U. S. House of Representatives

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, 109th-116th Congress, Vice-Chairman (110th)

  • Research and Technology Subcommittee, Chairman (111th), Ranking Member (112th-115th)
  • Energy Subcommittee
  • Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee
Legislative Accomplishments Boosting Federal Support for Science, Technology, & Innovation

Authored the National Science Foundation Authorization Act; became law as part of the America COMPETES Act (P.L. 111-358))

Authored the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act requiring the federal government to produce a national strategic plan every four years beginning in 2018 to promote advanced domestic manufacturing; became law in Sec. 704 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, FY2015 (P.L. 113-235))

Led development of Section 601 of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (P.L. 114-329) to authorize and expand the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program, which spurs innovation and job creation by training research scientists in entrepreneurship to facilitate transition of their findings into goods and services.

Authored an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2018 authorizing the Hacking for Defense (H4D) program teaching entrepreneurial skills to college students while they work on innovative solutions to national security problems; became law in P.L. 115-91). 

Authored H.R. 5094 to create a pilot program to allow the National Science Foundation to issue research challenges and award cash prizes, paying only for high-performers; a modified and expanded provision authorizing federal agency heads to establish prize competitions to stimulate innovation and advance their missions was enacted into law as part of the America COMPETES Act (P.L. 111-358). 

Authored an amendment during Committee consideration of the Creating Jobs Through Small Business Innovation Act, which became law as Section 5127 of the National Defense Authoriztion Act for FY 2012, to establish a “Phase 0” STTR Pilot Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to assist university researchers in proof-of-concept development to identify promising markets for new small businesses; these phase 0 pilots are now executed through the NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub program.

Authored H.R. 1156, the International Science and Technology Cooperation Act, to establish a group under the National Science and Technology Council to identify and lead international science and technology collaborations to further economic, national security, and foreign policy goals.  Became law as part of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (P.L. 114-329).

Authored H.R. 632, the H-Prize Act, to authorize $50 million in cash prizes to spur innovations in the use of hydrogen as a clean energy fuel for transportation.  Became law as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act (P.L. 110-140),

Authored the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act as co-chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Chemistry Caucus, to promote green chemistry in federal research agencies in order to provide a research foundation and workforce pipeline for environmentally-friendly product development in the private sector.  Became law in the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 116-283).

Authored the BRIGHT Energy Savings Act, which became law as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act (P.L. 110-140), to reduce carbon emissions and save taxpayer funding by requiring federal buildings to use energy saving light fixtures and bulbs

Regularly led introduction and passage of an annual resolution Supporting the goals and ideals of National Engineers as co-chair of the STEM Ed Caucus; this resolution expressed support for National Engineers Week and its aims increase interest in engineering and technology careers, particularly from under-represented groups, and to promote literacy in math and science.

Led introduction of the bipartisan Challenges & Prizes for Climate Act, part of which was incorporated into H.R.4447 which passed the House in the 116th Congress, to require the Department of Energy to issue challenges for technologies reducing carbon emissions associated with fossil fuel combustion.

Authored bipartisan H.R. 7106, the Social Sciences Protect Our Nation Act, to express support for Department of Defense social science research programs, including the Minerva Research Initiative which was slated for elimination in the budget request.  Language included in the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 116-283).