House approves LaHood bill to streamline federal investments in high-end computing technologies

The House of Representatives approved legislation on Monday that U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) authored to streamline and enhance federal investments in high-end computing and information technology.

LaHood’s bill, H.R. 5312, would update the High Performance Computing Act of 1991 to enable local entities to use advanced information technologies through the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program.

The NITRD Program is a multi-agency initiative to coordinate federal research and development in advanced information technologies like computing, networking, software and cybersecurity.

“I am proud to witness my legislation that is set to modernize and streamline critical information technology for the private and public sectors pass the House floor with overwhelming bipartisan support,” LaHood said. “This bill will modernize the NITRD Program so advancements in computing technologies can transform how companies learn, how they conduct business, and how we maintain a strong national security apparatus.” 

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, said on the House floor that the legislation would help ensure that the U.S. remains a leader in global computing technology.

“I want to thank the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. LaHood, for taking the initiative on this innovation bill,” Smith said. “This taxpayer-funded basic research is intended to ensure that the United States remains the global leader in high-end computing and networking, which is crucial to our future economic and national security. Advanced networking and information technology supports and boosts American discovery and innovation, enhances national security, improves our international competitiveness, expands the U.S. economy, and creates millions of jobs.”

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) also spoke on the House floor in support of the bill because it would streamline federal investments in high-end computing and benefit local entities like the University of Illinois.

“By streamlining the NITRD Program, we can ensure U.S. competitiveness in advanced technologies while improving collaboration between federal agencies, national laboratories, private industry and academia,” Davis said.

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