Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:  Lamar Smith
Date: April 16, 2013
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SMITH of Texas. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from Wyoming (Mrs. Lummis) for her work on this bill. And I'm pleased to join the Science Committee's ranking member, Ms. Johnson, as a cosponsor of H.R. 967, the Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2013. This bill had broad bipartisan support in the last Congress, and I hope it will receive that same level of support today.

In the digital age, protecting our Nation's computer networking systems is more important than ever. This bill provides the coordinated research and development efforts necessary to improve cyber and data security nationwide. And better network security promotes U.S. competitiveness, enhances national security, and creates high-tech jobs.

The NITRD program is an extension of the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991. It represents the Federal Government's main R&D investment portfolio for unclassified networking, computing, software, cybersecurity, and related information technologies. Currently, 15 Federal agencies are contributing members of NITRD, with an additional 20 or so participating in the program.

This bill serves as the mechanism for interagency coordination of R&D to ensure no duplication of research efforts among Federal agencies or the private sector. It rebalances R&D portfolios to focus less on short-term goals and more on large-scale, long-term interdisciplinary research.

While this bill does not authorize specific funding amounts, NITRD spending totals over $3.7 billion annually. Over $1.1 billion of this is from the National Science Foundation and over $550 million is from the Department of Energy. The bill updates the underlying High-Performance Computing statute and codifies work undertaken by the National Coordination Office, housed within NSF, to oversee the 15 different agencies.

The NITRD program has eight strategic priorities for its research: cybersecurity; autonomous, robotic systems; high-end computing and applications; exascale computing; human-computer interaction; large-scale networking, workforce development; and software design and productivity.

Technologies that come from these research priorities are applied by the commercial sector and the government to protect and enhance emergency communications, the power grid, air traffic control networks, and national defense systems. Networking and information technology support and boost American competitiveness, enhance national security, and help strengthen the economy.

American job creators also recognize the importance of networking and information technology research and development. Many industry partners and stakeholders have written letters in support of this bill. They include the National Association of Manufacturers, TechAmerica, Computing Research Association, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers-USA, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the U.S. Public Policy Council of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Cybersecurity provisions in the bill include research necessary to detect, prevent, and recover from actions that can compromise or threaten computer-based systems.

I again thank my Science Committee colleague, Representative Lummis, the chairwoman of the Energy Subcommittee, for her initiative on this issue. I urge my colleagues to support the bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.


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