Lawmakers introduce Securing American Leadership in Science and Technology Act (SALSTA), push for billions in funding at DOE, NOAA, NIST, NSF

“House Republicans proposed doubling U.S. investments in research funding across multiple federal agencies, the creation of a coordinated national science and technology strategy and many other government-centered moves they positioned as ultimately meant to promote innovation and security—via a 265-page piece of legislation.

The Securing American Leadership in Science and Technology Act, or SALSTA, was introduced Tuesday by House Science, Space and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas, R-Okla., with more than a dozen original co-sponsors.

Similar legislation under the same name was put forth and prioritized by Lucas during his tenure as ranking member in the last Congressional session, and elements of that one did make it into other bills that eventually passed. But this latest version of SALSTA also incorporates new sections targeting research integrity, and the establishment of a National Supply Chain Database.

‘Shoring up domestic supply chains, particularly for critical minerals, isn’t a new priority, but the need to do so became more urgent with supply chain disruptions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,’ a member of legislative staff who helped craft the bill told Nextgov in an email Tuesday…”

“If passed, the act would authorize to be appropriated a doubling of basic research funding over the next decade at the Energy Department, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. According to a framework accompanying the legislation, that would look roughly like investments in programs moving from: $7.4 billion to $15 billion at DOE; $8.5 billion to $16.2 billion at NSF; $1 billion to $1.9 billion at NIST; and $600 million to $1.2 billion at NOAA.

SALSTA also includes sections with a wide range of specific mandates for each of those agencies and the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Together with the National Science and Technology Council, OSTP would be required to create and submit to Congress a ‘cross-cutting strategy for Science and Technology’ every four years, the framework noted, ‘as is already done for national defense, homeland security, and energy.’…” Read the full article here.

Source: Republican Lawmakers Push for Billions in Boosts to Science Agency Budgets – By Brandi Vincent, March 24, 2021. Nextgov.

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