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Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

As a sponsor of H.R. 3834, the Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2012, I rise today in strong support of this legislation.

Before I delve into the details of the bill, however, I want to thank the Speaker and the majority leader for their leadership in putting together a cybersecurity task force to address our serious cybersecurity challenges. This task force, led by Representative Mac Thornberry, provided a compass point and set the direction for all the bills we're considering this week.

The Science Committee started our cybersecurity early in Congress, so I was very pleased to see the task force embrace both Mr. McCaul's bills, H.R. 2096 and H.R. 3834, as necessary steps to improve U.S. cybersecurity.

I would like to also thank my Texas colleague, Ranking Member Johnson, my neighbor, for joining me in cosponsoring H.R. 3834, which updates the NITRD Program. This program is an important component of our Nation's cybersecurity efforts, and it is critical to our overall networking and information technology research and development in general. It's a product of the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 and represents and coordinates the Federal Government's nearly $4 billion R&D investment in unclassified networking, computing, software, cybersecurity, and related information technologies.

The bill before us today updates the underlying high-performance computing statute that has been in place for 20 years and codifies the work the National Coordination Office already undertakes. Specifically, H.R. 3834 improves program statistic planning and coordination; it rebalances R&D portfolios to focus less on short-term goals and more on long-scale, long-term interdisciplinary research; it updates research to reflect newer technologies like ``big data'' and ``cyberphysical'' systems. It also convenes an interagency working group to identify gaps in cloud computing research and examines the potential for using the cloud for federally funded research and codifies and emphasizes the role of the National Coordination Office.

Networking and information technology includes a broad range of technologies from smartphones to cloud computing. These innovations stem from numerous disciplines and have led to advances in search-and-rescue robots, unmanned aerial vehicles, near real-time weather forecasting, devices for assisted living, and computer-based education and training. R&D in this field seeks to minimize and prevent disruptions to critical infrastructure like power grids and emergency communication systems. This essential R&D is part of the reason that the House Republican Cybersecurity Task Force identified this program as important to our Nation.

Other cybersecurity efforts undertaken by NITRD agencies include research to detect, prevent, resist, respond to, and recover from actions that compromise or threaten the availability, ingenuity, or security of computer and network basic systems.

Currently, 15 Federal agencies are contributing members of NITRD, with an additional 20 or so participating in the program. Coordination among these agencies increases the overall effectiveness and productivity of our Nation's networking and information technology and cybersecurity R&D, leverages our strength, avoids duplication, and improves interoperability of R&D products. More importantly, in networking and information technology, R&D supports and boosts U.S. competitiveness, enhances national security, and helps strengthen the economy through the creation of high-level jobs.

H.R. 3834 is essentially the same bill that the House passed twice in the last Congress only to see it languish in the Senate. I urge passage of this measure once again and hope that the Senate will act accordingly. As with all cybersecurity bills before us today, H.R. 3834 enjoys the support of numerous industry supporters and technology stakeholders.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. HALL. I would like to point out that our efforts on this bill have been really a true illustration of the bipartisan work which the Science Committee and this Congress is capable of.

I believe Ms. Johnson will attest that our staffs have worked well together to ensure this measure reflects good policy for our Nation's networking and information technology. I want to thank her, and I want to thank her staff for their work on this bill.

Additionally, I would also like to thank Chairman Brooks as chairman of the Research and Science Education Subcommittee for his leadership on the bill, and Mrs. Biggert for her many years of championing this issue.

I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 3834, and I yield back the balance of my time.


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