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Government Relations Update August 2019

Posted on Sep 09, 2019 by Matthew Hall
Tags: External Relations, Federal Government

Internet2 Files Comments on Strategic Computing

On June 18, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program (NITRD) released a Request for Information (RFI) on an “Update to Strategic Computing Objectives.”  The RFI requested comments regarding how NITRD should update the goals and approaches to strategic computing R&D embodied in the 2016 National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) Strategic Plan in order to ensure continued and sustained U.S. leadership in this area.  NITRD will assess the input received through the RFI process before releasing a Strategic Computing R&D update report.

As part of the RFI process, on August 5, Internet2 President and CEO Howard Pfeffer appeared on a panel at a Future Computing Community of Interest meeting at NITRD.  The topics covered included emerging computer paradigms and technologies, and how those technologies could be integrated with current infrastructure.  Pfeffer discussed the myriad dimensions necessary for a fully realized high-end computing ecosystem, including operating models for agility and availability, and the importance of cultivating the required workforce to make the best use of those capabilities. 

In addition, on August 23, Internet2 submitted written comments in response to the RFI that offered four recommendations: 

1)    The U.S. must prepare to accommodate new computing modalities, which includes developing the necessary workforce.

2)    The country should pursue an integrated and holistic approach as it works toward developing capable exascale computing.

3)    Public-private partnerships should be strongly encouraged as part of the country’s strategic computing plan, and Internet2 can play a key role in such partnerships.

4)    The U.S. must be a global leader in strategic computing and provide funding to help achieve this goal.

Bipartisan Budget Deal Signed Into Law

On August 2, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 (H.R. 3877) was signed into law.  This law increases spending limits on discretionary programs for two years, covering FY 2020 and FY 2021, thereby avoiding automatic spending cuts imposed by sequestration rules until September 30, 2021.  In addition to raising budget caps, the law also suspends the debt limit until July 31, 2021, allowing the U.S. government to continue borrowing money to cover necessary expenditures.