Government Relations Update August 2018
Quantum Computing Legislation Passes Senate Commerce Committee
On August 1, the Senate Commerce Committee passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (S. 3143). Quantum systems potentially allow for computing power to be increased at an exponential rate, providing for more calculations to be done at a much faster rate than conventional computers are capable of executing. The bill is intended to create a coordinated federal program to accelerate quantum computing research and would create a National Quantum Coordination Office within Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House. This new office would oversee interagency coordination across the federal government and serve as the central point of contact for researchers and organizations in the private sector.
Senate Approves Additional FY2019 Spending Bill
On August 23, the Senate voted 85-7 to advance a minibus appropriations package (H.R. 6157) that added appropriations for the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Department of Education to the original Department of Defense spending bill passed by the House. The bill funds the Department of Education at $71.4 billion and includes $242 million in funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and $39.1 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health – increasing funding over FY2018 levels for all three agencies. The bill has been sent back to the House for further action upon its return from the August recess.