H.R. 5312, Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Modernization Act of 2016

H.R. 5312

Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Modernization Act of 2016

June 13, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On Monday, June 13, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 5312, the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Modernization Act of 2016, under suspension of the rules. On May 24, 2016, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology marked a Committee Print of the “Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Modernization Act of 2016.” The Committee Print, as amended, was approved by voice vote by the Committee. H.R. 5312 was introduced by Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) later that day. H.R. 5312The bill was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, which ordered the bill reported by voice vote on May 25, 2016.

Bill Summary

The purpose of H.R. 5312 is to advance America’s networking and information technology research and development by updating the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991. H.R. 5312 renames the National High Performance Computing Program as the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program, and establishes a strategic planning, coordination, and review process for the NITRD Program investment portfolio with metrics and objectives. The bill also improves communication among Federal government agencies and laboratories with industry and academia through an expert advisory council, steering groups, and workshops to explore mechanisms for carrying out collaborative research and development activities, such as in data analytics, privacy protection, and human-computer interaction and systems. Further, the bill focuses the NITRD portfolio on large-scale, long-term, interdisciplinary research with the potential to make breakthroughs for society and U.S. competitiveness, including R&D on cyber-physical interactions, visualizations, and big data. The legislation requires all federal agencies participating in the Program to develop, and update every five years, a strategic plan. The legislation also authorizes NITRD participating agencies to support large-scale, long-term, interdisciplinary research and development activities in networking and information technology directed toward mission areas that have the potential for significant contributions to society and national economic competitiveness and to encourage collaboration between at least two agencies as well as cost-sharing from non-Federal sources. In addition, H.R. 5312 authorizes the NITRD National Coordination Office to provide technical and administrative support to participating federal agencies and conduct workshops and other activities on research areas of emerging importance.

Finally, the legislation removes outdated sections of the U.S. Code.


Originally authorized by the High Performance Computing Act of 1991 (P.L. 102-194), the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program is the federal government’s main R&D investment portfolio in unclassified networking, computing, software, cybersecurity, and related information technologies. NITRD coordinates unclassified R&D across 21 federal agencies, and has played a role in several important technological advances including the computational decoding of the human genome; modeling and simulation of complex physical systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, and search-and-rescue robots; and computer-based education and training.


A Congressional Budget Estimate (CBO) is currently not available. According to the Committee, CBO estimated that implementing the bill would not have a significant effect on the federal budget. Enacting H.R. 5312 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 5312 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027. H.R. 5312 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.”

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.