeed in postsecondary endeavors, and enable states to have valid and reliable information to inform education policy and practice. 

These grants would be for three years and recipients would be required to provide matching funds.  The Secretary would be required to evaluate the program carried out under this section and provide an annual report to Congress on the outcome of the evaluation.  This section would authorize $100 million for Fiscal Year 2008, and such sums as may be necessary for Fiscal Year 2009.

Division D:  National Science Foundation

Section 4001:Authorization of Appropriations.  S. 761 would increase authorized funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) from $6.8 billion in Fiscal Year 2008 to $11.2 billion in fiscal tear 2011.

Section 4002: Strengthening of Education and Human Resources Directorate through Equitable Distribution of New Funds.  S. 761 would provide for annual funding increases for education and human resources programs at NSF as appropriations increase, to ensure the continued involvement of experts at NSF in improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics education at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels.

Section 4003: Graduate Fellowships and Graduate Traineeships. Under S. 761, the Director of NSF would be required to expand the Graduate Research Fellowship Program and Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program for an additional 1,250 students over each of the next five years, and authorize increasing funding through Fiscal Year 2011. 

Section 4004: Professional Science Master’s Degree Programs. Under S. 761, the Director of NSF would be required to establish a clearinghouse to share program elements used in professional science master’s degree programs and other advanced degree programs related to science, mathematics, technology, and engineering, to help institutions of higher education establish professional science master’s programs.

Section 4005: Increased Support for Science Education through the National Science Foundation.  S. 761 would authorize $190 million over four years for the science, mathematics, engineering, and technology talent program.

Section 4006:Meeting Critical National Science Needs. Under S. 761, the Director of NSF would be required to include consideration of the degree to which NSF awards and research activities assist in meeting critical national needs in innovation, competitiveness, the physical and natural sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics and give priority in selection of awards and allocation of NSF resources to projects that contribute to meeting those needs.

Section 4007: Reaffirmation of the Merit-Review Process of the National Science Foundation.  NSF must continue to use its current merit-review system and peer review process in determining what grants NSF will fund.

Section 4008: Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. Of the funds authorized in Section 4001, S. 761 would authorize NSF’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) at $125 million for Fiscal Year 2008.  This authorization would increase each year from Fiscal Year 2009 to Fiscal Year 2011 by the same percentage by which NSF’s overall funding increases.

Section 4009: Encouraging Participation. Under S. 761, the Director of NSF would be required to establish: 1) a program to provide mentors for women who are interested in careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by paring such women with mentors who are working in those sectors; and 2) a program to provide grants to community colleges to provide apprenticeships and other appropriate training to allow women to enter higher-paying technical jobs in fields related to science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.  S. 761 would require the Director of NSF to establish the requirements for application and the evaluation criteria for this program.

Section 4010: Cyberinfrastructure. Under S. 761, the Director of NSF would be required to develop and publish a plan that describes the current status of broadband access for scientific research purposes in EPSCoR-eligible jurisdictions and to outline actions that could be taken to ensure that broadband connections are available to enable participation in NSF programs that rely heavily on high-speed networking and collaborations across institutions and regions.

Legislative History

On March 6, Majority Leader Reid and 35 co-sponsors introduced S. 761, which was subsequently placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar.  The bill currently has 52 co-sponsors. 

Representative Gordon has sponsored a similar bill, H.R.363, the Sowing the Seeds through Science and Engineering Research Act in the House of Representatives.  The legislation was reported by the House Committee on Science and Technology on March 8, 2007.

Expected Amendments

Amendments are expected to be offered to this bill, including a managers’ amendment.  The DPC will distribute information on amendments as it becomes available. 

Administration Position

As of this writing, the Administration has not released a Statement of Administration Policy on S. 761.

Additional Reading

Congressional Research Service, “Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs,” RL30719.

Congressional Research Service, “Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues,” RL33542.

The National Academies, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future,” 2007, available at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11463#toc.

Council on Competitiveness, “Innovate America: Thriving in a World of Challenge and Change,” 2004, Executive Summary available at http://www.innovateamerica.org/webscr/NII_EXEC_SUM.pdf.

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