Republicans Put Forth Two Quantum Computing Bills


A coalition of companies also expressed support.

House Republicans reintroduced two pieces of legislation to help drive new U.S.-led developments across quantum information science.

This emerging, but lately in-the-spotlight field investigates phenomena at the atomic scale—and many think it could underpin transformational science, engineering and communication applications in the not-so-distant future.

“We can’t overstate the importance of quantum information science. It will revolutionize our relationship with technology and our capacity for scientific progress,” Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said Monday. “Developing our capacities in this field requires a strategic effort with strong federal investment and active public-private partnerships.”

To that effect, Lucas, ranking member on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee put forth the Quantum User Expansion for Science and Technology, or QUEST Act

Specifically, the bill would require the Energy Department to establish a program that would deliberately “encourage and facilitate access to United States quantum computing hardware and quantum computing clouds for research purposes”—to ultimately boost the nation’s research enterprise and workforce in this realm, and accelerate its advancement of quantum computing capabilities. This means, under the bill, America-based researchers would have new levels of access to quantum-driving resources. 

The National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology and others would help coordinate the work. And millions of dollars in funding would be authorized to be appropriated over the next several years to make it possible. 

That bill was referred to the SS&T Committee upon introduction.

Another quantum-focused bill recently brought forward and then referred to that committee is the Quantum Network Infrastructure Act, which was first introduced by Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. The legislation would require the Energy Department to work with named interagency and other partners to make a range of calculated moves to rapidly advance America’s quantum-centered infrastructure. This could include helping promote the development of distributed quantum computing systems through the internet, improving precision measurements around scientific phenomena, and producing novel approaches for secure national quantum communication-based technologies and strategies. 

The overall aim would be to enable the making of a large-scale quantum network.

“With benefits in healthcare, national security and beyond continued investment in the development of quantum information sciences is an investment in the future of our nation,” Zeldin, Co-Chair of the National Labs Caucus, said. 

More than 10 other Republicans signed on to promote the bills this session. 

The Quantum Industry Coalition, which consists of companies dedicated to ensuring U.S. quantum leadership in various fields, also published a letter expressing their own support of the legislation.