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

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. LUMMIS. Mr. Speaker, I want to start out by thanking Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Johnson for their support in bringing this bipartisan legislation to the floor.

I have found, since being on the Science Committee, that it is an acronym-rich environment. Mr. Speaker, I'm an acronym-challenged individual, so I'll be talking about the Network and Information Technology Research and Development program. In the future, I'm just going to call it ``the program.'' It's the Federal Government's main research and development effort in unclassified network, computing, software, cybersecurity, and related information technologies.

Research conducted under this program has led to scientific growth and innovation in several areas, including visualization technologies in science, engineering, and medicine; computer-based education and training; and near-real-time weather forecasts, which is really important in my State of Wyoming.

Currently, 15 Federal agencies are contributing members to the program, and even more participate.

H.R. 967, the bill in front of us, does two things: it updates the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991, and it reauthorizes the program to advance our Nation's networking and information technology research and development.

It's the digital age, Mr. Speaker. Advances in networking and information technology continue to transform our quality of life, our economy, U.S. competitiveness, and our national security. This bill provides the coordination necessary for the United States to respond to rapid changes in these areas, it encourages innovation, and it protects our economy.

My home State of Wyoming is best known for its stunning mountains and open spaces. But not long ago, Wyoming also became home to a supercomputing center. It houses one of the world's most powerful supercomputers. Mr. Speaker, it makes a mind-boggling number of computations every second. It's sponsored by the University Coalition on Atmospheric Research, which sponsors the National Center on Atmospheric Research, and so it's partially funded by the National Science Foundation, which is the taxpayers. So they help fund it. These computations enable world-leading research projects in areas including atmospheric and geosciences. So this bill facilities work in these fields, ranging from research being conducted at the supercomputing center to big data--and I mean big data--and cybersecurity as well.

H.R. 967 implements several recommendations from the 2007 and 2010 President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology assessments to improve government coordination and planning with input from policy and technical experts. It adjusts research and development portfolios so we're focusing less on short-term goals and more on really long-term goals.

Now, specific to cybersecurity, the program includes research and development to detect, prevent, and recover from actions that compromise or threaten computer and network-based systems. Now, you heard from Congressman McCaul just moments ago some of the specific examples of the real threats that are directed at computer networks. So reauthorizing this program is an important step.

I thank the chairman, and I urge my colleagues to support the bill.


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