Bills upcoming for a vote in the legislature.
Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act or the TRACED Act
This bill implements a forfeiture penalty for violations (with or without intent) of the prohibition on certain robocalls. The bill also removes an annual reporting requirement for enforcement relating to unsolicited facsimile advertisements.
The bill requires voice service providers to develop call authentication technologies.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) shall promulgate rules establishing when a provider may block a voice call based on information provided by the call authentication framework, but also must establish a process to permit a calling party adversely affected by the framework to verify the authenticity of their calls. The FCC shall also initiate a rulemaking to help protect a subscriber from receiving unwanted calls or texts from a caller using an unauthenticated number.
This bill requires the Department of Justice and the FCC to assemble an interagency working group to study and report to Congress on the enforcement of the prohibition of certain robocalls. Specifically, the working group will look into how to better enforce against robocalls by examining issues like the types of laws, policies, or constraints that could be inhibiting enforcement.
The bill requires the FCC to initiate a proceeding to determine whether its policies regarding access to number resources could be modified to help reduce access to numbers by potential robocall violators.
Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act of 2019
This bill expands eligibility for the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program and requires development of an I-Corps course to support commercialization-ready participants.
(Sec. 3) The bill requires the National Science Foundation (NSF) to allow grantees of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and other entities to participate in I-Corps courses. The cost of participation by such a grantee in a course may be furnished
(Sec. 4) The NSF shall develop an I-Corps course, to be offered by I-Corps regional nodes, to support commercialization-ready participants. The course shall support participants that have completed an I-Corps course and participants that have made the decision to market an innovation.
(Sec. 5) The Government Accountability Office shall report on the I-Corps Program, including by assessing the effects of the I-Corps on the commercialization of federally funded research and development, the higher education system, regional economies, and the national economy.
Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act
This bill addresses the participation of veterans in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, including by making veterans eligible for certain National Science Foundation (NSF) programs.
The bill directs the NSF to (1) encourage veterans to study and pursue careers in STEM and computer science in coordination with other federal agencies that serve veterans, and (2) submit a plan to Congress for enhancing veterans outreach.
The National Science Board shall provide in its annual report on the state of science and engineering in the United States relevant data on veterans in science and engineering careers or education programs.
The bill provides for veterans' participation and outreach in (1) the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program to recruit and train mathematics and science teachers, (2) NSF fellowships and masters fellowships for mathematics and science teachers, (3) computer and network security capacity building grants, and (4) traineeship grants leading to a doctorate degree in computer and network security research.
The Office of Science and Technology Policy shall establish an interagency working group to coordinate federal programs and policies for transitioning and training veterans and military spouses for STEM careers.
(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the Senate on March 30, 2017. The summary of that version is repeated here.)
Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act
(Sec. 2) This bill directs the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to:
In order to understand and respond to the adverse effects of space weather, the working group shall leverage capabilities across participating federal agencies.
It is the sense of Congress that the interagency collaboration between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on terrestrial weather observations provides:
NASA and NOAA shall enter into at least one interagency agreement that provides for cooperation and collaboration in the development of space weather spacecraft, instruments, and technologies.
It is U.S. policy to establish and sustain a baseline capability for space weather observations.
The OSTP, in coordination with NOAA, NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Defense (DOD), shall develop an integrated strategy for solar and solar wind observations beyond the lifetime of current assets that considers the provision of:
In developing such strategy, the OSTP shall consider small satellite options, hosted payloads, commercial options, international options, and prize authority.
In order to sustain current space-based observational capabilities, NASA shall:
NOAA shall secure reliable secondary capability for near real-time coronal mass ejection imagery.
NOAA, in coordination with DOD and NASA, shall develop options to build and deploy one or more instruments for near real-time coronal mass ejection imagery.
In developing such options, NOAA shall consider commercial solutions, prize authority, academic and international partnerships, microsatellites, ground-based instruments, and opportunities to deploy the instrument or instruments as a secondary payload on an upcoming planned launch.
In securing reliable secondary capability for near real-time coronal mass ejection imagery, NOAA shall make it a priority to achieve a cost-effective solution.
NOAA shall develop an operational contingency plan to provide continuous space weather forecasting in the event of a SOHO/LASCO failure.
Within 120 days of the enactment of this bill, NOAA shall brief Congress on the options for building and deploying the instrument or instruments and the operational contingency plan.
NOAA, in coordination with DOD, shall develop requirements and a plan for follow-on space-based observations for operational purposes.
The OSTP shall report to Congress on the integrated strategy, including the plans for follow-on space-based observations.
The NSF the Air Force, and where practicable in support of the Air Force, the Navy shall each:
The NSF shall:
NOAA, the Air Force, and where practicable in support of the Air Force, the Navy, in conjunction with other relevant federal agencies, shall conduct a survey to identify and prioritize the needs of space weather forecast users, including space weather data and space weather forecast data needed to improve services and inform research priorities and technology needs.
NOAA, the Air Force, and where practicable in support of the Air Force, the Navy, shall:
The NSF, NASA, and DOD shall continue to carry out basic research activities on heliophysics, geospace science, and space weather and support competitive, merit-based, peer-reviewed proposals for research, modeling, and monitoring of space weather and its impacts, including science goals outlined in Solar and Space Physics Decadal surveys conducted by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
The NSF, NOAA, and NASA shall pursue multidisciplinary research in subjects that further our understanding of solar physics, space physics, and space weather.
It is the sense of Congress that NASA and the NSF should support competitively awarded Heliophysics Science Centers.
NASA shall seek to implement missions meeting science objectives identified in NAS Solar and Space Physics Decadal surveys.
NASA, the NSF, NOAA, and the Air Force, and where practicable in support of the Air Force, the Navy shall:
NOAA and DOD, in coordination with NASA and the NSF, shall develop a mechanism to communicate the operational needs of space weather forecasters to the research community.
NASA and the NSF shall support the development of technologies and instrumentation to improve space weather forecasting lead-time and accuracy to meet needs identified by NOAA.
NASA and the NSF shall:
NOAA shall make space weather related data obtained from operational forecasting available for scientific research.
The provisions relating to space weather under the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010 are repealed.
(Sec. 3) The Space Weather Interagency Working Group shall:
Within 18 months of the development of the preliminary benchmarks, the working group shall publish final benchmarks and NASA shall contract with the NAS to review them.
The working group shall update and revise the final benchmarks as necessary, based on:
(Sec. 4) NOAA shall inform the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about space weather hazards to protect national critical infrastructure from space weather events.
(Sec. 5) The National Security Council shall:
DOD shall inform the National Security Council, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of the defense agencies about space weather hazards for purposes of the protection of those assets.
(Sec. 6) The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shall assess:
The FAA shall develop methods to increase the interaction between the aviation community and the space weather research and service provider community.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2018
This bill reauthorizes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through FY2019.
The bill authorizes NASA programs, activities, and reports, including those regarding the International Space Station (ISS); launch, crew, and cargo vehicle critical path redundancy; space suits; earth observation; land remote sensing data collection; Landsat systems; the Goddard Institute for Space Studies; in-space nuclear fission power; civil supersonic transportation research; unmanned aircraft systems research; commercially provided space products and services; commercial in-space infrastructure; and NASA-funded institutes.
The bill extends NASA's authority to lease nonexcess properties through 2020.
The National Space Council shall publish a report that relates the strategic national importance of space to the inherent risk of exploring and using it.
Support for Rapid Innovation Act of 2017
This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Under Secretary for Science and Technology of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to support the research, development, testing, evaluation, and transition of cybersecurity technologies.
Such research and development shall:
The Under Secretary shall:
The bill: (1) extends the authority of the DHS to carry out a research and development projects pilot program until September 30, 2021; (2) requires a DHS component to obtain the DHS Secretary's approval before utilizing authority for such a project by providing a proposal that includes the rationale, funds to be spent, and expected outcome for the project; and (3) requires DHS's annual report on such program to include the extent of cost-sharing for projects among federal and nonfederal sources and the extent to which utilization of project authority has addressed a homeland security capability gap or threat to the homeland.
DHS must develop training for acquisitions staff on the utilization of DHS's authority to enter into transactions (other than contracts, cooperative agreements, and grants) for research and development projects to ensure accountability and effective management of projects consistent with the Program Management Improvement Accountability Act.
Measuring the Economic Impact of Broadband Act of 2018
This bill requires the Department of Commerce to assess, and submit a report regarding, the effects of the digital economy on the U.S. economy. In conducting the assessment, Commerce must: (1) consider the impact of the deployment and adoption of digital-enabling infrastructure and broadband, e-commerce and platform-enabled peer-to-peer commerce, and the production and consumption of digital media; and (2) consult with other government agencies, businesses, rural and urban Internet service and telecommunications infrastructure providers, and consumer and community organizations.
Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018
(Sec. 3) This bill requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish the Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States. The task force must identify current gaps in the availability of broadband Internet access service on agricultural land and recommend policies to expand its deployment.
The Department of Agriculture and the FCC shall jointly submit to the task force a list of all federal programs or resources available for the expansion of broadband Internet access service on unserved agricultural land.The FCC shall renew the task force every two years until it terminates on January 1, 2025.
DHS Cyber Incident Response Teams Act of 2018
This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) national cybersecurity and communications integration center to maintain cyber hunt and incident response teams to provide, upon request, assistance including: (1) assisting asset owners and operators in restoring services following a cyber incident; (2) identifying cybersecurity risk and unauthorized cyber activity; and (3) mitigation strategies to prevent, deter, and protect against cybersecurity risks.
DHS may include private sector cybersecurity specialists on such teams, and must continually assess and evaluate the teams and their operations and report specified metrics to Congress.
No additional funds are authorized to carry out this bill.
National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act of 2017
This bill authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to work with a consortium, including the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium, to support efforts to address cybersecurity risks and incidents, including threats or acts of terrorism.
DHS may work with such a consortium to assist its national cybersecurity and communications integration center to:
DHS's authority to carry out this bill terminates five years after its enactment.
Department of Energy Veterans' Health Initiative Act
(Sec. 4) This bill directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a research program in artificial intelligence and high-performance computing that is focused on the development of tools to: (1) solve big data challenges associated with veterans' health care, and (2) support the Department of Veterans Affairs in identifying potential health risks and challenges.
(Sec. 5) DOE shall carry out a pilot program to develop tools for big data analytics in order to advance artificial intelligence technologies to solve complex big data challenges.
National Quantum Initiative Act
This bill directs the President to implement a National Quantum Initiative Program to, among other things, establish the goals and priorities for a 10-year plan to accelerate the development of quantum information science and technology applications.
The bill defines "quantum information science" as the use of quantum mechanics for the storage, transmission, manipulation, or measurement of information in ways that offer advantages to classical capabilities.
The National Science and Technology Council shall establish a Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science, including membership from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to guide program activities.
The President must establish a National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee to advise the President and subcommittee on the program and quantum information science trends and developments.
NIST shall carry out specified quantum science activities and convene a consortium to discuss the development of a quantum information science and technology industry.
The National Science Foundation shall:
Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act of 2018
This bill permits an agency to determine whether a cyber workforce position in such agency is eligible for the rotational cyber workforce program. That program provides for certain agency employees to detail among rotational cyber workforce positions at other agencies.
Additionally, the bill requires the Office of Personnel Management to issue a Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program operation plan that shall provide policies, processes, and procedures for detailing employees among rotational cyber workforce positions at agencies.
The Government Accountability Office must assess the operation and effectiveness of the rotational cyber workforce program by addressing the extent to which agencies have participated in the program and the experiences of employees serving in the program.
National Geologic Mapping Act Reauthorization Act
This bill amends the National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992 to: (1) reauthorize such Act through FY2023, and (2) provide for the Associate Director for Core Science Systems to replace the Associate Director for Geology as the chairperson of the geologic mapping advisory committee.
Rural Reasonable and Comparable Wireless Access Act of 2018
This bill directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to commence a rulemaking to establish a national standard for determining whether mobile broadband service in rural areas is reasonably comparable to the service provided in urban areas.
The FCC shall gather data about the average signal strength and speed of mobile broadband service from the 20 most-populated urban areas. The service provided in rural areas shall be deemed reasonably comparable to urban areas if the average signal strength and speed meet or exceed the averages in the most-populated areas.
Hack Your State Department Act
This bill requires the Department of State to design, establish, and make publicly known a Vulnerability Disclosure Process to improve cybersecurity. The process requirements include: (1) identifying which information technology should be included, (2) providing a readily available means of reporting discovered security vulnerabilities, and (3) identifying the offices and position that will be responsible for addressing security vulnerability disclosures.
The bill requires the State Department to establish a bug bounty pilot program to provide compensation for reports of previously unidentified security vulnerabilities of its internet-facing information technology.
Rural Broadband Permitting Efficiency Act of 2018
(Sec. 3) This bill requires the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of the Interior to establish a program to enter into memoranda of understanding with states and Indian tribes to allow for the permitting of broadband within an operational right-of-way to enable broadband providers to install infrastructure that allows users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications, with respect to National Forest System land, land managed by Interior, and Indian land.
The "operational right-of-way" is defined as all real property interests (including easements) acquired for the construction or operation of a project.
A state's governor, the governor's designee, or an officer designated by the governing body of the Indian tribe may enter into such a memorandum for a term not to exceed 10 years if the state or Indian tribe consents to: (1) federal court jurisdiction, (2) federal environmental review procedures, (3) judicial review of decisions regarding the public availability of documents, (4) maintenance of necessary financial resources, (5) the provision of any information that USDA or Interior needs to ensure that the state is carrying out its responsibilities, (6) the provision of revenues generated from the use of public lands to the United States, and (7) the provision of a copy of authorizing documents to the United States for proper notation and recordkeeping.
(Sec. 4) USDA or Interior must establish a broadband permit streamlining team in each state or regional office with responsibility for issuing permits for broadband projects. Under the program, USDA or Interior shall coordinate and expedite permitting decisions for broadband projects through a memorandum of understanding with USDA or Interior, as appropriate, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act or the PIRATE Act
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Communications Act of 1934 to address unlicensed radio broadcasting (called "pirating"), including:
The FCC must: (1) annually report to Congress summarizing implementation of this bill and associated enforcement activities for the previous fiscal year; and (2) at least once a year, assign appropriate enforcement personnel to focus specific and sustained attention on the elimination of pirate radio broadcasting within the top five radio markets.
The FCC may not preempt any state or local law prohibiting pirate radio broadcasting.
The FCC shall: (1) revise its rules to require that, absent good cause, in any case alleging a violation, it shall proceed directly to issue a Notice of Apparent Liability without first issuing a Notice of Unlicensed Operations; and (2) publish a database of all licensed radio stations operating in the AM and FM bands, which shall be easily accessible from the FCC home page, identifying each licensed station and all entities that have received a Notice of Unlicensed Operation, Notice of Apparent Liability, or Forfeiture Order by the FCC.
(Sec. 3) No additional funds are authorized to carry out this bill.
Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018
(Sec. 3) This bill requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish the Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States.
The task force's duties include:
USDA and the FCC shall jointly submit to the task force a list of all federal programs or resources available for the expansion of broadband Internet access service on unserved agricultural land.
The task force must submit annually to the FCC a report that details: (1) the status of fixed and mobile broadband Internet access service coverage of agricultural land; (2) the projected future connectivity need of agricultural operations, farmers, and ranchers; and (3) steps taken to accurately measure the availability of broadband Internet access service on agricultural land and the limitations of current measurement processes.
The FCC shall renew the task force every two years until it terminates on January 1, 2025.
(Sec. 4) No additional funds are authorized to carry out this bill.
Advancing Critical Connectivity Expands Service, Small Business Resources, Opportunities, Access, and Data Based on Assessed Need and Demand Act or the ACCESS BROADBAND Act
(Sec. 2) This bill requires the Department of Commerce to establish the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
(Sec. 3) The office shall:
The office must report annually: (1) a description of the office's work, (2) the number of U.S. residents who received broadband as result of federal broadband programs and the Universal Service Fund program, and (3) an estimate of the economic impact of such broadband deployment efforts on the local economy.
(Sec. 4) The office shall consult with any agency offering a federal broadband support program in order to streamline the application process for financial assistance or grants and create one application that may be submitted to apply for all federal broadband support programs.
(Sec. 5) The office, any agency that offers a federal broadband support program, and the Federal Communications Commission through the Universal Service Fund shall coordinate to ensure that broadband support is being distributed in an efficient, technology-neutral, and financially sustainable manner.
(Sec. 7) No additional funds are authorized to carry out this bill.
National Innovation Modernization by Laboratory Empowerment Act or the NIMBLE Act
This bill directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to delegate signature authority to the nonmilitary national laboratories for certain agreements. Activity under such an agreement must have a total cost of less than $1 million (including the contributions of the national laboratory and the cost share of the contractor). Agreements must fall within the scope of:
ARPA-E Act of 2018
This bill amends the America COMPETES Act to require the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) in the Department of Energy (DOE) to overcome the long-term and high-risk technological barriers in the development of transformative science and technology solutions to address energy, environmental, economic, and national security challenges. (Currently, ARPA-E must overcome barriers in the development of energy technologies.)
The bill expands the goals of ARPA-E to include the development of energy technologies that:
The bill expands the responsibility of ARPA-E to accelerate novel early-stage research to include nonenergy research.
Specified categories of proprietary information collected by ARPA-E from award recipients shall be considered privileged and confidential and not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
Department of Energy Science and Innovation Act of 2018
This bill authorizes various scientific research activities, programs, and initiatives in the Department of Energy (DOE).
The bill states that the mission of DOE's Office of Science shall be the delivery of scientific discoveries, capabilities, and major scientific tools to transform the understanding of nature and to advance energy, economic, and national security.
The bill provides statutory authority for the Office of Science's basic energy sciences program, construction and operation of user facilities, Advanced Scientific Computing Research program, and Science Laboratories Infrastructure Program.
DOE shall provide for specified upgrades to or construction of basic energy sciences research infrastructure.
DOE shall carry out a Solar Fuels Research Initiative and a Electricity Storage Research Initiative.
The Office of Science shall: