House Science Committee Holds Hearing on a Science and Technology Strategy
On March 1, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (SST) held a public hearing titled The United States, China, and the Fight for Global Leadership: Building a U.S. National Science and Technology Strategy. The hearing focused on the geopolitical competition between the U.S. and China as well as the development of a National Science and Technology Strategy, a framework mandated in the 2022 enacted CHIPS and Science Act that aims to make the U.S. more competitive technologically. Witnesses included Former Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, President and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness Deborah Wince-Smith, Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Dr. Kim Budil, and Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Klon Kitchen.
Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), filling in for Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), both voiced strong support for strengthening the U.S. science and technology enterprise through a National Science and Technology Strategy, although the two parties differed on the priorities that should be included. Lucas and many of the Republican members prioritized the need to maintain a competitive edge with the Chinese government while Bonamici and many of the Democratic members highlighted the importance of climate research and the inclusion of historically underrepresented populations in the scientific enterprise. Wince-Smith lauded the role of the National Science Board (NSB), the advisory body of the National Science Foundation (NSF), in shaping U.S. science and technology efforts, although noted that the agency should be more involved in the national security side of competitiveness. Members of the Committee also raised several other questions to the panelists including public-private partnerships, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the scientific enterprise, the role of rural research institutions and community colleges in the scientific enterprise, and the development of nuclear fusion technology.
Statements from Chairman Lucas, witness testimonies, and a recording of the hearing are available on the SST Committee website.