H.R. 967: Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2013

H.R. 967

Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2013

Date
April 16, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, April 16, 2013 the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 967, the Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2013, under a suspension of the rules.  H.R. 967 was introduced on March 5, 2013 by Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and was referred to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, which held a markup and reported the bill by a voice vote.

Bill Summary

H.R. 967 amends the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 to update the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program.  NITRD is the federal government’s central program for coordinating unclassified networking and information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) among federal agencies.  NITRD includes 15 member agencies and more than a dozen other participating agencies.  H.R. 967 updates NITRD to reflect technological developments and to account for shifts in networking and IT R&D priorities.  The bill also updates NITRD to improve interagency coordination and planning.

Specially, H.R. 967 requires the development and periodic update of a strategic plan for the NITRD program and codifies work currently conducted by the National Coordination Office (NCO) of the NITRD program.  H.R. 967 implements recommendations from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), including improving interagency coordination and planning with input from policy and technical experts.  The bill rebalances R&D portfolios to focus less on short-term goals and more on large-scale, long-term interdisciplinary research; and it updates research areas to reflect new terminologies.  H.R. 967 codifies a university/industry workshop to explore options for carrying out public-private cyber-physical systems research partnerships.  In addition, H.R. 967 convenes an interagency working group to identify cloud computing research gaps and examine the potential for using the cloud for federally funded research.

Background

The NITRD program was first authorized in the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 (P.L. 102-194) to improve coordination among federal agencies on unclassified networking and IT R&D.  Prior to its authorization, a number of federal agencies had ongoing high-performance computing programs but did not have a coordinating body.[1]  As mentioned above, NITRD is now the federal government’s central R&D investment portfolio for coordinating unclassified networking and IT R&D among federal agencies.  NITRD’s investments encompass unclassified networking, computing, software, cybersecurity, and related information technologies.  Specific to cybersecurity, the NITRD program focuses on R&D to detect, prevent, resist, respond to, and recover from actions that compromise or threaten to compromise the availability, integrity, or confidentiality of computer-and network-based systems. 

The House passed the bill (H.R. 3834) in the 112th Congress on April 27, 2012 by a voice vote, but the Senate did not take up the measure.



[1] See House Science Committee Report 113-34.

Cost

The CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 967 would cost about $1 million over the 2014-2018 period, subject to the availability of appropriated funds.  Enacting H.R. 967 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.  For more information, see CBO’s cost estimate on H.R. 967.