House Passes Bipartisan Legislation on STEM, Deepfakes, Sustainable Chemistry, and Biotechnology

Jan 09, 2020

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives considered and passed five bipartisan Science, Space, and Technology Committee bills under suspension of the rules. 

“I am very pleased that today the House considered and passed five bipartisan Science Committee bills,” said Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). “These bills work to address U.S. competitiveness; ensure that traditionally underrepresented groups help drive U.S. innovation; and to find ways to detect online imposters and deepfakes. I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their work on and support of these bills. I hope to see this legislation considered by the Senate very soon.”

“The bills passed by the House today are a tremendous example of the bipartisan work being done by the House Science Committee on issues like STEM education, deepfake technology, biotechnology, and sustainable chemistry,” said Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK). “Research into deepfake technology will help us better identify and combat manipulated media content. Improved biotechnology research will drive innovations in agriculture, medicine, energy, and manufacturing. Standards, training, and research into sustainable chemistry will help support safe and effective chemical products that are critical to our way of life. Finally, both the Building Blocks of STEM Act and the Minority Serving Institutions STEM Achievement Act will improve STEM education in America and help us develop a diverse and talented workforce. I’m proud to support these bills and I thank Chairwoman Johnson, and Representatives Anthony Gonzalez, Jim Baird, and Michael Waltz for their leadership on these issues.”

H.R. 4372, the MSI STEM Achievement Act, provides for increased transparency, accountability, and accessibility of Federal STEM education and research funding for minority serving institutions (MSIs). This legislation directs Federal science agencies and the Office of Science and Technology Policy to work to build the STEM education and research capacity at American MSIs.

H.R. 4373, the Engineering Biology Research and Development Act of 2019, would establish a federal engineering biology research initiative to ensure U.S. leadership in engineering biology. It would also establish a framework for greater coordination of federal investments in engineering biology; lead to a national strategy for those investments; expand public-private partnerships; focus on the education and training for the next generation of engineering biology researchers; and address any potential ethical, legal, environmental, safety and security issues associated with engineering biology research.

H.R. 2051, the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2019, establishes an interagency working group (IWG) led by the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The IWG is charged with coordinating Federal programs and activities in support of sustainable chemistry and developing a roadmap for sustainable chemistry, including a framework of attributes characterizing sustainable chemistry and assessing the state of sustainable chemistry in the United States. The IWG is also directed to identify methods by which Federal agencies can incentivize sustainable chemistry activities, challenges to sustainable chemistry progress, and opportunities for expanding Federal sustainable chemistry efforts.

S. 737, the Building Blocks of STEM Act, directs the National Science Foundation to support and expand early childhood STEM education, with a focus on computer science education.

H.R. 4355, the Identifying Outputs of Generative Adversarial Networks Act, directs the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology to support research and development of tools to detect and counter the spread of deepfakes.


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