WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, released the following statement after voting in favor of the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, which passed the Senate by a bipartisan vote of 68 to 32. This bipartisan legislation will enhance America’s scientific, technological, and industrial competitiveness through investments in research and development, STEM education, advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, supply chains, and semiconductor development, and includes three of Senator Rosen’s amendments.
“This evening, I was proud to vote in favor of this comprehensive legislation to enhance America’s competitive edge in the areas of science and technology,” said Senator Rosen. “This bipartisan legislation will make bold investments in science education and research, helping to shape the next generation of American scientists and inventors. It will bolster America’s advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, and supply chain capabilities, allowing us to overcome global competitors on the world stage. I’m pleased that several of my amendments were included in this legislative package, including amendments to ensure STEM education reaches our rural communities, expand workforce training opportunities in advanced manufacturing, and develop a highly-skilled American workforce.”
BACKGROUND: The United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 authorizes over $100 billion for the National Science Foundation, creating a new Technology Directorate focused on key technology areas like AI and quantum science, and investing in research and manufacturing. The bill also extends the Manufacturing USA Program and establishes a regional technology hub program to carry out intensive, technology-focused economic development activities.
During consideration of the bill in the Senate Commerce Committee, Senator Rosen negotiated the adoption and inclusion of three amendments she led or co-led, based on legislation she helped introduce:
- A bipartisan amendment with Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) to direct the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support rural STEM education and workforce development through grants for research on teaching STEM in rural schools, barriers rural students face in accessing STEM education, and solutions to improve the participation of rural pre-K-12 students in STEM. This amendment is based on the Rosen-co-led Rural STEM Education Act.
- A bipartisan amendment with Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to provide grants for worker education, training, development, and entrepreneurship in advanced manufacturing. This amendment is based on the Rosen-introduced bipartisan Advanced Manufacturing Jobs in America Act.
- A bipartisan amendment with Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) to reauthorize and modernize the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program, which is focused on improving the education of the skilled technical workforce by supporting partnerships between industry and community colleges, curriculum development, apprenticeships, professional development for faculty, the development of career pathways, and research on effective STEM distance learning. This amendment is based on the Rosen-co-sponsored bipartisan Advanced Technological Manufacturing Act.