Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5035 and H.R. 5120.
H.R. 5035 -- The National Institute of Standards and Technology Authorization Act of 2014 --reauthorizes the National Institute of Standards and Technology. (Passed by voice vote under suspension of the rules)
Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said of H.R. 5035, "NIST, one of our nation's oldest science agencies, plays a very important role in U.S. innovation and competitiveness through advancing measurement science and providing unique measurement facilities to industry. While we don't often think about measurement science, it is critically important. Any time a new technology is developed, measurement science is needed to ensure that the technology is working as intended and is compatible with existing systems. NIST plays a role in fields from bioscience to forensics to automobile safety technologies. NIST has also taken leadership roles in cross-cutting federal efforts in cybersecurity and advanced manufacturing. My one concern with H.R. 5035 is the low authorization level. I hope that when this bill goes to conference with the Senate, we can agree to give NIST an authorization level that allows it to fully realize its critical role in U.S. innovation and competitiveness. In the meantime, because the policy changes in this bill are good and important, I do support this bill."
H.R. 5120 -- The Department of Energy Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2014 - improves management of the National Laboratories, enhances technology commercialization, and facilitates public-private partnerships. (Passed by voice vote under suspension of the rules)
Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), an original cosponsor of H.R. 5120, said, "Today, the House passed a bipartisan bill that will help us turn scientific ideas into jobs. Our national laboratories have been and continue to be the birthplace of some of our most revolutionary technologies. This legislation makes it easier for entrepreneurs and business leaders to harness that research so start-ups with one or two employees can grow into companies that create hundreds of quality jobs. Giving scientists and researchers at labs like the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory the tools and freedom to widen the impact of their great discoveries ensures they will remain an important foundation of Washington state's knowledge-based economy that provides 21st century jobs in our region."