A bevy of pending legislation aimed at technological modernization moved through Congressional chambers on Wednesday with broad bipartisan backing.
A slew of technology-centric legislation cleared Congressional chambers on Wednesday, notably the Senate version of the National Manufacturing Extension Partnership Supply Chain Database Act.
Introduced by Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., the bill would create a national database to better track the movement of goods within the U.S. supply chain for manufacturers as the industry works to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions. The National Institute of Standards and Technology would be tasked with creating the database to help modernize supply chain tracking.
The bill cleared the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and will now head to the Senate floor for a vote.
"The COVID-19 pandemic exposed deep vulnerabilities in our country's national supply chains that continues to affect our long-term economic recovery," said Menendez. "That's why I am pleased that the Senate Commerce Committee has passed the National MEP Supply Chain Database Act out of committee, and appreciate Sen. Blackburn's partnership in moving this bill forward.”
A companion to the Senate version exists in the House of Representatives. The House version also boasts bipartisan support.
Aside from Senate committee legislative activity, the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology advanced multiple pieces of legislation, including the Promoting Digital Privacy Technologies Act.
This bill allocates more federal resources to the research and development of privacy-enhancing technologies and associated standards to successfully integrate them into protecting public and private data systems. It also regulates the use of data analysis on sensitive datasets.
The NOAA Weather Radio Modernization Act was also passed in the same committee hearing, which would update the technology behind the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Radio All Hazards alert system.
“The bills passed today do important work to protect Americans—whether from identity theft, severe weather, environmental hazards, or deadly fires,” Ranking Member Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla. said. “In particular, the PRECIP Act will help communities make better decisions about infrastructure needs by giving them access to improved precipitation forecasts.”
Both bills will advance to the House floor for a final vote.