House Passes Innovation, NSF Legislation, Setting Stage for Negotiations with Senate

On February 4, the House of Representatives passed the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act of 2022 (H.R. 4521). The nearly 3,000-page package is the product of months of work across several House Committees on a suite of bills related to advancing the U.S. STEM enterprise and shoring up U.S. scientific competitiveness, especially with respect to China. The bill includes a range of provisions, including a reauthorization of the National Science Foundation (NSF), research security directives, initiatives aimed at broadening participation in science, and combatting sexual and other forms of harassment. COSSA has prepared a section-by-section analysis of the House COMPETES bill outlining the most important provisions to the social and behavioral science community.

The COMPETES bill is the House’s response to the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) that passed the Senate last year (see past coverage). While the bills are similar in their overarching goals, key differences remain, including their respective approaches for reauthorizing NSF and establishing a new tech transfer-focused directorate at the agency. The next step is for the House and Senate to conference on the two bills and try to find consensus on a final package. They timeline for negotiations is unknown; however, passage of innovation and competitiveness language is a top priority for leaders in the House and Senate, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Follow COSSA’s coverage for the latest details on this and other important legislation.


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